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June 2012 Archives

Dangers of Non-Attorney Reps in Social Security Disability

     Social Security Disability and SSI claimants should always be wary of incompetent representation. As discussed before, my belief is that part of ensuring competent representation is to hire a licensed attorney experienced in practicing before the Social Security Administration. A recent law review journal written by Drew Swank Non-Attorney Social Security Disability Representative and the Unauthorized Practice of Law discusses some of the pitfalls and liabilities of claimant representation by non-attorneys. Drew Swank is an ALJ with the Social Security Administration and although is allowance rate appears to be on the low side, his position does give him an excellent vantage point to witness and thus comment on the subject of non-attorney representation.

Tennessee court OKs workers' comp for man with PTSD

Workers all across America take comfort knowing that they will be covered by workers' compensation in the event of a work-related injury. When the system works as intended, workers' compensation gives injured workers the financial means to cover their expenses and focus on recovery. When benefits are denied, however, the injured worker often finds his or her stress multiplied, and many take on fighting for their coverage at the same time that they struggle with healing from the source of the claim.

Southern Tennessee-area car accidents: 4 deaths in 3 days

Some roadways and intersections seem to be more dangerous than others. Whether it's the way they're engineered, a lack of visibility or simply the drivers who frequent them, accidents happen and often lead to injury or death for local drivers. There were at least four deaths from car accidents in or close to the southern Tennessee counties of Wayne and Lawrence between June 4 and June 6.

Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Vision Problems

     People often wonder if they qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits for difficulties with their eyes. "Jailhouse lawyers" seem to spread the myth that if your eyes are the least bit bad, despite good correction with lenses, then you can qualify for benefits. The truth is that claimants can qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits under the Listings, but a high level of severity is required. Claimants can qualify due to loss of visual acuity, contraction of the visual field, or decrease or loss of visual field efficiency.

John Dreiser to Present on Workers' Compensation Subrogation

On July 25, 2012, John Dreiser will present on behalf of NBI on the topic of Workers' Compensation Subrogation. The seminar will be at the Crowne Plaza in Knoxville, TN and is eligible for six hours of CLE.

Tennessee truck accident takes life of 2-year-old boy

At least one Tennessee family has suffered a terrible loss that is the nightmare of many parents. One of six children riding in a van that was involved in a truck accident on May 18 has died as a result of the injuries he suffered in the crash. The van was traveling on U.S. Highway 78 near Blue Springs when it crashed into a dump truck. Three others were injured as a result of the collision.

EEOICPA Claims for Exposed Workers at Savannah River Site (SRS)

Sick workers from SRS may qualify for EEOICPA and workers' compensation benefits. From 1950 until the late 1980s, the Savannah River Site (SRS) conducted multiple operations that played a vital role in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Of greatest importance were the production of plutonium and tritium. Many facilities were built at SRS to support these production efforts and to address their resulting environmental impacts.

Childhood SSI for Genetic Disorders or Catastrophic Abnormalities

Children suffering from serious genetic disorders (Down syndrome, Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome or Trisomy D), Trisomy 18 (Edwards' Syndrome or Trisomy E), chromosomal deletion syndromes, Tay-Sachs, cri du chat syndrome) can qualify for Childhood SSI benefits. The disability benefits would be awarded if the claimant or her representative can show:

Fatal car accidents: 7-year-old killed in Oak Ridge collision

Tennessee police are continuing to investigate the cause of a horrific fatal accident that took the life of a young child. The accident happened recently in Oak Ridge. As is often the case in car accidents with children, the child was in a car driven by her mother at the time of the fatal collision.

Truck accident leaves one person dead and others injured

Accidents occur frequently on Tennessee roads. Those accidents typically require extensive clean up which may lead to road closures or significant slowdowns.

Tennessee Enacts Pain Management Bill for Workers' Compensation

Injured workers in Tennessee now face new requirements when receiving pain management services in their Workers' Compensation case. SB 3315/HB 3372, sponsored by Senator Jack Johnson and Representative Mark White was intended to "ensure the availability of quality medical care services for injured and disabled employees and to manage medical costs" by "eradicating prescription drug abuse through utilization review." The effective date of the bill is July 1, 2012 and applies to pain management prescribed on or after that date. A few of the highlights of the bill:

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