After a close friend of mine suffered a catastrophic, tragic injury in a car wreck, she became a quadriplegic. She lost her ability to work (she was a bartender) and has astronomical medical bills. After going through the arduous process of applying for Social Security Disability benefits, her claim was denied despite her obvious disability and inability to work. It was an incredibly frustrating ordeal, but she appealed the denial and eventually landed her much-needed benefits. Being denied in your initial application for a disability benefit claim can be heartbreaking, but these cases are often appealed in court. Most disability claims often result in denials, and depending on the place where the victim lives (like at San Antonio, Texas) denial rates are nearly 65 percent, with first applications’ denial rate being 85 percent. Although it may not be necessary to have a lawyer when you request an appeal for your denied claim, it would be beneficial since they understand the system and know how to proceed. Generally, denial notices from the Social Security Administration will inform you of important information necessary to help you know how to go about requesting a Social Security appeal. First, the notice will contain the short explanation of your medical situation, the impairments/medical/non medical records which were all considered, and most especially the reason for the denial of the claim. If these notices did not come with a rationale detailing the reason for the denial, you can ask for them at the Social Security office so that you and your lawyer can review your claim. Some reasons why these claims are denied are because you may seem fit to perform other jobs that you had before the disability or medical explanations about your physical health which can still affect your employment options. Being denied of your Social Security disability claim does not mean you are fit to go to work or you are not disabled. Denials often occur because the Social Security Administration sees lack of medical evidence to support your claims. Generally, denied disability claims are frequent, they are often appealed and are more prone to having successful results than having to reapply again. The sooner you appeal a denied Social Security claim, the faster you will have you disability claim approved.Read More
You never think it is going to happen to you, but when long-term disability strikes it can be devastating. It would be irresponsible to yourself and your family not to be prepared for this possibility, because it can happen at any time. It could be due to a work-related injury, as a result of an accident, or because of a disease or medical condition. At the very least you should know what the possible sources for claiming long-term disability benefits are and what you can expect.
Most larger companies have some type of long term disability insurance as part of their employee benefits, although it is not required by law. When it is offered, it is usually regulated by the rules laid down by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA.
When the cause of a disability is work-related, then you may be able to claim disability benefits from your workers’ compensation insurance, which many employers are required by law to provide. It applies for both short- and long-term disability as well as partial and total disability.
You may also make a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as well as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) in some cases. However, only those who require in-home or residential health care are eligible for SSI. SSDI and SSI payouts will depend on the living situation of the claimant, their disability, and their work history. However, it is important to note that it can take a long time for a claim to be approved at both the federal and state levels.
These sources of financial assistance for long-term disability are not mutually exclusive, so you may be able to receive benefits from one or more of them. Because making a claim for long-term disability can be complicated and tedious, it is usually a good idea to get some assistance when filing a claim or disputing a denial.Read More
Most people accumulate minor scars in the course of their childhood and while they may occasionally be unsightly, they are usually unnoticeable. However, there are times when an injury is severe enough to leave scars that are disfiguring. In a society that values regular features and smooth skin, scars can have a deep psychological impact on an affected individual, lowering self-esteem and promoting humiliation.
Aside from the aesthetic aspect, scars can also lead to limited mobility and function. Burn accidents can twist limbs, fuse fingers, and damage tendons necessary for both macro and micro movements. Compound fractures can also impede a person’s ability to walk normally or have a full range of motion even when fully healed due to scar formation on bones, tendons and joints. These types of severe injury and scarring may require multiple surgeries and extensive physical therapy to correct, and even then function is seldom fully restored.
Such accidents do happen, and it is unfortunate. But when it occurs because of someone’s negligence, then it becomes doubly horrific, because in all probability it was preventable. Some of the most common causes of scarring include:
- Work accidents
- Surgical error
- Automobile accidents
- Defective products
- Electrical or chemical fires
Even when victims of these types of third-party negligence survive their ordeal, they are marked for life. Such reckless conduct must be punished by making the responsible party pay for the harm they had done. A personal injury lawyer can address these issues by bringing your claim to civil court to sue for both economic compensation (present and future loss of income, medical expenses, etc.) and non-economic damages (pain, suffering, psychological and emotional distress) appropriate to your case. While nothing can erase the pain and suffering that individuals have endured from a scarring or broken bone injury, pursuing a lawsuit can help provide the financial compensation necessary to pursue recovery.Read More
If I know anyone who’s a picky eater, I’d definitely have to say it’s my son. Typically, if something is good for Tommy, he doesn’t want to eat it. Luckily, I’ve stumbled upon ways to get him more excited about and involved in mealtimes. If your kids are picky eaters like mine, try some of these ideas to get them to enjoy eating healthy.
One of the best ways to get a kid to eat something is to let them help you prepare it. Even if they do something as simple as adding a sauce or cracking an egg, that minimal involvement in the process of making a meal is often enough to get them excited about eating it.
You can also make fruits and veggies, foods that kids are notorious for rejecting, more appealing by adding a slight amount of sugar to them. They say a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, and that holds for veggies as well. Using dipping sauces is also incredibly helpful. Try using salsas or hummus to expose your kids to different kinds of foods and the wonderful world of dips and condiments. As a kid, I absolutely hated carrots, but when my mom offered them up with a little bit of ranch dip, I couldn’t turn them away.
In the same vein as adding condiments to foods they don’t like, you can also add these foods into those that they do. For example, adding onions to a meatloaf or including vegetables in a pasta can get your kids to eat their veggies without even realizing what they’ve done.
Kids are often afraid of new foods, so introduce them slowly. Talk with your kids to find out what they like and why. This can help you decide which foods to try to add to their diet, which can widen their acceptance of other foods, even those they’ve previously rejected.
Remember that some people simply don’t like certain foods, so don’t take it as a defeat when some of these ideas fail. Just know that your child’s tastes may one day change, and they may one day grow to love those healthy foods that they once resisted.Read More
The decision regarding custody of children is perhaps the hardest one to make when the parents are not willing or unable to come to an agreement. In most states, the judge must decide where the best interest of the child or children lie, and that involves a myriad of factors especially since the mother is no longer given automatic custody for young children.
The court infinitely prefers that the parents make their own arrangements for custody and visitations. When this does not happen, the judge will then appoint a mediator who will attempt to get the parents together long enough to come to an agreement. Failing that, the parents will be subjected to a Judicial Custody Conference where the judge will discuss the case again. If no resolution is reached at this point, the judge will order an Assessment, and based on the results of this in-depth process, the judge will decide on custody and visitation issues.
Types of custody
There are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody is the right to make decisions concerning a child’s well being, such as education and health matters. Physical custody is the actual residence of the child with one parent. There are four combinations of custody: sole legal custody, joint legal custody, sole physical custody and joint legal custody. One parent can have both sole legal and physical custody; alternatively, one parent can have sole legal custody while the other parent has sole physical custody, and so on. In most cases, one parent has sole physical custody but both parents share legal custody.
Too often, the conflict in child custody is not so much consideration for what is in the best interests of the child but the desire of parents to exercise control, making it necessary for legal professionals to help a couple reach an agreement on custody.Read More
Most states do not have their own rules and regulations governing overtime pay. Instead, the regulations imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply. What does this mean for overtime claims in individual states?
This fact actually makes it less complicated for overtime claims to be made. Under the FLSA, employees are divided into non-exempt and exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are paid 1.5 times their hourly wage as overtime for all hours they work over and above 40 hours a week. The FLSA supersedes any company rule or policy which prohibits the rendering of overtime, or requires prior approval for overtime work. If a non-exempt employee does work beyond the 40 hours a week, he or she is entitled to overtime pay. It should be noted that the FLSA rules on non-exempt employees apply only to “white-collar” or office-based employees. Other types of employees are governed by different state or federal statutes, whichever applies.
Exempt employees are those whose job description and/or wage level renders them ineligible to receive overtime pay. These employees are not entitled to overtime pay because the nature of their work is considered a salaried (monthly-basis) position rather than on an hourly wage. In consequence, they are also exempt from certain rules that govern employees paid by the hour. Employees who fall under this category include:
- Outside sales employees
- Some computer-related employees
- Highly compensated employees (annual compensation of $100,000 or more)
- Blue Collar Workers
- Fire Fighters
- Other First Responders
There are specific criteria for these FLSA exemptions, but can sometimes vary based on an individual’s position and job description. Fortunately, individuals who have been denied the fair and full compensation they have worked for may be able to take action against their employers to recover unpaid overtime wages.Read More
Louisiana meat packing company Manda Fine Meats issued a massive recall of its products yesterday, a first in the company’s 65-year history, after learning that its products may be contaminated with listeria, a bacteria that can have life-threatening effects on humans.
The recall affects over 230 tons of meat, including turkey, pastrami, roast beef, ham, and corned beef. These products were distributed across a huge area that includes Texas, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Georgia.
The company is offering cash refunds to individuals who bought recalled meats and encourages customers to return the meats to the stores where they were purchased. Potentially affected meats will have a sell-by date on the packaging between May 13, 2013 and July 2, 2013.
Listeria is a bacteria that can cause headaches, muscle aches, confusion, and loss of balance. Infections are most likely to appear in pregnant women or those whose immune systems are compromised.
Remember to keep your eyes open for food recalls, since using contaminated ingredients in your cooking is a recipe for disaster!
The answer is: both. Botox is formulated from a neurotoxin (specifically botulinum toxin A) produced by Clostridium botulinum. When ingested in food, such as improperly handled meat, the toxin leads to a condition called botulism, which in serious cases leads to respiratory failure in humans and animals. The first sign of botulism is paralysis of the facial muscles, which is precisely the effect of Botox injections, but in a controlled way.
The therapeutic uses of Botox have been well-established since the 1960s. The use of Botox as a cosmetic treatment, however, only received US Food and Drug Administration approval in 2002. Other medical applications received FDA approval in 1989. The most common usage for Botox includes treatment of:
- Cervical dystonia
- Severe underarm sweating
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)
As mentioned earlier, Botox is a neurotoxin that paralyzes specific muscles or blocks neurotransmission, but the effects are usually temporary. Treatments are effective for up to four months in some cases, such as wrinkle removal, and require regular applications.
The rationale behind Botox is relatively simple: prevention of certain muscles from moving. Wrinkles develop through the regular contraction of certain muscles that become more pronounced with age and loss of skin elasticity. What Botox does is to paralyze the muscles in the forehead, for example, to keep them moving and continually creasing the skin. Over time with regular treatment, the depth of the wrinkles will decrease. Any remaining creases can be smoothened out using “fillers.”
The application of Botox may seem like a simple enough procedure, but it is best administered by a medical doctor specializing in cosmetic procedures or a dermatologist. There are cases when complications may arise. Botox is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, those on blood-thinning medication or certain food supplements, and those with Lou Gehrig’s disease.Read More
Valentine’s Day is upon us and if there’s anything that’s goes hand in hand with holding hands with your special someone, it’s sharing a meal with him or her. With that in mind, I began daydreaming about the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner.
For the appetizer, I fantasize my date and I would indulge in oysters. Oysters are a classic aphrodisiac. In fact, they’re good for fighting depression because of their Omega-3 fatty acids and are loaded with zinc, which has been linked to increased libido in both sexes, making them perfect the perfect kickstarter to a romantic meal.
For the main course, I pine for pesto pasta. Pesto is made from basil leaves, which were a symbol of love in ancient Rome. Basil not only smells wonderful, but it tastes great and is known to increase bloodflow. Basil leaves contain compounds known as flavonoids, which are known to have antioxidant properties. While we’re talking antioxidants, enjoying this meal with a glass of nice wine would be beyond divine.
For dessert, I’d chase after chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate, as it contains more of the chemicals that make this sweet such a potent and popular aphrodisiac. If you can, spice it up by enjoying chocolates that contain chilli peppers. Chilli peppers are a lesser known aphrodisiac, but they have some of the most obvious effects. Not only do they physically make you feel hot, they have been reported to cause a boost in energy.
Eating this meal by candlelight with someone you like almost guarantees a romantic night. Here’s hoping you all have a happy Valentine’s Day.Read More
Rhinoplasty, more commonly known as a nose job, is a surgical procedure for reshaping the nose by altering the bones and cartilage that make it up. It can make a nose bigger, smaller, thinner, wider, change the angle, remove defects, or repair damage. In some cases, rhinoplasty is necessary to remove obstructions or to correct the set of a nose after it has been broken. In most cases, however, it is elective and cosmetic surgery.
Most people who are unhappy with their noses think of rhinoplasty as a way to solve their problem, and if it goes as expected it most likely will. While their problem may not be as bad as that of Edmond Rostand’s character Cyrano de Bergerac who hid his suffering under a bantering or belligerent attitude, it can still have a significant impact on their personal and sometimes professional lives. Unfortunately, nose jobs don’t always go as expected. There are a lot of well-known botched nose jobs that illustrate just how bad it can get, and highlight the importance of finding a reputable, experienced plastic surgeon.
Rhinoplasty is usually done by a specialist trained in plastic surgery or otolaryngology (ear-nose-throat specialist), for good reasons. It is very easy to do a bad nose job because it is right in your face, so to speak. Even the slightest error is immediately apparent, making the whole face look odd or off-kilter. And when things go wrong, a minimum wait of 12 months is necessary before most surgeons will perform a corrective procedure, so the patient will have to live with that mistake for that long. Hopefully, the next time will go better, but there’s really no guarantee.
Even when the surgeon is extremely skilled, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong. In some cases, the patient doesn’t heal well, or an infection develops. If you must have your nose done, make sure you get the very best doctor available if you want a good chance of getting the desired results.Read More