Month: February 2018

Five Facts About Social Security Disability (SSDI) Benefits

The path to obtaining your Social Security Disability benefits can be a long and complicated one, and at Dan Chapman and Associates, we are here to help. Our attorneys have experience with Social Security law and procedures, and will be instrumental in obtaining your benefits.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding SSI, so here are five facts to help you understand what Social Security Disability benefits are, and how they are awarded.

Documentation is key

The more documentation you can provide from medical professionals about your disability the better chances you have of getting approved. Documentation isn’t just letters, it includes keeping regularly scheduled medical appointments, and actively participating in any recommended treatments. The Social Security Administration outlines what is required here.

Benefits do not begin immediately

Once you are approved for SSDI benefits, it could take up to 3-5 months to begin receiving them. Our attorneys can explain the payment process, and how benefits are awarded. Typically, payments begin the month after the date listed in your approval letter. For example, if you receive a letter stating your benefits will begin on January 15th, typically your first payment will be issued in February. Again, every case is unique, which is why it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side.

More people become disabled than you think

According to the Social Security Administration, close to 25% of people over 20 years old will become disabled in their lifetime. This contributes to the slowness of the evaluation and approval process. It’s also a reason many first-time claims are denied. Our attorneys know the process well enough to overcome some of those common roadblocks and get you approved

Social Security Disability benefits are designed to be long-term

The Social Security Administration defines ‘long-term’ as unable to work for 12 or more months. If your disability is considered terminal, the benefits could be awarded for a lifetime. Many times, people assume SSDI will cover shorter term disabilities. While private insurance companies may award short term disability benefits, SSDI does not.

Help is available for applying for SSDI as well as appealing denied SSDI claims

Here at Dan Chapman and Associates, we are here to help! If you’ve been denied? We are on your side! Our qualified professionals are here to provide you with information and answer any questions you may have. We offer a free case evaluation of your situation, and there is no fee unless you win. Call us today at 678-CHAPMAN or complete the form below and a member of our team will be in touch soon.

Social Security Denied Claim Form

Intake form for denied Social Security claims.

Workers Compensation | Medical Benefits Under Georgia Law

If you have been injured in the course and scope of your employment, it is important to know that the workers’ compensation system will provide you with two types of benefits – weekly income benefits and medical treatment.  This entry will discuss the types of medical benefits that an Injured Worker may be entitled to receive under Georgia law.

It is important to remember that the primary function of the workers’ compensation system in Georgia is to provide Injured Workers with the medical treatment needed in order to allow them to return to work.  In the event that your claim is accepted as compensable, the insurance company will be required to provide you with all medical treatment that your authorized treating physician deems to be reasonable and necessary to help you recover from your accident. This may include things such as hospital visits, treatment with your authorized treating physician, payment for prescriptions, physical therapy treatment, and expenses associated with traveling to and from medical appointment.  Remember that the Employer/Insurer is not under any obligation to pay for medical treatment which is not recommended by the authorized treating physician.  This being the case, under most circumstances, the Employer/Insurer will not pay for treatment that you receive from your personal physician.

Injured Workers are entitled to medical treatment for up to 400 weeks following the date of the accident.  Remember that as long as the medical treatment is approved by an authorized treating physician, the insurance company is required to pay for your medical treatment and you will not have to come out of pocket for medical treatment.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

Workers Compensation | Income Benefits Under Georgia Law

 

If you have been injured in the course and scope of your employment, it is important to know that the workers’ compensation system will provide you with two types of benefits – weekly income benefits and medical treatment. This entry will discuss the various types of income benefits that an Injured Worker may be entitled to receive.

Under Georgia law, there are three (3) distinctly different types of income benefits that Injured Workers may be entitled to:

  1. 1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)

If a doctor removes you from work completely, or if your employer is unable to accommodate your light duty work restrictions, then you may be entitled to TTD benefits.  Workers entitled to TTD benefits receive two-thirds (2/3) of their average weekly wage up to a maximum of $575/week.  An Injured Worker is entitled to receive TTD benefits for up to 400 weeks from the date of their accident.

  1. 2) Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)

If you return to work following your accident and are earning less money than you were prior to your workplace accident, then you may be entitled to TPD benefits.  Workers entitled to TPD benefits receive two-thirds (2/3) of the difference between what they were earning prior to the accident and what they are receiving after the accident up to a maximum of $383.00.  An injured worker can receive these benefits for up to 350 weeks from the date of their accident.

  1. 3) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)

In the event that your authorized treating physician assigns you what is known as a “permanent impairment rating,” then you could be entitled to PPD benefits.  These PPD benefits can be paid out in one lump sum payment, or on a weekly basis.  The amount of PPD benefits that you will receive will depend upon the impairment rating assigned, your average weekly wage, and the body part to which the impairment rating is assigned.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

Workers Compensation Evaluation

Atlanta Workers Compensation Intake
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Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Considered “Taxable Income?”

 

It is that time of year again. The deadline for filing personal income tax returns is fast approaching and the dreaded April 15th deadline will be here before we know it.  If you have received workers’ compensation benefits, you may wonder whether the income benefits that you have received need to be reported as taxable income. The good news is that, generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are not considered taxable income. Accordingly, Injured Workers are not required to report workers’ compensation benefits on their W2s or other tax documents.

There are certain exceptions to this general rule, however.  Specifically, if an Injured Worker has received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) certain tax implications may be involved.  If you have any questions regarding the specific nature of the tax implications involving either SSDI or SSI benefits, it is recommended that you contact a tax professional.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

Workers Compensation Evaluation

Atlanta Workers Compensation Intake
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Georgia Workers Compensation Average Weekly Wage Calculation

Georgia Workers Comp: Average Weekly Wage and How It Is Calculated

In Georgia, if you have been involved in a compensable workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to two types of benefits – income benefits and medical treatment.  When discussing income benefits, it is important to understand what is meant by the term “average weekly wage” and how the average weekly wage is calculated.

By law, there are three (3) methods through which your average weekly wage can be calculated:

  1. Thirteen (13) Weeks of Employee’s Earnings:  Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-260 (1), the preferred method of calculating an injured worker’s average weekly wage is by reviewing the worker’s wages from the thirteen (13) weeks preceding the date of the accident and then taking the average of those thirteen (13) weeks of earning.  For example, if the injured worker earned $13,000.00 during the thirteen (13) week preceding his accident, then he would have an average weekly wage of $1,000.00.
  1. Thirteen (13) Weeks of Similarly Situated Employee’s Earnings: If the injured worker has not worked “substantially the whole” of the thirteen (13) weeks preceding the injury, then the injured workers’ average weekly wage must be calculated by using the wages of a similarly situated employee.  Pursuant to O.C.G.A § 34-9-260 (2) a similarly situated employee is a person who performs a similar type of job for the same employer.  If a similarly situated employee can be found, then the injured workers’ average weekly wage will be calculated based upon the same metrics above, only the wages will be those of the similarly situated employee.
  1. Contracted Rate of Hire:  If neither of the first two methods can be utilized in determining the injured worker’s average weekly wage, then the third method of determining the injured worker’s average weekly wage is to take the injured worker’s contracted rate of hire (or their hourly wage) and multiplying that rate by the number of hours they are contracted to work.  For instance, if the injured worker earns $10.00 per hour and is contracted to work 40 hours per week, then the injured work would have an average weekly wage of $400.00

Accurately determining your average weekly wage is significant in that it serves as the basis for determining what your weekly compensation rate will be.  An injured worker is entitled to receive 2/3 of their average weekly wage as their weekly workers’ compensation payment — up to a maximum of $575.00 per week.  Using the example above, if the injured worker has an average weekly wage of $400.00, then the corresponding compensation rate would be $266.67.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

Workers Compensation Evaluation

Atlanta Workers Compensation Intake
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