You may be Eligible to Receive SSI Benefit

Mar 01

The Social Security retirement benefit, disability benefit and death benefit are given by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to its insured members. These are individuals or employees who have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and who have earned the number of credits required by the SSA (these credits are earned through payment of Social Security taxes which are identified as “FICA,” that is, Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Payment is automatically deducted in employees’ monthly take home pay).

Disability benefits are paid to members (who have sustained total, permanent disability) through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. SSDI, which the SSA introduced in 1956, is one of the two largest programs of the U.S. Federal government (the other is the Supplemental Security Income or SSI, which was created by the SSA in 1974).

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), specifically, is designed to provide cash benefits to:

  • Disabled adults with limited income and resources;
  • Disabled children who are below 18 years old and who have limited income and resources; and,
  • People 65 years old or older who may be without disabilities, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR).

SSI benefit is also meant to help provide for its recipients’ basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter (under the SSI program, some legal aliens are also considered eligible to receive the cash benefits).

The word “disabled,” as defined for SSI purposes, means physical or mental impairment, (including emotional or learning problem) that:

  • Has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months
  • Results in severe functional limitations (in the case of children) or in the inability to perform any substantial gainful activity (in the case of adults); and
  • Can be expected to result in the disabled person’s death.
    The words “income” and “resources,” on the other hand refer to:

Income: this refers to money earned from work; money received from Social Security benefits, Workers Compensation, the Department of Veterans Affairs, unemployment benefits, friends or relatives; and free food or shelter.

Resources: things a person owns, such as: cash; bank accounts, U.S. savings bonds; land; vehicles; personal property; life insurance; stocks, and whatever can be converted to cash and used for food or shelter.

As explained in the website of the Chris Mayo Law Firm, “Dealing with a serious disability can make everyday life a challenge, and for many of those in this position, earning a living wage can be extremely difficult. For this reason, the Social Security Administration provides income support through various programs to Americans with disabilities who struggle to make ends meet. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is one such program that has played a substantial role in helping disabled children, adults, and their families across the country.

SSI benefits are available to those living on low incomes, who are aged, blind, or suffer from a disability, with sometimes increased benefits for families to help provide a level of support that more accurately matches their needs.”

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Can A Pedestrian Be Held Liable In A Car Accident?

Oct 23

When it boils down to a pedestrian vs a car in an accident, the usual assumption is that it is the driver of the vehicle who was at-fault. The usual notion is that the automobile should have yielded to the pedestrian’s “right of way.” According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicles kill more than 4,000 people every year and injure over 70,000 pedestrians.

According to the website of Pohl & Berk, LLP, pedestrians who get involved in a car accident can suffer from physical injuries, pay tons of medical bills, and a long term recovery. The truth of the matter is that pedestrians can also have some liability in a car accident. There are certain instances when the pedestrian will not be able to collect damages for the injuries they incurred and here they are:

  • Jaywalking or crossing in the middle of the street outside of a crosswalk
  • Crossing against the traffic signal
  • Entering a street or highway while intoxicated
  • Walking along highways, bridges, or causeways where pedestrians are strictly prohibited

But while a pedestrian is partially to blame for causing an accident, it is also likely that the driver of the vehicle can also be partially at fault for the collision. Let us say that a pedestrian was jaywalking but if the driver has been driving at a safe speed or is distracted, who will be held liable for the accident? There are different states that adopt shared fault situations.

When it comes to accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians, there are two principles that govern determination of liability. In comparative negligence, the pedestrian receives compensation from any at fault party. However, the amount of damages can be reduced by a percentage equivalent to their share of the liability. Contributory negligence, on the other hand, removes any chances of receiving damages if they were deemed partially at-fault with the accident.

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Jun 20

Despite going into a marriage with the best of intentions, sometimes divorce is inevitable and the overall best option for all parties. However, just because it’s the best option doesn’t mean that it will be easy. In the United States, grounds for divorce are separated into two main categories: contested and uncontested. Oftentimes the difference between the two is the amiability between partners and how well they can come together to dissolve their marriage and divide their assets.

Contested divorce is by far the most painful, expensive, and emotionally taxing. This occurs when the two parties cannot come to an agreement about any number of things concerning the separation of their union–this can include finances, child custody, property, etc. When this occurs, the divorce must be heard by the court and ultimately the judge decides the outcome of the division of marital assets.

According to Holmes, Diggs, Eames & Sadler, in cases like this couples have options. Mediated divorces can be extremely beneficial in order to avoid unknown or arbitrary settlements. The two parties employ the assistance, advice, and resources of a third party in order to reach an arrangement that is universally beneficial and does not favor one client over the other. Similarly, in a collaborative divorce, the two parties use their attorneys to assist them in making informed and professionally supported decisions. While these attorneys cannot further represent their clients in the court, the process of collaboration usually facilitates better communication between the two parties and allows them to approach an uncontested divorce settlement to present to the judge.

Uncontested divorces are infinitely easier due to the fact that the two parties come to court with a pre-agreed upon proposal for the separation of property, finances, and child care. In certain cases, couples are eligible for a simplified divorce, also known as a “simple divorce” or “summary divorce.” This allows couples who meet various criteria–including less than five years of marriage, an absence of children, and limited property and financial assets–to easily and inexpensively end a marriage.

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Why Give Bentonite Clay to Your Pets?

Feb 15

Pelotherapy is the term used to describe the use of clay and earth to help relieve and treat physical conditions and aid in maintaining healthy digestion. Among the many healing clays, calcium bentonite clay is one of more popular one being marketed and used by the greater public. It is widely used as treatment for a number of digestive problems, especially when all conventional options have been exhausted. Aside from detoxifying the body, calcium bentonite clays remove parasites, treat infections, and act as a great supplement to a host of health issues. It is important to always consume plenty of water, especially if bentonite clay is being consumed. According to the National Institutes for Health,  drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day may help prevent constipation.

The holistic benefits that can be gained from using calcium bentonite clay has even caught the attention of NASA, where they are researching about its use a prevention and remedy for osteoporosis for astronauts and even animals and yielding positive results. The main reason for the effectiveness of calcium bentonite clay is its compact amount of minerals that attract the positive-charged ions in the body and binds with it to make cleansing quick and simple. In order to get the best results, make sure to introduce the calcium bentonite clay to your pets in small amounts to prevent rapid detoxification that may lead to loose stools. Make sure that you consult with your veterinarian first before giving the healing clay to your pet to avoid any adverse effects to your pet’s medication or diet.

Animal owners who believe in the natural health benefits of Earth’s Natural Clay and would like to use them as supplements for their pets should understand that not all made equal; there are clays that are of lower grades and can carry unhealthy impurities that are often not under strict regulations. If it is not safe for human use and consumption, then don’t give it to your pets also. Likewise, clay should only be used and taken in a solution; avoid inhaling the clay as it may irritate your lungs.

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Basic Information on Drug Possession Laws

Sep 06

All across the United States, drug-related crimes are consistently met with harsh punishment and very steep penalties. As the website of Cape Cod drug crimes lawyer James Powderly notes, thousands of people are charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses for violations of the strictly-imposed drug laws all over the nation. Among the violations that authorities are constantly on the lookout for is the possession of illegal substances. Depending on the amount an individual is found carrying, a drug possession charge can lead to several consequences that are sure to leave impactful effects.

Drug possession is the term generally used to refer to an individual’s willful possession of illegal substances with intent to use for recreation, distribution, or sale. Carrying any amount of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine can be met with expensive fines as well as a significant prison or jail sentence. It is important in this cases to know your right while also being aware of the sometimes big consequence that follow being charged with possession.

While the laws of different states will have some variations, penalties for drug possession is usually determined by the amount or quantity of drugs that an individual is found carrying. Those found with smaller quantities will likely face less stringent punishment than those found with significant amounts of illegal substances. Some states also have laws that recognize that there are certain substances considered to be more dangerous and addictive than others. As a result, possession of highly-addictive drugs such as heroin is also expected to meet harsher punishment. The website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC points out that possession of heroin is considered a felony in Milwaukee, punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and 3 and half years in jail.

The punishment is even more severe for members of the military. In addition to the regular civilian penalties that will be imposed to them, they will also face additional penalties imposed by military courts. A Fort Walton Beach military arrests lawyer would specify that military personnel charged with drug crimes can face reduction of rank and imposition of extra duty. These penalties are in addition to any civil problems that such a person may end up with after being charged with a drug crime.

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Connecting With Clients: Why Mobile Apps are Advantageous for Law Firms

Sep 05

With the technology available to us today, it has become incredibly easy to stay connected with the world around us. According to the website of the mobile app developers from Big Momma Apps, many businesses have taken advantage of this in order to keep in touch with clients and customers. Mobile apps have become a necessary marketing tool that allows many businesses to learn more about the needs of their clientele and provide them with what they are looking for in an instance.

It should not be much of a leap to suggest that law firms should take advantage of the same technology, as well. Perhaps more than these aforementioned businesses, it’s extremely important for law firms to keep in touch with the people they are serving. There are a lot more at stake and the need to be able to communicate at a moment’s instance can have very huge benefits.

With that said, law firms looking to adapt mobile apps in their operations should take into account several considerations. For one, the type of service they offer warrants a more unique user experience than other businesses. It’s also important that the app is easily accessible by a diverse group of people. For example, the app should still be amenable for clients who are visually handicapped. The aesthetic of the app will also need to be professional to match the formality of an experienced law firm.

Fortunately, with the integration of smartphones and tablets in daily use, there are many options to choose from.

All in all, law firms can benefit greatly with the use of mobile apps. Aside from being good tools for marketing and branding, an app can be an effective way to reach out and communicate with clients.

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Da Vinci Robot: The Pitfalls of Potentially Dangerous Surgical Devices

Sep 03

The Da Vinci Robot is a multi-armed surgical machine used for minimally invasive procedures. It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration or FDA back in the year 2000 and was subsequently greeted by the medical community with much enthusiasm and fanfare. With this device, surgeons can operate on patients through a small incision and a 3D imaging screen that magnifies the site. They can effective control the robot from a distance. The robot—which is easily operated by the surgeon with controls similar to a joystick—ensures that the procedure is contained within one area, which effectively reduces the risk of infection.

Despite these advantages, complications and adverse effects reportedly caused by the Da Vinci Robot have allowed the positive reception to turn a bit more skeptical. As noted by the website of the National Injury Law Center, several lawsuits point to the fact that the Da Vinci Robot played a key role in several cases of serious injury. The latest among these lawsuits was filed on March 2012 by a man in New York claiming that the surgical device had been behind the death of his 24-year-old daughter. As delineated in the suit, the daughter had been scheduled for a routine hysterectomy around August of 2010. The surgeon in charge of her care made use of a Da Vinci Robot that caused fatal burns and punctures in crucial areas of her intestine.

Other injuries have also been caused by the surgical robot. One patient died after a routine spleen surgery, while another died in a hysterectomy because of a blood vessel nicked by one of the robot’s arms. The Da Vinci Robot was also found to have caused a puncture in a patient’s colon during a prostatectomy, while another patient reports being hit in the face accidentally be one of the robot’s arms. The surgical device is also reported to be vulnerable to mechanical failure, further exacerbating any risks involved with its use.

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Basic Information on Yachting and Its History

Sep 02

Yachting is a hobby enjoyed by many Americans. The yachts used by today’s enthusiasts have state-of-the-art designs, allowing for a more streamlined operation. On top of that, according to the website of Mikelson Yachts, yachts now have plenty of luxurious amenities and add-ons, proving that hobbyists can experience maximum comfort while enjoying their time out on open water.

Top-of-the-line models offer large interiors that can accommodate several passengers at a time. Sometimes, these models can also come with several bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as spacious kitchens and dining areas. Modern-day models also come with technology that allow for more reliable navigation. All in all, yachting enthusiasts can enjoy their time fishing and taking part in other activities while having access to the same level of comfort they have in their own homes.

These advancements are a far cry to how yachting used to be. Before the last several decades, yachts were simply known to be vessels that are light and fast enough for the many sporting purposes they were used for. These yachts were typically about 10 meters up and some dozens of meters wide. They were also made out of mostly wood or steel. Today, variations such as ‘cabin cruisers’ and ‘super yachts’ are available to enthusiasts, made with a wider selection of materials—fiberglass being the most common. Cabin cruisers are usually luxury vessels that are smaller than 12 meters. Meanwhile, super yachts are twice the size of regular yachts at about 24 meters.

The hobby of yachting owes much to the Dutch that were first to device a small, fast-sailing vessel originally meant to help them pursue pirates in more shallow water. As a matter of fact, the term “yacht” finds its etymology in the Ducth word for “hunt.” By the seventeenth century, yacht-like vessels were also used to transport royalty and other high-ranking personage from larger ships to the safety of the shore.

As the centuries have passed, yachts have become primarily used for recreational fishing and sailing due to their lithe size. With the advancements in sea vessel technology available today, yachts are much sturdier and efficient than ever before.

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Nursing Home Abuse: Basic Information and Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Sep 01

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a million individuals are currently residing in nursing homes and other similar long-term care facilities in the United States. These institutions provide so many people with access to fulltime care and attention that might not be available in their own homes due to certain constraints. As a result, nursing homes are an important fixture in the health care community, providing many citizens with the proper care required of their special condition. Especially for elderly individuals, these establishments are safe and well-trusted spaces.

Unfortunately, the reality of nursing homes is far from this ideal scenario. While there are a good number of institutions that do well by their residents and provide them with the best possible care, there are also several that overstep the trust placed on them by the public. As noted at, abuse in nursing homes is a far too common occurrence across the nation. The Administration of Aging under the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 2 million elderly individuals fall victim to different kinds of mistreatment within nursing homes. Physical mistreatment in the form of beating, shoving, and assault are common but remain unreported by victims. Sexual assault is another problem dealt by some residents in nursing homes, as well as psychological abuse and exploitation.

These disturbing incidents of nursing home abuse can be prevented through raising much needed awareness around the issue. Families who place their trust in these institutions to care for their loved ones need to be aware of these devastating crimes that happen without their knowledge. Keeping an eye out for warning signs of abuse can be the first step to put a stop to such horrific acts. Unexplained injuries such as bruises and cuts are a cause for alarm, as well as sudden physical changes like sudden weight loss. Families should also be observant of the dynamic between their loved one and his or her caretaker. If they seem intimidated or quiet around some members of the staff, it could be a sign that something wrong is afoot.

For McCutchen & Sexton – The Law Firm, nursing home staff are under the same obligations as other health care providers are. Breaching the implicit trust placed on them by residents and their families through any acts can be considered as a gross misconduct.

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Common Construction Site Accidents

Aug 30

Construction work can be dangerous. It is easily considered as one of the most hazardous professions in the country, with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (referred to by the acronym OHSA for short) reporting a total of 796 fatalities that took place in the industry for 2013. These devastating outcomes are said to constitute roughly 20 percent of all fatal workplace accidents that occurred during the year. The staggering number of accidents and fatalities show the pressing need to prevent these devastating incidents

With the risks attached to the many highly-perilous tasks involved in this line of work, it’s no surprise that so many workers fall victim to extremely harmful accidents in construction sites. The OHSA names 4 major incidents responsible for all the construction-related fatalities reported in 2013. According to the agency’s data, 36.9 percent of all reported construction site deaths were caused by falls. 10.3 percent involved victims being struck by large objects and equipment, 8.9 percent resulted from electrocution, and 2.6 percent were accidents involving heavy machinery.

The website of the New York construction accident lawyers at Hach & Rose says that scaffolding problems, vehicle accidents, and crane collapse accidents are common causes for concern on construction sites. Machinery malfunctions are another factor contributing to the already heightened safety risks at construction sites.

Appleton personal injury lawyers will probably tell you that while these accidents can surely be fatal, most peole are able to survive the incidents. Still, those who are fortunate enough are sure to suffer life-changing consequences. Construction accidents can lead to severe injuries such as spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, internal bleeding, and amputations. Most survivors also experience a lot of psychological and emotional effects, needing a significant amount of time to fully recover from the damages caused by the accident they’ve experienced.

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