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.