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The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefit

Posted by on Jun 23, 2017 in Social Security Disability Benefits | 0 comments

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays cash retirement benefit, disability benefit and death benefit to all of its insured members – individuals who have worked in Social Security-covered jobs and have earned the required number of credits (these credits are earned through payment of Social Security taxes which are identified as “FICA,” short for Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Payment is automatically deducted from 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). This Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was specifically 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 (some legal aliens may also be eligible to receive the cash benefits paid under the SSI program).

Disability, for SSI purposes, is defined as any 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;
  • Has resulted, or can result, 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.

“Limited income” and “limited resources” mean:

  • Limited income – 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.
  • Limited 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.

The Chris Mayo Law Firm says that 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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Common Construction Site Accidents

Posted by on Feb 15, 2017 in Workplace Injuries | 0 comments

Construction sites can be very dangerous environments because of the presence of hazardous substances, construction machinery and equipment, and other objects and conditions that may injure or kill construction workers.

According to a construction site article on the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, construction workers and innocent passersby who have been injured because of someone else’s error may be able to get worker compensation or personal injury compensation. Below are some of the common construction site accidents that happen because of the negligence and error of construction companies and construction site managers.

Slip and Fall Accidents
Companies and managers need to make sure that the construction site is in its safest condition to prevent injuring workers and passersby. They should take away or limit the objects that can potentially trigger a slip and fall accident, such as loose wires, spilled chemicals, unattended tools, and uneven surfaces and holes that lack warning signs.

Construction workers are often required to work on elevated places, such as in high floor levels, windows, and roofs. This puts them at risk of falling, especially because of defective scaffoldings and ladders, and lack of protective gears and safety procedures.

Falling Objects
In construction sites, there is always the risk of objects falling and hitting the head of unsuspecting victims. The objects may come in many forms, like unattended materials, heavy objects such as machinery and equipment, and sharp objects such as construction tools.

Construction sites are unfinished products, so it is not uncommon for electrical systems to be unfinished as well. Exposed wires may get in contact with the elements, or worse, with the construction workers, giving them electric shock and possibly injuring or killing them.

Explosions and Fires
Construction may involve flammable materials such as chemicals, wires, gases, and even explosives themselves. Without the proper storage and safety procedure, the construction site may be susceptible to explosions and fires.

Machine Accidents
Accidents in construction machinery, equipment, and vehicles, may be some of the most devastating construction accidents, as they can result into traumatic injuries, amputations, and property damages. They may be caused by defects and malfunctions, worker errors, or negligence on the part of the construction company or site manager.

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DUI South Carolina Laws Explained

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in DUI | 0 comments

In the state of South Carolina, you can be convicted for DUI if your BAC level exceeds 0.08%, regardless of whether or not you are driving impaired. When you are caught for DUI, South Carolina law requires that you subject yourself to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content. The website of Truslow & Truslow , Attorneys at Law reveals that a DUI conviction can have life altering consequences to the offender.
While you have the right to refuse to take either a breathalyzer or blood test, such refusal can have several consequences depending on whether it is your first, second, or third offense. South Carolina has one of the most stringent rules when it comes to BAC level. For drivers below 212 years old, the maximum BAC should be 0.2%.

One of the most common penalties for a DUI charge is license suspension. For first offense, the penalty is usually 6 months suspension of license. Succeeding offenses can mean a 9 month long suspension of your driver’s license. Aside from that, you could server a jail sentence which could run for 60 days for 3rd offense. Unfortunately, in South Carolina, a DUI offense remains on your driving record for a period of 10 years.
Another common penalty is the installation of ignition interlock device or IID which is a requirement if you get charged with DUI. For second time offenders, you will be required to install the device on your car for a period of 2 years. For third offense, the ignition interlock devices need to stay on your vehicle for a period of three years.

It is worth noting that law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC level at the time you were driving. Watch out because the prosecutors will try to prove that you were still culpable for DUI even beyond that time.

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Types of Substance Abuse

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Drug Laws | 0 comments

People use and abuse substances for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, there is a huge price to pay and substance abuse often results to criminal acts. According to the website of Nashville criminal attorney, Brent Horst, an estimated 13.5 million people consume alcohol regularly and more than 86 million are abusing alcohol. In addition, the 2014 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse estimated that 16% of the respondents used illict drugs in 2013.

Substance abuse is characterized by a pattern of use that brings about significant impairment or distress. It can affect a person’s performance at work, school, or home. There is a variety of substances in the market that an indiv idual can abuse and here they are:

1. Stimulant Abuse

Examples of stimulants are cocaine and metamphetamine as well as legal substances such as nicotine, caffeine, and over-the-counter stimulants. From the name itself, stimulants cause the release of the neurotranmitters dopamine and norepinephrine causing the stimulation of the brain’s reward and pleasure center. For this reason, it makes the user feel good. However, abuse of stimulants result to the depletion of energy and makes the user crave for the drug.

2. Depressant Abuse

Depressants include various opiates such as heroin, morphine, and opium. It also includes sedatives such as Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. These substances slow down the central nervous system, lessens inhibitions, creates relaxation, and decreases pain. However, they carry a high risk of overdose and addiction and also has related health problems. When abused, it can cause psychological and physical dependence as well.

3. Psychedelic Abuse

Psychedelic drugs are popularly known as hallucinogens in medical parlance. These substances distort perceptions, thoughts, and sensations. Those with underlying mental problems face a very high risk of triggering mental health problems.

4. Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana is the most commonly abused illegal drug and is now being used for recreational purposes. It can trigger short-term euphoria, physical relaxation, distorted perception and thought, increased appetite, and impaired memory and physical coordination. When taking marijuana, driving is not advisable due to the risks associated with it.

5. Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is the oldest and most widely used psychoactive substance. It can affect every organ of the body. Abuse to the substance can lead to aggression, impaired judgment, diminished inhibitions, and mood problems such as depression and anxiety.

It is worth noting that substance abuse is responsible for a phenomenon known as tolerance, which requires a larger amount of the substance to produce the same level of intoxication.

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Truck Driver Error – The Cause of Many Truck Accidents

Posted by on Feb 6, 2016 in Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

As opposed to the results of a number of surveys which say that drivers of passenger cars are more at fault in majority of road accidents wherein trucks are also involved, is the result of a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which says that truck accidents are more due to errors committed by drivers of semi-trucks (also called 18-wheelers or big rigs). The FMCSA is a separate administration within the US Department of Transportation (DOT); its primary mission is to enforce laws that will reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles (CMV), such as large trucks and buses.

The most common truck driver errors that have been identified by the FMCSA include: driver fatigue; driving too fast for road conditions; drivers impaired due to use of prescription or over-the-counter-drugs; overspeeding; unfamiliarity with the road; lack of experience in operating a semi-truck; lack of focus on the road; distracted driving; improper attachment of trailer; failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots; failure to make sure that truck brakes are in good working condition; and, depowering of the front brakes to lessen wear and tear of tires and breaks and so save on operating costs. All these errors lead to many other things that directly affect the capability of truck drivers to react to danger correctly and on time.

In its website, the law firm Ausband & Dumont says that many truck accidents are direct results of driver error and negligence; however, these accidents may be significantly mitigated by an experienced driver who is mindful of those around him or her.

It is common knowledge that semi-trucks pose a serious risk to other drivers due to their enormous size and heavy weight. Thus, if a driver does not possess the required skills to operate a truck safely or commits an error that results in an accident, fatalities and people sustaining severe injuries are not remote possibilities.

In 2013 alone, records from the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, showed 3,500 fatal large truck accidents. These accidents resulted to the death of 570 truck drivers, while the remaining count involved drivers of smaller vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Injuries, on the other hand, exceed more than a hundred thousand.

About half a million truck accidents occur every year, leaving so many victims and their families burdened with emotional and physical pains, and in financial difficulties. No one wants an accident to occur, not even the truck driver who may be at fault in the accident; however, due to the injuries or death of victims, erring truck drivers should only be made to face justice as well as compensate their victims for all damages resulting from (victims’) injuries.

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