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Columbus Injured Worker Legal Blog

Can I file for Social Security Disability for memory loss?

There are many causes of memory loss, including brain injuries, aging, medications, depression or excess stress, in Ohio and throughout the country. This condition may cause confusion, erratic moo9d changes, misplace items or difficulty following directions. Memory loss can interfere with one's ability to work, and if someone is suffering from severe symptoms, they may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

To qualify for SSD with memory loss, applicants must experience one or more of these symptoms: disorientation, short or long-term memory impairment, hallucinations, abrupt changes in personality or mood or the loss of 15 or more IQ points. These symptoms must cause one or more of the following: a marked restriction of everyday activities, difficulty maintaining social interactions, difficulty concentrating or completing activities at a reasonable pace or repeated episodes of decompensation.

Common causes of traumatic brain injury in the workplace

According to the Brain Injury Institute, traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the Ohio workplace is a common occurrence. Even workers in an office environment are at risk of tripping or slipping and suffering a serious brain injury. Approximately 20 percent of all workplace TBIs happen when employees fall on uneven or wet surfaces or trip over objects left on the floor.

Falls are a leading cause of TBIs, second only to motor vehicle accidents. The Brain Injury Institute reports that the increase of TBI injuries due to slip and falls may be because the number of workers in the U.S. over the age of 65 has increased over 100 percent in the last 30 years. Occupational TBIs can be fatal and according to a report by the National Institute of Health (NIH), of the 7,300 work-related fatalities studied, 29 percent were due to falls and 18 percent were because the employee had contact with objects or equipment.

Ohio Supreme Court expedites workers' compensation appeals

The Supreme Court of Ohio recently ruled that a 2006 state law designed to delay appeals in Workers' compensation cases is constitutional. The underlying case came before the Eighth District Court of Appeals after the Ohio Industrial Commission (OIC) awarded a Ford Motor Company employee Workers' compensation benefits for workplace injuries he suffered in 2009. The employee then complied with a law that essentially required him to file a complaint alleging that he could participate in the Workers' compensation fund.

During the process of the appeal, the employee continued to receive benefits from the OIC. During Workers' compensation cases appealed by employers, injured Workers continue to receive benefits throughout the appeal process and are entitled to obtain up to $4,200 in attorney fees if they win the appeal. Typically, court rules would allow him to request that the case be dismissed without prejudice, allowing it to be refiled later. However, a 2006 law, R.C. 4123.512(D), requires Workers' compensation claimants to obtain consent from their employers in order to postpone the case.

Obtaining SSDI benefits for mental and physical disabilities

Ohio residents suffering from disabilities that are expected to significantly impair their ability to work for at least 12 months or cause death may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SDDI) benefits. To be eligible, one must have a qualifying physical disability, a mental disability or a combination of the two. A qualifying disability may be a physical injury, occupational illness, mental disorder or any other serious medical condition that significantly impairs one's ability to work. Additionally, applicants generally must have been employed for at least five out of the past 10 years.

The attorneys at Philip J. Fulton Law Office assist in the process of obtaining SSDI benefits for both physical and mental disabilities. Our experienced attorneys have represented over 1,000 clients in a wide variety of SSD claims. Qualifying physical disabilities may include multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, cancer, stroke and immune system disorders. Individuals who have a medical condition that does not satisfy the significant impairment requirement may still qualify for SSDI if they have a combination of physical or mental impairments.

Temporary workers at risk when poorly trained

You may have many reasons for working as a temporary employee. Maybe you are looking for permanent work but supplementing through an Ohio temp agency. These agencies typically match you with jobs that fit your skill set although they may place you in an unfamiliar position if you show aptitude and a willingness to learn.

The trouble with working as a temp is that it often exposes you to dangers on the job, mainly because of the company's limited time to properly train you. In fact, many temporary workers leave their job placements because they do not feel confident in the work and fear the hazards are not worth the risk. To prevent this from happening, employment safety advisors recommend that temporary workers take advantage of every opportunity to improve their chances of working safely.

How do I file a Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation appeal?

Workers injured on the job should report their injuries to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) as soon as possible. The BWC accepts claims filed by the employer, the employer's medical provider, managed care organization or legal representative. The claims will then be assigned a number and examined by a claims specialist.

The BWC will decide whether to allow or deny claims and a written order will be issued informing the employee, employer and any authorized representatives of its decision. The letter will also address other issues, such as whether the employee's injury entitles him or her to compensation. Any parties to the claim may file an appeal, if they are dissatisfied with the decision.

OSHA's cooperative programs: voluntary protection

A previous blog post discussed one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) cooperative programs, Strategic Partnership. Ohio residents may enter into partnerships to improve health and safety in major corporations, government agencies and private sector industries. The partnership agreements are designed to encourage and assist partner efforts to comply with OSHA standards. Another one of OSHA's cooperative programs available to employers and workers is the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP).

The VPP promotes workplace safety and health through OSHA, management and labor cooperation. All participants work together to prevent fatalities, workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses by providing training and worksite analysis, encouraging manager and worker involvement and instituting other measures of prevention and control. The cooperative relationships allow managers and workers to implement comprehensive safety and health management systems. The VPP is designed to recognize workplaces that show active involvement and strong commitment to OSHA's policies and procedures.

What is your employer supposed to do in workers' comp claims?

Your employer may give you a laundry list of things that you are supposed to do if you suffer an on-the-job injury. You have to meet reporting requirements, see the right doctors and fill out the right paperwork. You agree to do these things because you need the benefits.

What about your employer? What responsibilities does the company have to you? First, your company must carry workers' compensation insurance. There are some limited exceptions to this rule.

OSHA's cooperative programs: strategic partnership

A previous Ohio blog post discussed one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) cooperative programs: Alliance. Alliance works with groups, such as unions and professional institutions, to improve workplace safety. Another one of OSHA's cooperative programs is the OSHA Strategic Partnership Program (OSPP).

OSPP allows OSHA to collaborate with interested stakeholders, such as employers, workers, professional associations, trade associations and labor organizations. Through these partnerships, members have the opportunity to work together in a non-adversarial way to establish goals, strategies and performance measures to improve workplace safety. By creating agreements designed to encourage and assist partner efforts to comply with OSHA standards, the partnerships improve safety and health in major corporations, government agencies and private sector industries.

Ohio BWC discusses its impact on the opioid crisis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78 people die every day from opiate overdoses. As the number of opiate overdoses continued to rise, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) responded with changes to its formulary program.

Since 2011, the BWC has been attempting to reduce opioid dependency with notable success. The bureau's pharmacy director recently addressed members of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mid-Ohio Valley Safety Counsel, explaining the effects of the changes.

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

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