Short Term Disability Benefits

Many employees think that a serious medical condition or disability is enough reason to have their names permanently remove from their company’s roster of employees. This is because many are not aware of the length of time off work the law allows them to have or that in the event of a brief period of disability, getting time off work (without losing pay) to rest and recuperate, is legal. While no employers are mandated by any law to pay employees who incur absences due to temporary disability or illness, there are still employers who offer their workers “paid disability time off.” This paid disability time off include: sick leave for those who need a few days off from work, usually due to sickness; a short-term disability period, which usually lasts for about a week or more (a usual STD plan pays employee benefits for about 13 to 26 weeks). Sick leaves are separate and distinct from vacation leaves and other paid time off from work. Some employers grant a 10-day sick leave to their employees, which, if not used, may either be carried over (totally or partly) to the succeeding year; there are also employees who forfeit all unused sick leaves, starting a new clean slate at the start of the year. While some employers may also offer short term disability benefits, they require their employees to use all of their sick leaves first before applying for the use of other disability plans. Employees who have used up all their paid sick leaves but still need longer time for recovery can avail of paid short term disability leaves (if their employers offer these). The STD pays a part of the employee’s salary, usually between 50% and 75%, which may start either at the time when the sick leave has all been used up or after the employee has already been absent for about a week. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) grants cash benefits to individuals suffering from total permanent disability, it does not offer any type of short-term disability benefits. Short-term or temporary disability benefits are only offered in five states: California, New York, New Jersey, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. This type of benefit is specifically designed to assist individuals who have a short-term, non-work-related health conditions. Short-term disability coverage is typically funded by an employer, otherwise, a person may purchase his/her own. For employer-sponsored short-term disability benefits, requirements for eligibility include:

  • Employed in your company for a set amount of time;
  • Meeting the minimum income requirements in states where they apply;
  • Being disabled for a minimum of one week before becoming eligible to receive short-term disability benefits;
  • The illness or injury must not be work related; and
  • The benefits cannot be received for longer than 26-30 weeks – or 52 weeks in California.

When a person suffers an injury or illness, it may leave him/her temporarily unable to return to work, resulting in a loss of income needed to support himself/herself or his/her family. Fortunately, many employers provide short-term disability insurance plans that allow eligible employees to collect a percentage (typically 50-70%) of their salary for a brief period of time (typically 3-6 months). However, other disability options may be available for those with short-term disabilities. It is for this reason that many individuals who are unable to work because of a short-term disability or illness turn to a lawyer for help. With a skilled legal professional’s guidance, people who need financial assistance are often able to quickly identify the best benefits to pursue.  

Common Forms of Domestic Violence

When people hear domestic violence, they immediately assume that the abuse is of the physical kind, resulting into bodily injuries. But this is not always the case. There are different kinds of domestic violence cases and they also have different effects on victims.

Physical Abuse
Physical abuse happens when a person inflicts incidental force towards another. In the case of domestic violence, this force may come in many forms, such as punches, kicks, chokes, and slaps. The force may also be complemented by objects, such as baseball bats, and common household items like belts. This kind of abuse is also the easiest to detect because it may result into injuries.

Sexual Abuse
Couples may have sexual relations, but it doesn’t mean that one of them can force the other in performing sexual acts. Behaviors like unwanted touching, forceful persuasion of not using contraceptives and abortion, and outright rape, are some of the most common sexual abuse cases.

Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse has one primary target – the victim’s self-worth. Acts of humiliation and extreme criticism may count as emotional abuse, but it is important to note that these acts should be significant enough to warrant a domestic violence case. Most of the time, these acts are complemented with other forms of abuse to maximize their effect.

Other Forms
There are other kinds of abuse, but they are not as animated as the ones stated above. For this reason, they may be harder to detect because of the lack of evidence. These kinds include the financial and psychological aspects of the victim. Maybe the abuser is not letting the victim to get a job or an education. Maybe the abuser is not letting the victim to talk to anybody and lock the victim in an isolated area. These incidents may have a significant impact on the economic position and the psychological condition of the victim.

Defense Against Accusations
There are times where domestic abuse claims can be exaggerated and misunderstood, resulting into undeserved penalties. According to the website of the Horst Law, domestic violence accusations can be defended. This is proof that the law looks at the side of both accused and accuser before judgment can be enforced.

Social Security Benefits and Long Term Disability

Certain individuals who unexpectedly become disabled may be eligible to receive cash benefits from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. This disability, however, should be total or permanent and renders a person unable to to perform the work that he/she did before being disabled, renders a person unable to perform any other type of work, and can either last for more than a year or result in death.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not grant cash benefits to those who suffer short-term disabilities despite the possibility that this type of condition can also last for a number of months. SSA assumes that individuals who sustain short-term disabilities can receive cash benefits either from the Workers’ Compensation Insurance program or from their personal short-term disability insurance providers. Workers’ Comp is the immediate source of financial support for workers who sustain injuries or an illness that is work-related. Short-term disability insurance, meanwhile, may be personally purchased by an individual himself/herself or it may be included in the package of benefits that employers provide for their employees.

Social Security disability refers to any condition that will make it impossible for an individual to have a full-time job. While the SSA has an impairment listing manual, more familiarly known as the “blue book,” which contains serious types of disabilities (if a member’s disability is included in this listing, then he/she may automatically qualify for the SSDI cash benefits), any impairment that is equally serious, but is not included in the list, may still qualify a member to receive the cash benefits.

An illnesses, such as migraine headache, that is too severe so that it becomes impossible for an individual to have a full-time job is also very likely to be determined by the SSA as a qualifying disabling condition.

Facts about adoption/hurdles presented by adoption

In the United States alone, over 100,000 children are waiting for a permanent home. Many of them are school-age with brothers and sisters and have been handed back and forth between the group and foster homes various times.
For many couples and single individuals who want to start a family, adoption is a great option. Similarly, adoption provides parentless children with the opportunity to grow up in a loving, supportive, and permanent household. In a world of 7.5 billion people and counting, adoption is also a very environmentally friendly choice.

However, the Houston law firm Holmes, Diggs & Sadler warns on their website that the adoption process is not an easy one to navigate. The process has many steps and, due to the high emotional stakes, can result in many disappointments before an adoption can be successfully secured. Despite nearly 35 percent of Americans having considered adoption at one point, only about two percent are successful.

The speed of the adoption process relies on multiple factors, the race, gender, and age of the child being the most influential. In the United States, white female infants are the most popular adoption request. Parents could wait up to five years for a healthy, white baby. On the other hand, African American children, especially boys in their adolescence or teens, are the least popular and can be available for adoption in just a few weeks. The cost for babies of color is also much lower due to their low demand.

Especially when parents adopt infants and young children, open adoptions–in which the birth mother or birth parents maintain contact with the child–are very common. On the other hand, in certain cases adoptions are closed, meaning that the identity of the birth parents is withheld from the adoptive parents and the child (this option is usually only possible when the child is surrendered to the state at infancy).

Design Defect

The Supreme Court of Missouri ruled Tuesday, January 26 that the cases of vehicle owners who filed a lawsuit against Detroit, Michigan-based automaker General Motors Co. over their faulty ignition switches that caused at least 169 deaths will be consolidated and will all be tried in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, affirming the order of the trial court.

GM made an appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court to have the cases tried separately, which was negated by the high court.

GM was caught under fire for allegedly not issuing a recall of at least 2.6 million of its vehicles which included the Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac, Chevrolet, Saturn models, among others, 10 years prior to the February 2014 recall. The largest automaker in the country is also receiving much criticism due to accusations that it did not do much in the way of repairing the affected vehicles that consumers already have under their possession.

Since the recodification of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act that tasked the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to set out standardized safety requirements and to mandate recalls for vehicles with substandard quality, over 390 million buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, cars, not to mention 46 million tires, 66 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment, and 42 million child safety seats, among others, have been recalled to repair design defects.

Attorneys at the Abel Law Firm say many manufacturers issue voluntary recalls of their products, while others had to be influenced by the agency to re-evaluate the condition of their merchandise. Others, however, like GM, had been embroiled in such controversy due to cover-ups and blatant denial of any wrongdoing on their part, until an investigation tells otherwise. GM was boiled deep in hot water because they allegedly, in the first place, did not federal regulators about their defective ignition switches, and therefore dealers and distributors did not know about the problem, thereby leading to hundreds of cases of automobile accidents for GM’s consumers.

Common Mistakes You Can Make with Divorce

They have said that getting married is the easy part – but surviving the honeymoon stage and then actually being married is an altogether different rodeo. Sometimes people just drift apart and sometimes, there are too many irreconcilable differences between the two people that everyone involved would just be better off if the pair separated. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat more complicated to pursue a divorce as there is much more to the procedure necessary than just a ring and a few words. Here are some mistakes you can avoid, however, and just make the process that much easier to deal with.

It takes more than just a signature!

This is one of the most overused tropes in recent media as fictional couples tend to just sign a few papers and then, they’re automatically not married. This is simply not the case, as information on the website of the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. says – it’s not that easy. There is a need for quite a lot of discussion before a case like this can be settled.

Moving out immediately?

While this often a viable option, especially for those suffering from a physically abusive partner, it is often the better option to stay with each other a little bit more, especially if you have children together. Constant communication is, after all, the key thing here in order to make sure that there are no misunderstandings. If there are children involved, the relationship could be more strained and the deals regarding custody could be dramatically influenced by your moving out.

Not playing fair!

This might seem like something obvious but there are a lot of people out there who would choose to sabotage their then-spouse for the sake of getting the better half of the deal. This is sometimes done by manipulating or instructing their children to testify falsely against the other. Do not do this. Always fight for justice in accordance of the law and the law will be on your side.

Breaking the Racial Glass Ceiling

There have been hundreds of years of prejudice that humanity has tolerated and suffered through for so many years and, while the fight for equality and justice for all humanity has been ongoing out of recent years, it is hard not to see racial discrimination—especially when you experience it in your own workplace. After all, this is the 21st century. This is, supposedly, an age of modernity and acceptance – where and when a more complex understanding of human nature is expected of the modern business owner. But there are some things about racial discrimination that isn’t even outwardly discussed but internally learned and accepted as fact, as if some forms of racism have been accepted as the norm when that should never be the case and should not, especially in times like these, be tolerated.

Be this racial discrimination be at home or at work – it is of the utmost importance to practice equal treatment for all involved in order for there to be progress and a better understanding and empathy towards one another.

On the website, there are many claims and cases that address racial discrimination in the workplace, which tells us that this is still a very real thing in society today. The difference these days, in this century, is that there are laws that protect people of various ethnicities from discrimination of this nature. It is also a lie that only white people can practice racist behavior as presuming that all whites are racist is, in fact, a racist claim to make. The law is meant to protect all people – but the most predominant cases are towards people of color or towards people of different religious beliefs or nationalities.

Historical implications of a particular nation, for example, could be used in order to assume the worst of any one person or group of people. This should not be the case. In your work place today, do you see people practicing racial discrimination towards someone else?

Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

The Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes You Can Make

There are several many mistakes that you can make if you think that planning for the future and for the future of your beneficiaries can be as simple as handing things over and wash your hands clean of the whole thing. Little do people know that there are very specific mistakes that people can make whenever planning their estates that could actually result to more hardship on the beneficiaries’ side than the good it was probably meant to do.

For example, did you know that simply putting a beneficiary’s name on the deed could give them more taxable responsibilities than they may have initially anticipated? There are times when it would actually be the better option to just assign the estate as a gift, so long as it fits within the allowable range of non-taxable inheritances can give. Otherwise, this could add significant costs and debts to the person who’s supposed to benefit from this gift.

Another mistake is starting too late. If you plan for your estate at a later age, there is every chance that you will have missed several opportunities to have put away more sizeable initial investments that would have been better for your beneficiaries in the first place. After all, you can’t take it all with you when you go – and you don’t want to leave behind ill begotten opinions of you for a gift that does more harm than it does anyone any good.

However, the biggest estate planning mistake that you can make is failing to make one at all. According to the website of Peck Ritchey, LLC, it can be the most stressful thing to deal with for anyone involved if you were have left with no plan. There might be debts to settle or expenses to pay, as is what naturally comes with old age (it demands care), and leaving your expenses and estate to the air may cause a lot of damage to everyone involved.

Are you planning for your estate? It would be the best idea to contact a knowledgeable attorney or legal team today!

What Can a Lawyer Do for a Birth Injury Case?

When you experience a mishap during a medical procedure, it can be difficult to process on what else to do in the situation and it is easy to lose control and be manipulated into a position where you feel as if there is little to nothing else you can do. What use would you have for complicated legal procedures that involve hiring a lawyer, you might ask?

Well, having experienced help who knows what they’re doing during a situation that could be emotionally taxing for everyone involved could be a huge help in the given circumstances. According to the website of McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, medical malpractice is an incredible difficult branch of the law and the attorneys who have dealt with cases of this nature are often competent enough to understand both the complicated medical case and the jargons that come with it as well as the legal implications that a certain variable might be useful for the case. And their responsibilities don’t just stop there. A lawyer, in a medical malpractice case that deals with birth injuries, who has experience with cases like this are also more equipped with resources that are capable of helping you get through this situation.

Things You Need to Know About Functional Capacity Testing

There are some injuries from which you can easily recover. Things like maybe a scratch on your arm or leg are things that are practically inconsequential that the worst things that can leave is a barely noticeable scar. Those injuries are fine and they can be lived with. However, some injuries can cause so much damage to a person that it could change how and who they are within a single moment. That is why there is a need for Functional Capacity Testing, otherwise known as Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE).

According to the WorkSTEPS website, these standard testing protocols are necessary in order to see if the injured employee is fit or capable enough to return to work or if the given worker needs to be given a new position in order to accommodate the given injury. These injuries are not necessarily confined to physical injuries, even, as they also account for mental or emotional trauma.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), for example, is a mental condition that is often sparked by sudden or unexpected trauma which a person could suffer after an intense physical injury. The physical injury might heal, in time, but PTSD attacks the mind and it can be very difficult to work with. There are night terrors that are often prominent in someone who suffers from this condition as well as recurring flashbacks or panic attacks if triggered even by the most seemingly harmless circumstance or phrase. There are other mental conditions that have, more or less, the same effects but this is the most prominent and common scenario in the public sphere today.