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Colorado Springs Law Blog

Colorado workplace deaths down but still 77 killed

Workers' compensation benefits can include death benefits for surviving family members which are important for workers and their families to be familiar with. Workers' compensation benefits can serve as a safeguard for injured workers and their families in a variety of ways when they have suffered harm on the job.

A recent report out from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed that worker fatalities in Colorado decreased slightly last year. Though the number was a decrease from the prior year, 77 workers were still killed in fatal workplace accidents in Colorado last year which is down from 81 the previous year. That still represents 77 lives lost in the workplace and 77 families impacted by a workplace fatality in Colorado last year.

How to know when a disabled individual is eligible for disability

Knowing when a disabled individual can qualify for disability benefits can be exceptionally important for many disabled individuals and their families to understand. Social Security disability benefits are benefits that many families may critically rely on so it is essential to know who may be eligible to receive benefits.

Social Security disability benefits are essentially based on medical need and the disabled individual's work history. It is important to be familiar with what the Social Security Administration considered disabled. Essentially, the applicant must suffer from a medical condition that is severe enough that it prevents them from being able to work. In addition, the disability cannot be considered permanent in the sense that the medical condition the disabled individual is suffering from must be expected to last for 12 months or longer or result in death.

Disability benefits terminated for young woman with disease

Losing Social Security disability benefits can be alarming which is why disabled individuals should know how to fight back if they have lost their disability benefits. A 22-year old woman with a deadly disease recently learned that her Social Security disability benefits had been terminated. The woman lives with cystic fibrosis which causes serious lung damages and frequent infections. The woman receives medications and therapy 6 hours a day.

The woman was granted Social Security disability benefits as a result of her medical condition and also qualified for Medicaid as a result. The woman, however, received a letter in the past year that stated her health had improved since her last review and that she would no longer receive disability benefits. According to the woman, her health had actually worsened. Social Security disability benefits are periodically reviewed for eligibility.

Workers' compensation benefits help injured workers

Workers' compensation benefits are intended to help injured workers and workers suffering from an occupational illness with the challenges they face as a result of a workplace injury or illness. Specifically, workers' compensation benefits help with lost wages while the injured worker is unable to work and with medical expenses while they are recovering.

Injured workers may face medical bills piling up while they are unable to earn a paycheck because of their injuries. There are different types of harm that injured workers may suffer including temporary partial disability or temporary total disability. Temporary total disability benefits include two-thirds of the injured worker's average weekly wage. Temporary total disability benefits apply in circumstances when the injured worker is completely unable to work.

Long wait times for Social Security disability benefits

Because waiting for Social Security disability benefits can have serious consequences for disabled individuals badly in need of the benefits, it is helpful for disabled applicants to be familiar with the application and appeals processes. Greater than 800,000 Americans are currently waiting for an appeals hearing for Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, thousands of disabled applicants die each year while they wait for benefits. One United States representative noted it was unacceptable for 10,000 disabled individuals to die while waiting for Social Security disability benefits.

A total of approximately 8.8 million disabled individuals rely on the safety net provided by Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration reports that the average wait time for an appeals hearing is 540 days. There has been a greater demand for benefits are baby boomers begin to age. Delayed SSD benefits have consequences.

How long will it take to get Social Security Disability benefits?

Once you find it necessary to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or realize you may meet the eligibility requirements, you probably hope for immediate assistance. However, according to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) 2018 Fiscal Year overview, 605 days was the average waiting time for more than one million people waiting for a hearing request.

Why does it take so long?

The different types of workers' compensation benefits

Workers' compensation benefits are important benefits available to help workers with employment-related injuries and illnesses. Workers' compensation benefits are a type of benefit that is available to injured workers in the state of Colorado and is an insurance program paid by employers.

Workers' compensation disability benefits must be paid to injured workers to help them with injuries they suffer on the job. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system and most accidents, injuries and illnesses are covered by workers' compensation benefits. Workers' compensation benefits can help with necessary medical care the worker needs associated with their injury or illness; replacement income; vocational rehabilitation and costs or retraining; permanent disability; and survivors benefits for surviving loved ones when a worker is killed on the job in a fatal accident.

A closer look at the work history requirement for SSD benefits

This blog recently discussed the two main components to qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, including the medical condition requirement and the work history requirement. Understanding both is important and taking a closer look at the work history requirement can be helpful.

The work history requirement entails that the disabled applicant has worked in jobs covered by Social Security disability. In addition to the work history requirement, the disabled individual must also meet the medical condition requirement which requires that they suffer from a medical condition severe enough it prevents them from working and is expected to last for greater than a year.

Understanding the medical condition requirement for disability

The availability of Social Security disability benefits is based on two important components. Those components include a medical requirement and a work history requirement and it is helpful for disabled applicants to be familiar with both.

Social Security disability is available to disabled individuals who suffer from a medical condition that is severe enough that it prevents them from working and is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death. Essentially, SSD benefits are not available for short-term disability. To meet the medical history requirement, the Social Security Administration provides lists of medical conditions that can satisfy it including the Listing of Impairments.

The importance of workers' compensation for Colorado workers

Workers' compensation benefits are important benefits for Colorado workers and are a benefit they should thoroughly understand. Because so many workers spend most days at their jobs, it is important that they know what protections are available when they have suffered a workplace injury or illness.

Workers' compensation disability is one important protection for injured workers. Colorado requires employers with greater than one part-time or full-time employee to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Workers' compensation provides benefits regardless of fault, however, injured workers are unable to bring a personal injury claim for damages against the employer if they are receiving workers' compensation benefits.