John J. Wright

Information Technology Resources

Eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits

Posted by on May 28, 2013

Disabled individuals in the United States may be entitled to receive financial assistance in the form of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are two main programs which administer this financial support: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The eligibility criteria for these two programs varies substantially, so it’s important to know what is necessary in order to understand which program to apply to.

The SSDI program is intended to provide financial assistance to workers who have become injured and cannot continue to support themselves. The amount of benefits to which those who are qualified to receive SSDI benefits are entitled is directly related to their earnings before the injury. Therefore, the state you work in can play a substantial role in the amount of benefits you can receive – an individual who works in South Carolina is likely to receive less than one who worked in New York.

Qualifying for SSDI Benefits

In order to be eligible to receive SSDI benefits, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a disabling condition
  • Have worked a minimum amount of time
  • Have worked in a job covered under the SSDI program

If these conditions are met, the individual is generally able to receive SSDI benefits, which can play a substantial role in helping to allay some of the worst costs and consequences of developing a serious disability. Additionally, there are certain circumstances in which the individual may be able to continue to receive SSDI benefits even if they do return to work.

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What to do when you are prescribed a Defective Drug

Posted by on May 27, 2013

Drugs and medications prescribed by doctors are supposed to help treat or at least alleviate the symptoms of diseases and medical conditions, and in most cases they do. But once in a while, you come across a drug that may be defective or have side effects that may not surface immediately or isn’t easily identified as a side-effect of a particular drug. Just because a drug is being widely used doesn’t mean it is safe. The plaintiffs in personal injury lawsuits probably never thought they would need defective drug lawyers either.

Some of the more recent cases of defective drugs discovered involve brands that were once touted as “miracle” drugs and were used by millions of people. These include heart medication Pradaxa, birth control pill Yasmin and diabetes management drug Actos. Most of the cases against these defective drugs are based on allegations of insufficient testing, mislabeling, or failing to warn physicians and patients about all possible side effects.

To prevent or at least minimize the risk of being adversely affected by defective drugs, it is important to have the right information. Keep abreast with the latest updates from the Food and Drug Administration as well as the legal news, recalls, safety alerts and new studies.

If you believe that you may be taking a defective drug, follow these tips to cover your bases whatever happens:

  • See your doctor immediately with your concerns/beliefs/knowledge. Describe what side effects you have been experiencing and ask if it is possible a certain drug is responsible.
  • Continue taking the medication as prescribed until the doctor tells you to stop.
  • Even if your doctor tells you to stop, keep all the remaining drugs, including the box and product inserts as well as the prescription and receipts if possible. These may be needed as evidence if you are eligible to claim compensation for personal injury.
  • Keep whatever medical records and notes you have, especially those that deal with the suspected defective drug
  • Read the product inserts that come with your medication; it explains possible side effects, contraindications and recommended dosage. If the side effects you are experiencing are not included in the insert, this may also be a basis for a defective drug lawsuit

If you have been injured because you were given a defective drug, the pharmaceutical company is liable for all your medical and personal expenses and costs. Defective drugs lawyers would know how to get it done.

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Microsoft Facing Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Posted by on May 22, 2013

Computing mega-corporation Microsoft has been served with a patent infringement lawsuit. A small data mining company is suing the Windows operating system’s maker over technology it believes has been stolen from it.

patent infringement lawsuitMasterMine’s lawsuit focuses on technology that is able to read and analyze information from a spreadsheet. This is incredibly useful in the world of computing, as being able to automatically read, analyze, and create a report based on an entire database saves a lot of effort and can find trends in data that might not be apparent to human observers.

MasterMine believes it has a solid case and seeks an unspecified amount in damages. It has been providing this service since before Microsoft had such a division and holds key patents that protect its intellectual property.

Microsoft has not yet commented on the pending litigation, but has previously settled similar suits outside of court.

 

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How the Social Security Administration Determines Disability

Posted by on May 22, 2013

A disabling condition can make it impossible for an individual to work and support themselves. Fortunately, those who struggle with this type of situation are typically entitled to receive financial assistance in the form of Social Security disability benefits. However, in order to receive these benefits, it is first necessary that an applicant’s disability be recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The SSA uses a straightforward process in determining whether or not an individual should be considered disabled. The following is a brief explanation of the various steps that are taken in determining whether or not an applicant is qualified as disabled:

  1. The applicant’s benefit claim is filed with their local Social Security office.
  2. After determining whether or not the individual is eligible for benefits in non-medical respects, the application is forwarded to Disability Determination Services.
  3. Disability Determination Services investigates provided and available medical evidence. If the available evidence is not sufficient to make a determination, a consultative examination is arranged to provide the additional evidence necessary to make the determination.
  4. After a determination is made, the results are returned to the Social Security office and appropriate action is taken.

These are the basic stages of the disability determination process followed by the Social Security Administration. It is important to note, however, that this process can take a considerable length of time to be successfully completed, meaning that it can delay the benefits that a disabled individual may need for a significant period. This depends significantly on the state in which you live: states such as California, which are highly populated, often have a backlog, whereas states such as North Carolina, which are less densely populated, are less likely to have substantial backlogs.

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The Appeals Process for Disability Benefits

Posted by on May 20, 2013

Disabled individuals in the United States who cannot support themselves may be entitled to receive financial support in the form of disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the process of filing a claim for these benefits can be complicated, and it’s not uncommon for those who file for disability benefits to be rejected on the initial attempt. Fortunately, there is an appeals process in place for those who have been wrongfully rejected.

The majority of initial applications are rejected, meaning that most of those who apply will have to navigate the appeals process to get the benefits they need. The appeals process for disability benefits can be fairly complicated, and may require legal assistance for the applicant, depending on what level their appeal reaches. An appeal can be successful at any stage of the process, meaning that the applicant may be able to receive their benefits at any stage.

How the Process Works

There are multiple stages to the appeals process, which can be understood as:

  1. Initial application – the first step is the presentation of the application to a local SSA office. For instance, if you live in Illinois, you would send your application to an SSA office in your jurisdiction.
  2. Application rejection – when an application is rejected, it sets the stage for the appeals process to begin.
  3. Request for appeal – a signed request for an appeal of the decision must be returned to the same local office.
  4. Reconsideration – another individual in the same office will review the application and make a determination about benefits.
  5. Hearing – if the reconsideration results in another rejection, a hearing before an administrative law judge may be requested.
  6. Appeals Council Review – if the administrative law judge turns down the appeal, the Appeals Council will review your case.
  7. District Court Case – at the final level of appeal, you may bring a case against the SSA in a district court. You must have the representation of an attorney at this level of appeal.
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