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Torrance California Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Why are so many Social Security Disability claims wrongly denied?

It's no secret that a large number of Social Security Disability (SSD) applicants have to go through at least one appeal or even a hearing in front of an administrative law judge to get their claims for benefits approved.

The question is, "Why?" If so many more people are gaining approvals on appeal, that means that there are a lot of unjust denials taking place. Somebody, somewhere, is making an awful lot of bad decisions on claims.

Tips for reducing fall hazards in the workplace

Workplace falls lead to numerous injuries every year, all over California. They're consistently one of the major reasons that workers get hurt, and they often lead to very serious physical issues and complications.

What can employers do to reduce the odds of a fall? Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Understand the risks of working at heights. That's how many deadly falls happen, and workers must have the proper equipment and safety gear.
  • Put up all guardrails, handrails and the like. Never leave an exposed edge.
  • Install proper lighting. This is especially true on the stairs, but it's really true everywhere. Workers have to be able to see well.
  • Carry out regular safety inspections. Not only can you find hazards before they cause falls, but this also shows workers that safety is important. It makes it part of the company culture.
  • Clean up everything on the floor. This includes debris, water, oil, power cords, strapping and much more. Anything that sits on the floor in a walking area is a potential trip hazard.

Denied Social Security disability? You have the right to appeal

Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is a government program providing financial aid to people who have a medical condition expected put them out of work for at least a year or result in their death. The program helps people who have fallen on hard times, but sometimes the system doesn’t work as it should.

For instance, many people have their claim denied, initially. However, if you or a loved one has had your SSDI application denied, you may appeal the initial decision. There are four levels of SSDI appeals:

Common workplace injuries can also be the most expensive

People get injured doing their jobs every day. And while some injuries come with a gruesome story (such as getting an arm trapped in a machine), the truth is that most workplace injuries are rather mundane. But that doesn’t mean they are any less deserving of attention.

Indeed, some of the most common injuries are the most expensive in terms of lost work time and medical expenses to employers. A statistical analysis published by Liberty Mutual shows that according to the most recent data, the costliest cause of serious but non-fatal workplace injuries continues to be “overexertion involving outside sources.” In today’s post, we’ll discuss what this means in more detail.

How do pre-existing conditions affect workers' comp claims?

California's workers' compensation program helps workers who suffer a work-related injury get the financial assistance they need to deal with medical expenses and lost wages. For an injury to be covered by the program, it must either prevent a person from doing their job or interfere with their ability to do it.

The employee must have suffered the injury while on the job or performing duties required for their job. This might include suffering an injury while lifting large boxes containing supplies for a conference you're leading or even an injury suffered at a mandatory company social event like a softball game or picnic.

Could your social media posts threaten your benefits?

Most people on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites use these forums to depict a rosy picture of their lives, with photos of vacations, parties, adventures and family milestones. However, people who are applying for or already receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits may need to think twice before they post if they don't want to risk losing those benefits.

A proposal by the Trump administration would let the Social Security Administration (SSA) look at applicants' and recipients' social media accounts to help determine eligibility. The language in the budget being submitted to Congress refers to the SSA being allowed to "use all collection tools to recover funds in certain scenarios." However, a recent article in The New York Times says that social media posts are among those tools.

Why does Tesla have more safety fines than its competitors?

Many people consider Teslas among the most technically advanced vehicles on the road. The head of Tesla, Elon Musk, once said that its assembly plant, located in Fremont, California, would be the most automated one in the world. However, Tesla's assembly lines are manned by human workers, just as other automakers' assembly lines are.

The safety of those workers has been the subject of multiple investigations. Between 2014 and 2018, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the automaker for some 54 violations. Those fines totaled almost $237,000. That's more than double the fines incurred by the 10 leading U.S. auto plants in the country combined.

Don’t risk a workers’ compensation denial

If you are injured on the job, you may find yourself searching for financial relief in the near future. This is particularly true if your injury keeps you out of work for an extended period of time.

While the workers' compensation system is designed to help people in your situation, obtaining benefits is easier said than done.

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