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Since the ALJ hearing represents the best chance for disability applicants to get approved for SSI or SSDI benefits, adequate preparation is key. Preparing for the Hearing The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will ask the applicant a series of questions to evaluate the claim. These questions usually cover four topics: (1) biographical; (2) work status and history; (3) medical history; and (4) emotional and mental well-being. The best way applicants can prepare for their hearing is to anticipate the questions the ALJ will ask, discuss appropriate answers with their Social Security Disability attorney, and bring supporting documentation and evidence to […]

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Injured victims should have a clear understanding of how causation works when suing another person or company for damages. To recover fair compensation in a personal injury case, the plaintiff will need to show how the other entity’s negligence or intentional acts caused the injuries. Causation encompasses two issues: (1) that “but for” the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff would not have been injured, and (2) that plaintiff’s injuries were a foreseeable result of the defendant’s actions. Actual Cause Actual cause refers to the circumstances of the events concerning the plaintiff’s injury. Specifically, that defendant’s actions resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. […]

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Commercial, long-haul truckers experience a raft of work-related injuries which impact their ability to work and earn a living. When strains and sprains, soft tissue injuries, fractures, chronic pain, or traumatic brain injuries keep truckers off the road, they can recover compensation to pay for their medical bills and lost wages. Common Injuries and Effects on Truckers According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), commercial long-haul truckers experience high rates of injuries on the job. Up to 68 percent of truckers do not report their injuries to their […]

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Earlier this year, U.S. Representative French Hill (R-AR) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced bicameral bills that would introduce a new requirement to classify disability claimants as either (1) expected to medically improve or (2) not expected to medically improve. If a beneficiary is expected to improve, the benefits will expire after a prescribed time (during which the claimant is expected to rejoin the workforce). The changes will also provide beneficiaries who are expected to return to the workforce with retraining and other assistance to help them transition back to work. If beneficiaries are not expected to medically improve, their […]

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According to the National Safety Council and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the causes of injuries to children in America are varied. Childhood visits to emergency rooms and urgent care can be broken down based on the age group. The youngest kids suffer from conditions relating to birth and development. The next oldest suffer from unintentional injuries and issues present at birth. Kids five to fourteen years of age suffer from accidents, suicide, and cancer. The following is a brief list and description of some of the major culprits of childhood injuries and fatalities: Approximately 12,000 children […]

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Falls are the most common office-related accidents that cause serious injuries, but ergonomically incorrect workstations, improper lifting techniques, and workplace violence are some of the top hazards office workers face. Falls The CDC reports that office workers are 2.5 times more likely to suffer injuries from a fall than non-office workers. Falls in offices are generally caused by tripping over desk drawers that are left open, loose carpets, wires, or objects in hallways. Falls also happen when workers use chairs or other furniture in lieu of ladders, slip on wet floors, or use walkways and stairwells that are poorly lit. […]

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Successful applications for Social Security Disability benefits never have to reapply into the program; however, their benefits are subject to periodic reviews to determine eligibility. These periodic reviews are standard practice at the Social Security Administration (SSA) and should not cause anyone alarm. They are done to prevent fraud and ensure that recipients of disability benefits continue to qualify under their own program. Any application which remains disabled and unable to work will have their benefits renewed. Furthermore, disability benefits continue to pay out during the review process. Scheduling Disability Reviews Disability reviews are conducted once a year, once every […]

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Parents who do not vaccinate their children may be able to be held liable when their choice causes other people to be harmed. Measles, a childhood illness that was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000, has returned with a vengeance infecting hundreds of people in Illinois. These latest outbreaks put numerous children and people with compromised immune systems at risk as they are unable to get the same vaccinations as other individuals.   What Is Measles? Measles is a viral infection that causes fever, cough, inflamed eyes, runny nose, and widespread rashes. It can also cause diarrhea, ear […]

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SSDI applicants in Illinois may be able to speed up the disability claims process through a congressional inquiry. The Social Security Administration has provided guidance to hearing officers and administrative law judges about how they should handle congressional inquiries in individual cases, and they are supposed to respond to them promptly. Applicants can request congressional inquiries about the statuses of their cases by contacting their local Congress member’s office. While requesting a congressional inquiry may not work, it can speed up the decision process and will not negatively impact the application. What Is a Congressional Inquiry? A congressional inquiry is […]

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Police officers are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage for injuries and illnesses that are related to the performance of their jobs. In general, police officers and firefighters are entitled to the same coverage as other workers under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act. However, some police officers and firefighters are excluded from covereage under the act. Chicago police have a parallel disability benefits system for workplace injuries instead.  Workers’ Compensation Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that pays for medical costs and wage replacement for workers who are injured. If the worker is permanently incapable of returning to work due to […]

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