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Rockford Illinois Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Illinois drivers could face harsher penalties for striking road workers

For many motorists, road construction is an unavoidable headache; people don't like to be delayed and detoured. While construction is a temporary inconvenience, some drivers get so upset with it that they become aggressive, impatient and reckless. When this happens, the lives and safety of the road workers on the scene can be in jeopardy.

Sadly, this fact isn't enough to change some drivers' behaviors. They continue to speed, drive through restricted areas and get distracted by their phones in work zones, even though doing so puts themselves and others in danger.

Understanding the limited resource requirements for SSI

Government benefits are critical to people with disabilities who are unable to work as well as their families. This support makes it easier for people to afford the basic living essentials every person should have and seek medical care for their conditions.

However, not everyone is eligible for the various types of benefits available. For instance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be an option for people who are blind, disabled or older than 65. To qualify, though, you must meet the resource limit criteria.

Will my SSDI benefit continue for the rest of my life?

If you have recently been granted Social Security Disability benefits, you are probably experiencing a sense of relief after completing the process. But this may be replaced by a new set of anxieties: will my benefits run out or be taken away?

How much can a person collect in workers' compensation in Illinois?

There are many misconceptions about the benefits available to people injured on the job. Some people think workers' compensation benefits are reserved for only severe or fatal injuries while others assume that they could be fired if they file a claim for benefits. Believing these and other misconceptions can be a costly mistake, especially when it comes to assumptions regarding the actual amount of compensation that may be available.

Some people think workers' compensation is only nominal; others think it will completely replace their lost wages and cover medical bills. The truth falls somewhere in the middle. While workers' compensation does not provide compensation for past, present and future suffering, it should cover your medical expenses and help compensate for lost wages. One type of workers' compensation covers all reasonable medical bills associated with healing from an injury. This can include expenses from emergency care and surgery to medication and a wheelchair.

My SSDI application was denied: What can I do?

If you suffer from a serious medical condition and cannot work enough to support yourself, Social Security Disability benefits can be a crucial resource. These benefits allow workers with life-threatening or long-term disabling conditions to receive money to help them pay for things like living expenses and medical bills when they cannot work.

Unfortunately, the Social Security Administration denies most initial claims, and many appealed claims are denied yet again. Knowing this can potentially make it less surprising to learn that the SSA denied your claim, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating. If your claim is denied, it is important not to lose hope or assume you do not qualify for benefits. There is an appeals process in place.

Don't wait to report your work injury

Imagine you are at work on a Friday afternoon. You are eager to start the weekend, and people are starting to pack up and head home. As you head to the bathroom, you slip and fall. You're not sure, but you think you might be hurt.

You might feel like you should wait and see if you get better over the weekend and then worry about reporting the accident if necessary. However, there are several reasons why you should report your accident as soon as it happens and not wait until the following Monday.

Workers: Beware these heat-related illnesses and injuries

People often think of summer as a time to relax, take vacations and spend time enjoying the outdoors. However, summer can also be a dangerous time, especially for people who work outside.

As noted in an article from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, dozens of people die every year as a result of working in extreme heat or humidity; thousands of others suffer serious illnesses and painful injuries. If you work outside, being aware of heat-related hazards can help you take steps to avoid dangerous situations.

Injured on the job? Why your worker classification matters

Injuries or illnesses suffered on the job that affect your ability to work can be very upsetting. Not only can your condition be painful, it can also lead to lost wages and increased medical expenses. As such, securing workers' compensation can be crucial to ease the financial burden of a work-related condition.

However, not every worker in Illinois is eligible for workers' compensation benefits. As we discussed in our last post, one factor that affects your benefits if you are injured on the job is your worker classification.

Why might a workers' compensation claim be denied?

Workers' compensation benefits can prove to be a critical resource for injured employees. Not only do these benefits cover eligible medical expenses, but they can also replace a portion of your wages.

As such, it can be very upsetting to learn that benefits could be in jeopardy because of a disputed claim or denial. Below, we examine some of the common reasons why disputes arise involving workers' compensation claims and what workers can do to avoid or address them.

What makes a condition disabling, according to the SSA?

Medical evidence

To determine disability, the SSA will review closely the medical evidence you submit with your application. This includes tests, treatments, statements from your doctors and medical records. They use this information to determine if your condition is severe and if it is likely to last for at least 12 months.

The SSA will also check if your condition is on the list of disabling conditions.

Your ability to perform any job

The SSA will also assess whether your condition prohibits you from performing your job or any other job. It will consider any transferable skills, your education background and other factors that determine whether you can adjust to other occupations.

Work history

To qualify for SSDI, applicants must have a work history that is long enough and recent enough to earn sufficient work credits. These credits accumulate based on your annual wages or income, with a maximum of four credits per year. Generally speaking, the older you are when you become disabled, the more credits you need to have earned.

Based on all this information, the SSA will make a determination on whether you are disabled and qualify for SSDI.

Considering how complicated this process is -- and how high the financial stakes may be -- it can be vital to consult an attorney who understands the Social Security and disability benefits systems. With legal support, you can avoid costly missteps and assumptions that could jeopardize benefits you may deserve.

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