Imagining an Ideal Life After Your SSDI Claim
Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. Elizabeth Edwards
Life with disability requires difficult adjustments, but add in the complications of securing benefits, and it’s easy to see why so many claimants are frustrated. Unfortunately, the difficulties don’t end after you’ve secured deserved compensation.
New challenges are best overcome with a realistic vision of the future and a healthy dose of optimism. A few top goals among Social Security disability claimants (and tips for achieving those aspirations) are detailed below:
Benefits help you get by, but life with a disability often remains frustratingly expensive. Your dream life after SSDI might include freedom from debt and financial insolvency. It’s a tough road, but by no means impossible. Simple fixes such as living with a roommate, eating at home and finding part-time work can deliver much-needed financial relief. Check out current guidelines for substantial gainful activity (SGA) before taking on a new job, as employment could impact your SSDI eligibility.
Maintaining Close Friendships
Disability has a way of determining your real friendships. Some people may disappear from your life, but other relationships will grow stronger. Remind your friends that you remain the same vibrant person you were before your disability stole the spotlight. Make new friends via support groups; fellow members understand your struggles but also see beyond your disability to the real person inside.
Stephen Hawking, Stevie Wonder, Sudha Chandran… some of the world’s most accomplished individuals overcame significant disabilities. You, too, could be a success story. Your disability should not stop you from pursuing lofty goals, but rather, inspire you to achieve even more.
Complete elimination of disability-related discomfort may be too lofty a goal for now, but you can plan for manageable pain. Through yoga, therapy and medication, you can continue your favorite pursuits with few physical distractions.
As you create a roadmap for life with a disability, look to Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP for assistance with SSDI concerns.
Summing It All Up: Your Georgia Workers’ Compensation Journey
Workers’ compensation provides coverage for emergency and rehabilitative care following a workplace accident. Approved treatments can enhance your likelihood of promptly returning to the job you love. Claim denial is common, however, and the problems don’t always end after you resume your career.
Ready to file for workers’ comp or appeal a claim denial? Keep the following concepts in mind:
Georgia workers’ compensation cases vary wildly: some employees suffer chronic conditions following years of debilitating work, while other health concerns arrive unexpectedly. Previously healthy workers succumb to workplace disasters. Still others experience a sudden worsening of unrelated injuries in response to overexertion on the job. Pre-existing conditions make the employer’s role in the injury far more difficult to prove. Regardless of the circumstances, injured employees must provide thorough documentation, or risk claim denial.
Returning to Work
Don’t rush your return to the workplace. Taking shortcuts with your recovery could lead to reinjury. Document all symptoms and how they evolve with time. As you prepare for re-entry into the workforce, think carefully about your career path and whether it’s still suitable, given your condition. Consider switching to a less physically demanding role, such as an office position.
Upon resuming your former position or finding a new job, maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow your doctor and therapist’s instructions. Continue to document your condition; this will increase your likelihood of once again securing benefits if you suffer reinjury.
As the victim of a workplace injury, you potentially face a long and arduous road to recovery. An optimistic, yet realistic attitude can make all the difference, as can detail-oriented representation through all phases of the legal process.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our series and that it’s empowered you to take back control. Ready to learn more about workers’ compensation? Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP can help you understand your options and obtain fair and complete benefits. Get in touch today.
Which Obstacles Stand in the Way of an Ideal Future After Your Workers’ Compensation Struggle?
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Martin Luther King, Jr.
You’ve mapped out your dream life after a long and arduous workers’ compensation struggle. You know exactly what you want and what it will take to achieve your goals. So why are you still stuck at step one?
The process of obtaining fair compensation can beat down even the most optimistic employees, but this is not the time to give up hope. Keep reading to learn more about overcoming common obstacles:
Not Considering Other Professions
Despite making a full recovery, you may have discovered that you are no longer cut out for highly physical work. Do not stubbornly continue to pursue a career path that no longer makes sense. You can still fulfill your goal of feeling productive; you just might have to pursue your dream in a different capacity. For example, instead of taking on the more physical aspects of construction, you could work in the office or try for a management position. Your experience could prompt new endeavors, such as campaigning for better adherence to workplace safety standards.
Changing professions may prove necessary. Don’t let a new career path scare you; take time to acquaint yourself with your new field. Seek training from community colleges or apprentice programs. Utilize the numerous transferable skills developed in your previous profession.
Only Equating Success With Your Job
Professional pursuits can deliver fulfillment, but a successful career is by no means the only hallmark of a satisfying life. If you can no longer resume your previous career, find new ways to define yourself. Hobbies, volunteer efforts and strong relationships can fill the void left by a demanding career. Set goals outside of the work world and celebrate each new achievement.
Overcome legal and personal obstacles with assistance from Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP. Our team is here to help you succeed. Call or email us to set up a confidential case consultation.
Looking Ahead to an Ideal Life After Your Workers’ Compensation Struggles Have Been Resolved
Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work though difficult problems. Gever Tulley
In the darkest days of your workers’ compensation ordeal, a future free of physical and financial suffering may seem impossible. The following is a possible picture of your life after workers’ comp success:
You’ve Resumed Your Career
In your vision of life after workers’ comp, perhaps you’ve returned to work following a lengthy recovery period. Maybe you carry out the same daily tasks that occupied your time prior to your injury. Another possible outcome: your injury convinced you to take stock of your career and what it could be. Rather than return to your former job, you now enjoy a better position for an employer who values your health and safety. Either way, you earn enough to get by, and you enjoy complete professional satisfaction.
Rewarding Life Outside of Work
There is more to life than work. While the right job can deliver fulfillment, many people with seemingly miserable occupations find happiness nonetheless. Be realistic about your job prospects; if a full return to work isn’t in the cards, envision a satisfying life away from the daily grind. Your injury may keep you from your previous position, but you can still make the most of your talent as a part-time employee or volunteer.
Allow Yourself to Mourn, Briefly
Denying reality will only make you feel worse. If your injury destroyed your career trajectory, take some time to feel bad about it. Set a limit on your mourning, however. In select situations, Georgia workers’ compensation covers mental health treatment; take advantage of counseling opportunities.
Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP can help you navigate your workers’ compensation settlement and achieve your dream life. Get in touch today to learn more.
Amazing Resources For Car Accident Victims: Part 2
If you were recently injured in a car accident, you may suffer everything from guilt to a complete reluctance to take the wheel. By taking a proactive role in your journey towards recovery, you can overcome significant adversity and enjoy a greater sense of peace and optimism. These resources will help you make the most of your circumstances and move past your accident:
- IIHS Top Safety Picks For 2017
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety maintains rigorous standards when highlighting each year’s safest models. To be deemed an IIHS Top Safety Pick, vehicles must earn front crash prevention ratings of advanced or superior, plus good ratings in five additional crashworthiness tests. Top options for 2017 include the Hyundai Elantra, Mazda 3, Toyota Prius, Honda CR-V, and Chrysler Pacifica, among others. Keep this list in mind as you search for a new car.
- Experience Project: I Was in a Car Accident
Whether you were recently involved in a car accident or you have distant memories of a crash, you may continue to experience physical and emotional adversity. Share your story and learn how others have coped while visiting this forum from Experience Project.
- Tips for Dealing with Guilt After a Car Accident
Guilt and shame are quite common in the aftermath of car accidents, even for those who were clearly not to blame. Whether you experience survivor’s guilt or wish you would have exhibited better behavior behind the wheel, this article will help you address and resolve crippling feelings in the aftermath of your accident.
- Understanding Car Crashes: It’s Basic Physics
Learn more about the science of car crashes while watching this intriguing documentary. Award-winning teacher Griff Jones uses scenes from the IIHS Vehicle Research Center to demonstrate inertia and other essential concepts.
Need more help than the resources highlighted above can provide? Contact Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP today for additional information.
Amazing Resources For Car Accident Victims: Part 1
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 2.44 million individuals were injured in car crashes in 2015. Survivors experience decades of physical suffering, plus extreme emotional trauma. Recovery is a lengthy process, but these resources can expedite the journey and make your pain easier to handle:
- Survivor Stories
Your physical pain and emotional suffering may currently seem unbearable, but it is possible to recover and emerge stronger in the aftermath of a car crash. This compilation of stories from AfterTrauma will give you hope and make you feel less alone.
- Anxiety After a Car Accident? Here’s 7 Ways to Recovery
Driving anxiety is perfectly normal in the aftermath of a car accident, but an inability to get behind the wheel can compromise both your job performance and your social life. Follow these seven tips from Driving Peace to get back on the road with complete confidence.
- How Playing Tetris Tames the Trauma of a Car Crash
On the hunt for unusual, but effective solutions to accident-based emotional trauma? According to a 2017 NPR story, a simple game of Tetris may be your best option. The report highlights a recent study, which indicates that just twenty minutes of Tetris can block out intrusive memories.
- Cost of Auto Crashes and Statistics
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association has compiled an extensive collection of statistics regarding the prevalence of auto accidents and the potential for compensation. While browsing through these stats, you’ll learn about average liability claims, common causes of car crashes, and the cost of medical care for injured drivers.
The resources highlighted above are just the beginning. Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP can help you navigate the complications of car accidents and other personal injury cases, so get in touch today to learn more.
Getting Your Car Repaired After a Georgia Car Accident — How to Speak Intelligently to Your Mechanic
If you recently were involved in a car accident, but your vehicle was not totaled, you’ll want to visit a mechanic as soon as possible to assess the damage and get your car fixed. Keep the following considerations in mind as you interact with your mechanic:
Who Covers the Cost of the Repair?
Georgia is a fault state, so if you are deemed responsible for 49 percent of the accident or less, you can obtain damages, including the cost of your vehicle’s repair. If courts deem that you played a small role in the accident (perhaps by speeding or following another vehicle too closely), your total compensation may be reduced.
When to Take Your Car to the Mechanic
Timing is everything in car accident cases. Prior to visiting the mechanic, you’ll need to file a police report, seek legal counsel, contact your insurance company, and speak with a claims representative. Some insurers send reps to inspect the damage; others prefer to have you work with a mechanic on your own time. Wait for instruction before moving forward, and be sure to visit a certified mechanic.
Working With Your Mechanic
It’s best to obtain multiple estimates, but you should first determine whether the shops you intend to visit charge diagnostic fees. Because you will (hopefully) be compensated, you want the best possible repair; the mechanic suggested by your insurer may offer an overpriced quick fix. Don’t downplay the status of your vehicle; let your mechanic know all the symptoms and the full scope of your accident. If you struggle to explain these symptoms, allow your mechanic to take the vehicle on a brief test drive.
Once you receive your estimate, discuss the types of repairs needed, and why. Later, compare estimates from mechanics to determine who will provide the most extensive service for the best price.
Look to Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP to learn more about the essential steps you should take after suffering a car accident in Georgia.
Amazing Resources For Workers’ Compensation: Part 2
Knowledge is power in the aftermath of a workplace injury. These resources will provide valuable insight and inspiration as you recover from your injury and prepare for your return to the workforce:
- The Puzzling Geography of Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation varies significantly from one state to the next. Learn more about regional disparities in this report from NPR and ProPublica, which shines a much-needed light on disturbing issues with workers’ comp and treatment of injured employees.
- Adding Inequality to Injury: The Costs of Failing to Protect Workers on the Job
Over time, the failure to provide proper coverage for injured employees leads to great financial hardship. This Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) report highlights the clear role workers’ compensation (or lack thereof) plays in income inequality. It also offers suggestions for better protecting workers in the future.
- How to Avoid the Most Common Workplace Injuries
As an employee, you may have little control over your employers’ safety standards and adherence to OSHA regulations. However, you can avoid a variety of common issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and eye strain. This Howcast video is most applicable to office workers, but it also offers advice for those who regularly move heavy loads.
You’ll instantly relate to this story of woe from injured worker Bill Bowman. In this free podcast, Bowman details how he and his family were impacted by workplace injury. Although he hails from Canada, his story offers valuable insight for anybody who has been injured on the job.
The more you know about workers’ compensation and its role in your recovery, the better. Get educated; contact Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP for more information on workers’ comp in the state of Georgia.
Amazing Resources For Workers’ Compensation: Part 1
As you recover from your workplace injury, you may have lingering questions about workers’ compensation, or a simple desire to connect with others who have been through similar ordeals. These resources will help you make the most of your situation and get back on your feet:
A monthly podcast from the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards (IAIABC), Accidentally offers compelling insights into workers’ compensation: its history, how it stands today, and anticipated innovations.
- Workers’ Compensation Research Institute Benchmarks
WCRI is committed to providing the public with accurate, up-to-date information on workers’ compensation and the role it plays in the United States economy. The organization offers extensive benchmark information.
- These Are Our Stories
Although created in Australia, this YouTube video is applicable to injured workers in the United States, who struggle to overcome unfortunate stereotypes of laziness and lethargy. In These Are Our Stories, Australians recovering from illnesses and conditions incurred on the job speak of their suffering, their recovery, and their hopes for lives free of pain and negative judgment.
- OSHA’s Most Cited Violations For 2016
Thousands of workers are killed on the job every year, and many more are injured due to safety violations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has yet to release violation information for 2017, but the 2016 list is in keeping with long-term trends. Ongoing issues include a complete lack of protection against falls, poor hazard communication, and minimal respiratory protection. A thorough understanding of these issues and the role they played in your injury (or could play in future injuries) could impact the capacity in which you eventually choose to return to work.
Once you’ve finished looking through the resources outlined above, contact Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP to learn more about workers’ compensation.
Uncommon Knowledge About the Georgia Workers’ Compensation System
Most Georgia employees know little about the state’s workers’ compensation program and what happens if they’re injured at work. This lack of understanding can make the compensation process extremely confusing and stressful. Keep reading to learn more about workers’ compensation in the state of Georgia:
Total Indemnity Claims
The State Board of Workers’ Compensation reports that 39,899 indemnity claims occurred in Georgia in the calendar year 2014. Indemnity benefits in 2014 totaled $1,056,193,486. Additionally, 830 WC-26 forms indemnity forms were filed that year.
Lifetime Medical Care is Typically No Longer Available
In 2013, Georgia made a significant change to its workers’ compensation model: many workers were suddenly ineligible for benefits after eight years. As a story from NPR and ProPublica points out, this means that those with knee or hip replacements no longer qualify for coverage if, after a decade, their mobility devices wear out. In the most severe cases, however, injured workers may still qualify for long-term compensation.
Georgia Residents Fare Better Than Those Across the Border
Workers’ compensation in Georgia is far from perfect, but as another ProPublica story points out, employees there enjoy far greater compensation than those residing in Alabama. In a report comparing similar injuries across state lines, ProPublica revealed a maximum payment of $118,125 for Georgia workers who lose their arm, compared to just $48,840 for the same injury in Alabama.
Workers’ compensation varies significantly from one state to the next. As a Georgia resident, you could obtain significant compensation for your workplace injury, but your chances of claim acceptance are far greater if you work with a trusted workers’ compensation attorney.
The more you know about workers’ compensation in Georgia, the better. Contact Smith, Wallis and Scott, LLP today for more information.