Veterans may received expedited Social Security disability hearings

The Social Security Administration announced a new process that may lead to expedited hearings for Veterans who have been denied Social Security disability benefits.   If a Veteran is treating with the VA and has been provided a 100% disability compensation rating for permanent and total disability, they would be eligible under new Social Security rules to have their social security disability applications and decisions expedited as high priority.

It is important to note that a 100% disability compensation rating does not guarantee a Veteran will receive social security disability benefits.  The applicant must still meet the strict definition of ‘disability’ within the social security paradigm.

If you believe you may be eligible for social security disability benefits, you can apply one of three ways:

1.  Complete your application online;

2.  Call our toll-free telephone number, 1-800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call us at TTY 1-800-325-0778; or

3.  Call or visit your local Social Security office.

To seek an expedited review under the above-referenced program, you must identify yourself on the SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY APPLICATION as “veteran rated 100% P&T”.

Should you receive a denial letter int he mail regarding your social security disability application, it is imperative you contact Mooney & Associates right away.  There is a deadline to file an appeal and if you miss that deadline, you are out of luck.  It’s simple.  Get a denial letter — call M & A at 1-877-632-4656 or email us direct at info@mooney4law.com.   Our consultations on your social security disability denial are FREE!

We represent denied Social Security Disability applicants in the Chambersburg, PA area and Franklin County, Carlisle, PA area including all of Cumberland and Perry Counties, Harrisburg area including all of Dauphin Counties, Hershey, PA areas, Hanover and Gettysburg areas including all of Adams County, all of York county, Lancaster areas, and Fulton County areas.   

New Workers Compensation TV Commerical

Liquor Store Robbery is Not a Normal Working Condition

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has handed down a ruling that post-traumatic distress disorder suffered by an employee of a Pennsylvania state liquor store, as a result of an armed robbery, is in fact a compensable work injury.  The decision reverses a 2011 decision by the Commonwealth Court that denied workers compensation benefits.

The case revolved around the issue of whether working conditions, such as a robbery at a state store, would be either foreseeable or could have been anticipated.   The Commonwealth Court held that since the employer provided workplace violence training geared toward store robberies and the fact that four robberies took place at state stores inc lose proximity to this particular store weeks prior, that the condition could have been anticipated or foreseeable.

The Supreme Court reverse the decision and handed down an opinion that an armed robbery that causes an employee to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder was no foreseeable.   Another case will be heading to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania related to this very rule, this one involving a state police officer who it and killed a woman with his patrol car.  WE will watch this rule continuously develop.

What is an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

46dcc-medicalequipOften I get questions from injured workers asking if they have to attend an independent medical examination, otherwise known as an IME.  The quick answer to that questions is — Yes.  The workers compensation insurance carrier is entitled to have an injured worker examined by a doctor of their choosing every six months.   Insurance carriers typically like to refer to these examinations as ‘independent’, hence the name of the examination, however, they are far from independent.   Let’s take a look at a few aspects related to these IME exams.

Significance

The insurance carrier may request an IME for several different reasons.  First, they may simply be inquiring as to whether the diagnosis of your treating doctor is indeed correct.  Second, the insurance carrier may be utilizing an IME to get an opinion that certain treatment or surgery is not reasonable or necessary, which gives them cover to begin denying certain medical bills and surgeries.  In essence, they are trying to limit their scope of medical liability.  Third, and most frequent,  they are taking hostile action against you by sending you to an exam in which the IME doctor will either opine that you can work light duty or give an opinion that you are fully recovered, regardless what your treating doctor believes.

Your Response

Quite simple.  Protect your self.  Many times you may feel like your insurance carrier and employer have treated you well through out your work injury.  That may be true.  However, if you receive a notice for an IME examination, all bets are off.  Call Mooney & Associates today to get a FREE CONSULTATION.  If you have been scheduled for an IME, your workers compensation carrier is beginning to take hostile action against your rights.  They may be taking steps to try and suspend or terminate your benefits.  They may be taking steps to begin denying certain procedures, treatment, or future surgeries.  Many times these examinations are schedule because of advice of the insurance carrier’s legal counsel.  You should have legal counsel as well!  An IME is a direct threat to your workers compensation rights and  benefits.

Transportation & Reimbursement

Often times, these examination may be an hour or two away, especially for injured workers living in Central Pennsylvania.  Your workers compensation carrier is responsible for either providing transportation to and from the examination or reimbursing your for mileage.

If you receive a notice for an Independent Medical Examination, don’t hesitate to protect your rights.  Call Mooney & Associates today at 717-632-4656 or 1-877-632-4656 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.  We have twelve locations through South Central Pennsylvania to meet you at.   Additionally, for more information, visit us on the Web at http://www.mooney4law.com.   You can also Like our Facebook page to keep up with our firm.

Don’t fall for Employer Tricks When Hurt on the Job

Often when an individual is hurt at work, their employer or immediate supervisor will discourage the use of workers compensation.  Obviously, the employer does not want their workers compensation insurance premiums to increase.  So they make things up or try to guilt an injured worker into not claiming the work injury.

Don’t fall for those tricks.  Your workers compensation rights are too valuable to your present, your future, and your health.  I hear it time and time again when I sit down and chat with new clients that their employer somehow tried to discourage them from seeking benefits.   Be smart.  Seek legal counsel right away.  Workers’ compensation is a deadline sensitive area of the law, in terms of statute of limitations and notice requirements.  When you are hurt on the job, the best thing you can do, after seeking immediate medical care, is to speak with Mooney & Associates to ensure your rights are protected.

Here are some of the common employer tricks.

1.  The injury was your fault.  They say it alot.  However, in many cases, regardless of fault, you are still protected and entitled to benefits under the Workers Compensation Act.  If you have been injured at work and your employer is telling you that workers compensation does not apply because you got hurt through your own fault, call Mooney & Asssociates right away for a FREE consultation.  Let us decide whether you may be entitled to benefits, not your employer.

2.  Use your short term and long term disability instead.  Again, those benefits are wonderful to have.  However, it is imperative that if you are hurt at work, to protect those rights.  You may be entitled to wage loss benefits, medical benefits, specific loss benefits, and more.  These benefits could lead to an injury settlement as well.   If your employer has told you to apply for short term disability instead of workers compensation, and your disability from work is the result of a work-related injury, call Mooney & Associates right away for a FREE consultation.

3.   Company Lawyer says you have no case.  That’s a bunch of bull!  In most cases, it is a scare tactic.  Your employer likely has not even spoken with an Attorney.  But, regardless, don’t trust your employers’ attorney.  Get your own attorney!  We have written here time and time again, if you are hurt at work, even if your employer/insurance carrier is faithfully paying you wage loss benefits and paying your medical bills, you should seek the advice of your own Workers Comp attorney.  Your workers’ compensation insurance carrier has their lawyers, so should you!  Call Mooney & Associates right away for a FREE consultation.

4.  We will have to lay you off if you report the work injury.  That statement in of itself is screaming at you to seek an Attorney.  If you are laid off while injured at work, and are out of work because of the injury or on light duty, your employer can lay you off, but we can make them pay! The law is very specific with regards to lay offs and work injuries.  Call Mooney & Associates right away for a FREE consultation.

5.  Just send me the medical bills, I will take care of them.  You think?  What happens if you have to have surgery?  What happens if your initial medical treatment doesn’t relieve your symptoms.  Think your boss will keep paying?  Medical expense sin work-related injuries can add up to tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Your employer is not going to keep paying those out of pocket.  Your health is far too important to fall for something like that.  Call Mooney & Associates right away for a FREE consultation.

6.  You don’t qualify for workers’ compensation, you’re a sub-contractor.  Let us make that call, not your employer.  The rules and elements of whether their is an employee-employer relationship are complex.  Specific requirements must be met in order for a person to meet the definition of independent contractor, and thus, not an employee.  The issuance of a 1099 in of itself is not enough.  If this argument comes up, call Mooney & Associates right away for a FREE consultation.

These are just a few tricks employers try and use against injured employees.  There are many more out there.  It’s simple.  If you get hurt on the job, don’t gamble with your rights.  They are too important.  Mooney & Associates provides FREE consultations and we can meet you at any of your twelve office locations.  It doesn’t cost anything to get some advice.

Our firm represents injured clients in Adams County, Cumberland County, Dauphin County, Franklin County, Fulton County, Lancaster County, Perry County, and York County, all in south central Pennsylvania!