Five Myths About Social Security Disability Benefits

Navigating the process of applying for and being awarded Social Security Disability benefits can be a complicated one full of myths and misinformation. This is because every case is unique to the individual applying for benefits. At Dan Chapman and Associates, our attorneys have the expertise and experience needed to get you through the application or appeal process, and get you the benefits you deserve.

Below are some common myths and misconceptions about the SSDI process you will find helpful in starting or appealing the application process.

MYTH – Hardly Anyone Gets Approved

While the application process is long and sometimes arduous, and the SSA guidelines are rather strict and the initial rejection rate high, in 2013, 33% of applications were approved. This is why having an attorney on your side is vital to the application and appeal process so nothing is missed, and every SSA requirement for determining you are unable to work is met.

MYTH – SSDI Will Replace Your Total Work Income

SSDI benefits are considered a safety net, and shouldn’t be expected to replace your total income as if you were still working. There are other need based programs, such as SSI, that can be applied for simultaneously, but in 2015, the average SSDI payment was just under $1200 per month. Your attorney will know what programs to apply for that meet your needs, and if and when you can return to work to help supplement your benefits.

MYTH – My Doctor Says I’m Disabled – This Means I Automatically Qualify For Benefits

It’s important to keep in mind that the SSDI decision is a legal one, not a medical one. However, the medical professionals you see during the application or appeal process will be vital in the information they provide for the decision process. It’s important to be sure your medical professional are licensed and in good professional standing, and you’re seeing them regularly for your medical condition.

MYTH – Once You’re Approved For SSDI, It’s A Lifetime Benefit

You very well could receive benefits for life, but your condition will be reviewed periodically. According to the Social Security Administration, your condition will initially be reviewed within the first 6-18 months after your disability was determined. If improvement of your condition seems unlikely, your eligibility is reviewed about every three years.

MYTH – The First Step In the Application Process Is To See A Lawyer

While having a qualified attorney working for you increases your chances of being approved, the first step should be to see your doctor to discuss your condition, prognosis, and how it affects your ability to work. While the SSDI decision is a legal one, there are requirements for medical care you should discuss with both your physician and attorney.

If you have further questions about the SSDI application process, call our office for a free consultation at 678-CHAPMAN, or fill out the contact form here on the website.

Sources for this article:

www.ssa.gov

www.disabled-world.org

www.huffingtonpost.com

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Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney - what to expect at mediation

What to Expect at Mediation

When it comes to settling your workers’ compensation claims, mediation is often a useful tool the parties can utilize in resolving a claim.  Mediation is a process in which representatives from both parties (the Injured Worker and the Employer/Insurer) sit down with a neutral third party – called a mediator – in an effort to resolve a case.  There are two types of mediation – private mediation, which often take place at a mediator’s office, and a Board mediation, which takes place at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

During the course of mediation, a representative from each party will provide the mediator with a brief summary of the facts of the case as they see it.  The parties will then go into separate rooms to “caucus” and the mediator will go back and forth between the parties with updated settlement demands and settlement offers.  Throughout the mediation the mediator will often provide their input with respect to the relative strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case.  During this process it is important to remember that the mediator is a neutral party, meaning they do not side with either party.  It is also important to remember that the mediation process is confidential and information shared or disclosed during the course of the mediation will not be shared outside of the mediation.

In most instances, the mediation process is a voluntary process.  This means that both parties have the right to leave the mediation at any time.  Having said that, Injured Workers are strongly advised to allow the mediation process run its course.  The mediation process is aimed at providing both parties with a resolution and is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.  While the process may be frustrating to some at times, mediation is ultimately a powerful tool in resolving claims and typically results in equitable results for Injured Workers.

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!

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Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Violence

Unfortunately, there are often instances in which employees are the victims of violence in the workplace.  If you have been the victim of workplace violence, depending upon the specific circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Generally speaking, if the violence takes place in the course and scope of your employment, and is related to the work that you are performing, then you will likely have a compensable workers’ compensation claim.  Conversely, if the violence is related to something stemming from outside of the workplace, then it will likely not be compensable under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.  Cases involving workplace violence are incredibly fact specific.  This being the case, if you are a victim of workplace violence, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation as soon as possible.

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!

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Workers Compensation Fees

Attorney’s Fees in Georgia Workers’ Compensation Cases

Attorney’s fees in Georgia workers’ compensation cases are regulated by statute. Specifically, O.C.G.A. § 34-9-108 dictates that with respect to workers’ compensation claims, attorney’s fees cannot exceed 25% of the injured worker’s award of weekly benefits or settlement.  As it relates to settlements, it is important to note that attorney’s fees are not taken against any portion of a settlement that is specifically designated for the injured workers’ future medical treatment.

While attorney’s fees for other types of litigation may exceed this amount, when it comes to workers’ compensation cases within the state of Georgia, no attorney can charge a fee of greater than 25%.  This is yet another way in which workers’ compensation claims are drastically different

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!

If you’d like to discuss your Georgia workers compensation case, please call at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below.

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Georgia Workers Compensation Benefits - Mileage

Mileage Reimbursement

Something that Injured Workers’ often overlook when dealing with a workers’ compensation claim is an entitlement to reimbursement for mileage and other expenses associated with traveling for treatment related to your workers’ compensation claim. Whether you are required to travel locally or across the state, Georgia law allows for Injured Workers to be compensated for their travel.

As of the time of this writing, Injured Workers are entitled to receive 40 cents per mile as reimbursement for the travel associated with their workers’ compensation claim – including traveling to and from authorized medical appointments. It is important to note that there is a time limit within which you must request your reimbursement. All mileage must be presented for reimbursement within one year.

Further, if you are forced to come out pocket to pay for parking, it is important to note that those expenses are also subject to reimbursement. Just make sure that you keep any receipts associated with parking for your medical appointments. Also, be aware of the fact that there are certain circumstances in which you may be reimbursed for overnight stays and meals. It is recommended that you speak with an attorney in order to ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits that you are entitled to.

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!

If you have questions about your workers compensation benefits, please call us at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below!

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Outstanding Child Support Obligations and Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Following a workplace accident, you may find yourself facing significant financial strain.  Faced with such financial strains, Injured Workers often find themselves falling behind on a number of financial obligations – including child support.

In the event that you fall behind on your child support payments, your workers’ compensation benefits may be impacted in two ways.  First, your weekly workers’ compensation checks may be reduced in order to pay back child support.  Alternatively, in the event that your claim involves a lump sum settlement, your portion of the settlement may be reduced by the amount of child support that past due.  These financial arrangement are often negotiable, but it is recommended that you speak with an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of situations.

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!

If you’d like to discuss your Georgia workers compensation case, please call at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below.

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Stipulation and Agreement in Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claims

Stipulation and Agreement in Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claims

After you claim has settled and the settlement documents have been approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, by law, the Employer/Insurer will have 20 days (17 days if the insurer is located outside of Georgia) in which to issue the settlement checks.  In the event the settlement checks are not issued within 20 days of the Board’s approval of the settlement documents, then the Employer/Insurer may be subject to a late-payment penalty equal to 20% of the total settlement amount.

It important to note that the Employer/Insurer will issue two separate checks – one check to cover the attorney’s fees and expenses, and a second check made payable to the injured worker.  These checks will often be mailed to your attorney’s office and your attorney will contact you once they have received the settlement proceeds.

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!

If you’d like to discuss your Georgia workers compensation case, please call at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below.

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Workers’ Compensation…Exclusive Remedy Under Georgia Law

If you are injured at work due to the negligence of your employer or a co-worker the question may arise “can I sue the at-fault party for their negligence?”  Unfortunately, the answer is no. This is because under Georgia law, when it comes to workplace injuries, filing a workers’ compensation claim is an injured worker’s exclusive remedy.

The so-called “Exclusive Remedy Doctrine” is both good news and bad news for workers injured in Georgia.  The good news is, if you are injured in the course and scope of your employment, you are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim – regardless of who is at fault.  Consequently, in most circumstances, you are permitted to file a workers’ compensation claim even if the accident was your fault.  This is true unless you were intoxicated, engaged in horseplay, or were engaged in some type of willful misconduct at the time of the accident.

The flip side of the Exclusive Remedy Doctrine is that since the employer or insurer must accept any claim that occurs in the course and scope of employment (with the exception of the specific instances detailed above) an injured worker cannot bring a cause of action for negligence against their employer or a co-worker.

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!

If you’d like to discuss your Georgia workers compensation case, please call at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below.

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Texas High Court Ends Appeal With Mesh Patient and Johnson & Johnson

A woman whose $1.2 million pelvic-mesh injury award was erased by an appeals court has asked the Texas Supreme Court to call off a final review, citing a settlement with device maker Johnson & Johnson.

Linda Batiste won $1.2 million in April 2014 over injuries allegedly caused by the TVT-O bladder sling. An appeals court overturned the trial award in November 2015 and Batiste quickly appealed to the Texas Supreme Court, where the case has been shelved ever since the two sides said last May that they’d reached a settlement in principle.

They asked the court Monday to dismiss the petition for review — despite still calling the deal an “agreement in principle.”

“The parties to this appeal have reached an agreement in principle to settle this case. Therefore, the parties file this joint request to dismiss the petition for review,” lawyers for Batiste and J&J said in the joint filing.

In the short motion, they also requested unspecified “general relief.”

TVT-O pelvic mesh is used to treat stress urinary incontinence. The Dallas appeals court had held in November 2015 that Batiste must show a link between an alleged defect — like the alleged propensity of the TVT-O’s heavyweight, small-pore mesh to erode — and her injuries, instead of just showing that injuries were caused by the device as a whole.

Representatives for the parties were not immediately available for comment.

Batiste had first requested that the state high court put the case on hold in May 2016, saying the parties had reached a settlement in principle but needed time to hammer out details and get them on paper. A status report from Jan. 31 of this year indicated that they’d made “significant progress” and asked for the last in a line of extensions.

Batiste had contended the appellate court wrongly required her to prove her injuries were caused by a specific defect, saying Texas courts are split on whether medical device cases are specifically exempt from a Texas product liability law that requires plaintiffs to isolate causation to a specific defect.

That’s a standard under which “it will be virtually impossible for any plaintiff to prevail on a product liability claim against a drug or device manufacturer in Texas,” Batiste had told the high court in her initial petition.

The Dallas appeals court said in November 2015 that while it’s undisputed that TVT-O can cause complications and it’s undisputed that Batiste suffered from those complications, the law of products liability doesn’t guarantee a product will be free of risk.

Batiste is represented by Tim Goss and Sara Turman-Vedral of Freese & Goss PLLC, Peter de la Cerda of Edwards & de la Cerda PLLC, Richard Capshaw of Capshaw & Associates, and David Matthews of Matthews and Associates.

Johnson & Johnson is represented by Stephen Brody and Charles Lifland of O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Scott Stolley of Cherry Petersen Landry Albert LLP.

The case is Batiste v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number 15-0975, in the Supreme Court of Texas.

Link to appeal

If you have suffered from Hernia Mesh Complications then click here to submit a free case evaluation and analysis. There are no fees unless we win your case.

Hernia Mesh Attorney News

Upcoming Decision Looming On New MDL for Atrium C-Qur Hernia Mesh

On December 1, 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) is holding a hearing in Washington, DC to hear arguments on whether to create a new Multi-District Litigation (MDL), to be known as MDL 2753, in order to consolidate lawsuits around the United States involving Atrium Medical Corp. polypropylene surgical mesh patches.  Rather than bog down many federal district courts around the country with these cases, that are increasing in number on a weekly basis, the MDL consolidation allows one federal judge to preside over these cases, increasing judicial efficiency, while at the same time avoiding the risks of inconsistent rulings and other issues resulting from multiple rulings from many judges around the country.  The likelihood of the MDL being created is strong because Atrium agreed in a brief filed on Nov. 1, 2016 that the MDL should be created and the cases should be assigned to US District Judge Landya B. McCafferty in Concord, New Hamshire.

Atrium markets the C-Qur surgical mesh for permanent abdominal wall reinforcement in hernia repair surgeries.  Atrium claims that the C-Qur Mesh’s barrier coating, comprised of Omega-3 fatty acids, will reduce the risk of complications involving the patient’s intestines, including, pain, adhesions, and erosions, while at the same time helping the mesh better attach to the abdominal wall.  However, plaintiffs claim in the lawsuits that the C-Qur mesh is defective and that there were inadequate warnings given on the complications associated with the mesh after implantation.  The suits allege that the C-Qur mesh does not cut down on adhesions, but actually causes an inflammatory response that increases adhesion formation and it also impedes proper abdominal wall fixation for the mesh patch.

If you have suffered complications after a hernia surgery, please contact the experienced mesh lawyers at Dan Chapman & Associates, LLC ® for a free case evaluation.  You can reach us by calling (800) 321-4477 or by going to our website at www.mesh411.com to learn more about these defective hernia mesh claims and whether you may be entitled to recover money for your injuries, harms and suffering.