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Scranton Workers' Comp And SSD Law Blog

Understanding joint tenancy arrangements

Those who own property with a spouse or another person may be able to title the property in a way that potentially avoids going through probate. Pennsylvania residents and others may achieve this goal by creating joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This means that when one owner dies, another will automatically inherit his or her share of the property. Generally speaking, such rights can only be granted if all owners have an equal share of the asset.

Furthermore, these rights must be conveyed by all owners at the same time and with the same document. Finally, all owners must have the ability to enjoy or possess the property when joint tenancy with right of survivorship is granted. It is important to note that a property may need to go through probate after the final joint owner of the property has passed on.

Basic criteria necessary for Social Security Disability benefits

A variety of circumstances, such as a terrible injury, progressive disease or debilitating mental health condition, could qualify someone in Pennsylvania for Social Security Disability benefits. Almost all severe physical or mental conditions that significantly limit people's ability to engage in normal daily activities could meet the standards to award SSD benefits.

The duration of the disabling condition matters. An individual must have suffered disability for at least 12 months or expect it to continue for at least 12 months. During this 12-month period, an adult must experience disability that prevents or limits working. For children to qualify, they must lose the ability to engage in activities normal for their age.

Applying for SSD benefits more successful with familiarity

Social security disability benefits provide reliable and welcomed support for many families and individuals in Pennsylvania. However, before people can begin to receive any benefits, they must first qualify after having applied for assistance. If their application has been approved and their situation has been classified as eligible, they will begin to receive benefits. 

People who take time to familiarize themselves with the application process can benefit from having an awareness of what to expect as they seek assistance from the Social Security Administration. Experts recommend that people read through their application in its entirety before and after filling the paperwork out. Eligibility for social security benefits depends on a person's situation and the extent of their medical condition. The application process itself will take some time and people should begin it several months in advance of when they wish to begin receiving benefits. 

Is depression treatment covered by workers' compensation?

Some people may joke about being depressed at having to go to work in Scranton, but for many, work-related depression is a very real issue that they are forced to deal with. If you count yourself among this group, then you may be questioning what sort of assistance is available to help you cover the costs of your condition. Workers’ compensation benefits may seem to be out of the question given the perceived difficulty in actually proving that your work is the cause of your depression. Yet is that really the case?

Depression, stress, anxiety and mental illness and the costs associated with their treatment may indeed be covered by workers’ compensation. To qualify, you must first be able to show that your depression is indeed related to your work. The first step in doing this is to consult with your physician, psychologist or therapist to establish an actual medical cause of your depression. Their opinions and recommendations can provide a solid foundation on which to build your claim.

What type of benefits does workers' compensation offer?

If you work in the state of Pennsylvania, you should learn about the types of programs available that protect you in different situations. One of these programs is workers' compensation. The objective of this program is to provide assistance to you or to your family members if you develop a work-related illness or experience a work-related injury. Such an illness or injury may be short-term or may even be fatal. 

As explained by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, in the event of a fatal illness or injury, your surviving spouse or dependents may be able to receive financial compensation in the form of death benefits. Any medical treatment associated with your illness or injury may be paid for via the workers' compensation program. This is so for fatal or non-fatal incidents.

Understanding asbestos exposure

If you work in the construction or demolition industries, a common word that you may hear in the context of a safety hazard is asbestos. Many who perform your same type of work have come to us here at Steppacher Law knowing that asbestos exposure can be dangerous yet not fully understanding what it is and/or why it presents hazards to your health. Educating yourself about it not only can help you be more vigilant of it but also understand whose responsibility it is to protect you from it.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that is heat resistant and thus is used in many building materials as a method of fire protection. At the height of its use, over 3,000 products incorporated asbestos into their design. However, breathing in asbestos particles and fibers was shown to contribute to serious lung diseases, which lead to the Environmental Protection Agency seeking a ban on its use. While a ban was never enacted, manufacturers drastically cut back on its use. Some build products today do still contain asbestos, but their concentrations are minimal.

Anxiety due to work

Most in Scranton might assume that a workplace injury would have to be something tangible that causes damages that can be empirically verified. Anxiety would not seem to fall into this category. Yet millions suffer from workplace anxiety that can dramatically impact both their ability to do their jobs to the best of their abilities as well as their overall quality of life. Proving that one’s anxiety is due to the stresses that they experience in the workplace might be difficult, yet that does not mean that they do not have a case to be made. 

Indeed, tension and stress related to one’s career has been identified as one of the main causes of anxiety in American adults. Per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the most common causes of workplace anxiety include: 

  • Dealing with deadlines
  • Relationships with coworkers
  • Managing staff
  • Dealing with interoffice issues

Drivers that construction workers should look out for in the fall

Now that the summer months are over, many construction projects in Pennsylvania are nearing their final stages. Local contractors are trying their hardest to make sure these important roads are ready before the snow starts falling on the ground.

Even though summer has the highest motor vehicle fatality and accident rates out of all the seasons, construction workers performing road repairs should still remain cautious. Autumn comes with its own seasonal hazards for various drivers in Pennsylvania. There is a yearly average of 1,872 crashes and more than 20 fatalities in the state’s work zones, and not all of them are from the summer. Those involved with the industry should understand which drivers pose a threat for them as they continue road work into the colder seasons of the year.

SSD benefits due to asthma

It has been our experience here at Steppacher Law that a great deal of misinformation exists about Social Security Disability benefits and the people who are awarded them. Many might think that if you are seeking such benefits due to illness that it is simply because you tend to be prone to sickness. Yet one cannot secure such benefits by claiming that they are too sick to work. Indeed, a clinical diagnosis is required to qualify for SSD, along with certain exacerbating conditions that make it difficult for you to perform the normal functions of a job. 

Respiratory illnesses are among the major contributors to impairments that prove to be disabling. Even something as seemingly minor as asthma might make it difficult for you to work. Of course, you simply having asthma may not qualify you for disability benefits. Rather, you must meet the case standards established by the Social Security Administration

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Scranton, PA 18503

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