What You Should Know: Sources for Long Term Disability Benefits

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.

Employer-provided

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.

Workers’ compensation

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.

Social Security

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.

Marked for Life

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.

A Family Decision: Child Custody Options

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.

Stressing Over Overtime?

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:

  • Executives
  • Administrators
  • Professionals
  • Outside sales employees
  • Some computer-related employees
  • Highly compensated employees (annual compensation of $100,000 or more)
  • Blue Collar Workers
  • Police
  • Fire Fighters
  • Paramedics
  • 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.

What You Should Know About Nose Jobs

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.