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geography-1By Bill Bishop and Roberto Gallardo

The Social Security disability system began in 1957 as a way to help people too sick to work. By 2009 more than 9.6 million Americans were counted as disabled. Rates of disability in rural America are 80 percent higher than in the cities.

More than one out of four working age adults (15 to 64) in Buchanan County, Virginia, was receiving disability payments from Social Security in 2009.

The Advocator GroupOriginally posted on The Advocator Blog

"Fact: Every second, a worker in the U.S. becomes disabled. Then what?"

That is the question that Jon Arbay, Executive Director and founder of the National Association for Injured and Disabled Workers (NAIDW), found himself faced with after he suffered a disability that halted his career indefinitely.

cobra_new1About COBRA

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) requires most group health plans to provide a temporary continuation of group health coverage that otherwise might be terminated. COBRA requires continuation coverage to be offered to covered employees, their spouses, and their dependent children when group health coverage would otherwise be lost due to certain specific events. Those events include the death of a covered employee, termination or reduction in the hours of a covered employee’s employment for reasons other than gross misconduct, divorce, or legal separation from a covered employee, a covered employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare, and a child’s loss of dependent status (and therefore coverage) under the plan.

Disability Facts & Statistics

The statistics show that this can happen to you!

* In the last 10 minutes, 498 Americans became disabled. National Safety Council, Injury Facts 2008 Ed.

* In the U.S., a disabling injury occurs every 1 second, a fatal injury occurs every 4 minutes. National Safety Council, Injury Facts 2008 Ed.

* 3 in 10 workers entering the work force today will become disabled before retiring. Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet January 31, 2007

* 1 in 7 workers can expect to be disabled for five years or more before retirement. "Commissioners Disability Table, 1998," Health Insurance Association of America, the New York Times, February 2000

* An illness or accident will keep 1 in 5 workers out of work for at least a year before the age of 65. Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, November, 2005

* Unexpected illnesses and injuries cause 350,000 personal bankruptcies each year. "Ilness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy," Health Affairs, February 2, 2005

* Disability causes nearly 50% of all mortgage foreclosures, 2% are caused by death. Health Affairs, The Policy Journal of the Health Sphere, 2 February 2005

* Over 51 million Americans are classified as disabled, representing 18% of the population. U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office, November 2008

* Workers today are 3 times more likely to suffer a long-term disability than to die during their working years. The Council of Disability Insurers. Long-Term Disability Claims Review, 2005

* While many people think that disabilities are caused by freak accidents, the majority of long-term absences are due to back injuries and ilnesses, such as cancer and heart disease. Council for Disability Awareness, Long-Term Disability Claims Review, 2007

* The average long-term disability absence last 2.5 years. Commissioner's Individual Disability Table A

* Less than half- 39% of the 2.1 million workers who applied for SSDI benefits in 2005 were approved. Social Security Administration, Office of Disability and Income Security Programs

* The average monthly Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) payment is $1,004, replacing on average, about 33% of your current income. Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet, 2008

* 32% of individuals receiving long-term disability insurance benifits do not qualify for SSDI benefits, and 95% are not eligible for workers' compensation.

* According to the Federal Reserve, 44% of U.S. families spend more than they earn. Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Consumer Finances 2004

* 71% of American employees live from paycheck to paycheck. American Payroll Association, "Getting Paid in America" Survey, 2008



Workplace Injury & Death Statistics

The raw statistics are always startling: In 2009, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,340 workers were killed on the job—an average of 12 workers every day—and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases. More than 4.1 million work-related injuries and illnesses were reported, but this number understates the problem. The true toll of job injuries is two to three times greater—about 8 million to12 million job injuries and illnesses each year. And the cost in dollars alone? The cost of job injuries and illnesses is enormous—estimated at $159 billion to $318 billion a year for direct and indirect costs of disabling injuries.



Chronic Pain Facts & Statistics

Chronic Pain Community Facts and Statistics:

Chronic pain affects an estimated 116 million American adults and costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity. - Source: IOM - United States Department of Health and Human Services
- Source: P.A.N.D.O.R.A.

Disability Facts & Statistics

Disability Community Facts and Statistics
  • 650 million people living with disabilities (“PWD”) worldwide!
  • 50+ million PWDs living in the US alone!


Published in Resources

Federal Fraud: Whistle Blower Hotline!

Report Medicare Fraud:

Please use this link to report any fraud. You may or may not remain anonymous depending upon your state laws. You may also need to testify.

Keep in mind that the image of workers submitting fraudulent claims is, for the most part, false! Studies show that only 1 to 2 percent of workers' compensation claims are fraudulant. However, there are still people out there that are abusing the system.

Insurance companies have shaped this stigma through decades of similar claims. Remember, fraud is not commited by workers only. You can also report your insurance company, employer, and any doctors or treatment centers with inflated claims. -


Choose Your State


Published in NAIDW ABOUT US

Injury, illness, pain and disability cases can often pit the interests of an injured or disabled worker against the interests of an employer and insurer. For this reason, the workers compensation, injury and disability claims process can be adversarial and difficult and will often necessitate the use of an attorney who is experienced with regards to your specific claims.The information presented on these pages should generally be suitable for worker's claimants in most states. However, claimants should keep in mind the fact that each state is different with regard to workman's compensation,personal injury and disability laws, and for this reason consultation with an attorney may be advantageous.

Please Note: The information contained in these pages, of course, are of a general informational nature. They do not constitute legal advice, and should not be construed as such. For legal information pertaining to the state in which you reside, please consult with a qualified attorney or lawyer. You can search find a local attorney here.

Workers Compensation Q&A


1. What exactly is workmans comp or workers compensation?

Workers compensation is a system that exists in all states to protect workers who become hurt on the job or contract an illness as a result of their job. Fundamentally, the system works like this: when a worker becomes injured, rather than sue their employer, they can file a claim forcompensation.

Workmen's comp is a no fault system that allows injured or sick employees to receive certain benefits (which normally includes medical care, payment of a certain percentage of a worker's wages, and, in many cases, the continuation of certain benefits) while not suing their employer (though, in some instances, an employer can still be sued, though generally this involves extreme negligence).

2. How soon should you notify an employer of a workmans comp injury?

As soon as a worker realizes that a workplace injury has occurred, he or she should immediately provide notification to their employer. Notification of a workmans comp compensable injury is the first step in the workers compensation process and it allows for an injury report to be filed with the state workers compensation board (which may be known as the industrial commission, depending on the state).

It's impossible to understate the importance of notification when it comes to an injury that may be compensable for workers compensation benefits. Failure to do this can even provide justification for a workers compensation carrier to deny a worker's benefits, even if the workplace injury is very serious.

And…taking an excessively long time to inform an employer of a compensable workman's comp injury can even potentially throw up red flags regarding the illegitimacy of a claim (i.e. possible f-r-a-u-d).

However, even after an employer has been duly notified of a work accident or work injury, an individual may wish to contact their state's workers compensation board to ensure that all the necessary documents are filed to properly establish a claim.

Additionally, an injured worker should provide their employer with the following information if the injury was the result of a specific accident: the names of all witnesses and a description of how, when, and where the accident and injury took place.

Workers should also know that providing employer notification is particularly important in cases involving an employee's exposure to toxic substances and chemicals such as pesticides and asbestos.

3. If you have a workers comp case and can return to light duty, must your employer find you a job?

In most states, when a worker who has filed for workmans comp benefits is able to return to light duty, the employer must provide suitable work and return the worker to the job he or she left, or an equivalent job, provided that such a position is available.

However, going back to work in a light duty capacity may mean that an employee still needs to be paid workers compensation benefits to make up the difference for what they might earned in their regular position were they fully recovered.

Sadly, for this very reason, some employers will claim they have no light duty employment available simply to stop paying workers compensation benefits altogether.

Therefore, for this reason, injured workers should avoid being overzealous in their desire to return to work. Moreover, they should not play down their symptoms when speaking with a doctor who is overseeing their recovery. Because the unfortunate truth is, the worker who sincerely wishes to return to work may discover that their employer does not have their interests at heart.

4. How much do you get for workmans comp or workers compensation?

If you have a compensable workmans comp claim, you'll usually receive a benefit that is equal to 66 percent, or two-thirds of your regular wages or salary. This is typically a gross dollar amount (ordinarily, taxes on workers compensation benefits do not have to paid until a worker is released to work or it has been determined that a worker's injury has resulted in a level of permanent incapacity).

Hower, there are other issues that play into the process and they involve whether or not a worker's accident-or-injury-related impairments are temporary or permanent, and total or partial.

For example, a worker filing for workers compensation benefits may be found to have sustained a permanent impairment, but one that only renders the worker partially disabled. In such cases, the worker may only be able to return to his or her employment in a capacity that pays less. Workers comp, in those instances, would pay the difference between what a worker formerly earned and then later earned as a result of a job related accident or injury.

Such payments are often referred to as temporary partial disability payments and they may be limited to a maximum weekly amount which a worker can receive, as well as a maximum number of weeks for which the worker can be paid.

Workers may also receive a workmans comp lump sum settlement, based on the degree of impairment suffered (such as the loss of a finger due to a work-related accident). And, in cases where permanent and total incapacity is the end result, the lump sum settlement will typically take into account a worker's earnings and projected life expectancy.

5. How much do you receive on a weekly basis for workers compensation?

The amount an injured worker will receive in workers compensation benefits relates to two factors.

The first factor is the workers current level of income. The second factor is a percentage. Essentially, a worker who files for workmans comp will receive sixty-six percent (two thirds) of an amount equivalent to their weekly income, and, typically, this is two-thirds of a worker's gross weekly income.

Injuries or work-related illness that renders a worker permanently incapacitated regarding the ability to work may also receive a lump sum settlement.

Additionally, the families members of workers who have been killed on the job are eligible to receive death benefits from workmans comp, as well.

6. Can an employer dispute a workers compensation claim?

Yes, an employer may dispute a workmans comp claim and if this is the case, after the claim is rejected by the employer's carrier, the matter may be taken to either the industrial commission, workers compensation commission, or workers compensation board, depending on how it is referred to in the state in which you live.

If your employer decides to dispute your workmans comp claim, the state workers compensation board (or the state's industrial commission) will normally hold a hearing to arbitrate the dispute. In the event that arbitration favors the employer, one or several appeals will generally be available to the claimant.

7. What happens if you lose a workmans comp case at arbitration?

What happens if you lose a workmans comp case at arbitration? Typically, you'll be able to file an appeal and have the employer continue your workmans comp benefits.

However, the longer a workmans comp case drags on, the worse it becomes for the worker since the worker only receives two thirds of what they normally might have received from pay. It's for this reason that it is not at all uncommon for injured workers to deplete their savings after a workers compensation claim has been filed.

8. Why would an employer dispute a worker's compensation claim?

The answer to why an employer would dispute a workmans comp claim is simple and boils down to a single five letter word: money. Like any other type of i-n-s-u-r-a-n-c-e product, employers pay p-r-e-m-i-u-m-s to provide workers compensation benefits. And those amounts are directly affected when injured workers file for benefits.

Logically, the more workmans comp claims filed, the higher the costs for employers (it is for this reason, that investigative agencies are routinely used to monitor the daily activities of workers who have filed workers compensation claims).

And, unfortunately, there is another factor involved. Many employers will simply assume that a worker who has workers compensation on the basis of carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress injury, or a lumbar back injury is not being completely truthful.

Such employer bias tends to be the case, of course, for injuries involving inexplicable pain that cannot be wholly verified by medical examination, or even sufficiently verified by xrays or other imaging.

Does this mean that the injured worker who has constant back pain is malingering? Definitely not. Many medical conditions are difficult to objectively verify. The bottom line is simply this: workmans comp is a benefit and employees who have become injured or sick as a result of their job should file to protect themselves. Whether or not the employer believes that the worker is legitimately injured is really irrelevant.

9. What injuries are covered by workmens compensation?

A compensable workers compensation injury is generally defined as an occupational injury that arises "out of and in the course of employment".

Translation: for the injury to be covered by workmans comp, the injury must generally have occured at work, and must also have been related to work.

Therefore, an injury that occurs in the course of one's work, or an injury that occurs while running an errand for one's employer would typically be covered by workmans comp, whereas an injury that occurs on the premises of one's job location during lunch time would not be covered by workman's comp.

Furthermore, to be covered by workers compensation, an occupational injury must generally have resulted from an accident (though some injuries, it is true, are the result of repeat or cumulative trauma, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or conditions resulting from toxic substance exposure).

Accidents, of course, are events that happen unexpectedly and without prior knowledge. And for this reason, an individual who willfully injures himself or places himself into a position for which such an outcome is likely will generally not be covered by workmans comp.

10. Can you file for workmens comp and also file for social security disability?

Yes, you can certainly file a claim for workmans comp and social security disability benefits simultaneously. The two benefit systems are completely separate and distinct (ssd is a standardized federal program while workers compensation laws may differ state to state).

However, an individual seeking both types of benefits may gain advantage from the input of a workers compensation attorney since "timing issues" (as regards an ssd claim) can, in some cases, affect a workman's comp claim.

A person seeking benefits may decide to choose an attorney who can handle both types of claims, though very often, attorneys will handle only one or the other; that is, either social security disability cases or workers compensation cases exclusively.

Of course, obtaining distinct representation on both types of claims may be a good idea since a claimant, ideally, should be represented by a specialist as opposed to someone who simply "dabbles" in various areas of practice.

11. How much of your earnings do you get in workman's comp benefits?

Workmans comp is a system that varies from state to state. However, in most states, an injured or sick worker will receive an amount equivalent to two thirds of their gross or pre-tax earnings.

However, the individual filing for or receiving workers compensation should bear in mind that there is usually a cap placed on the amount a worker can ultimately receive.

In other words, an injured or sick worker who normally earns $80,000.00 per year may find that they will receive no more in workmans comp benefits than a worker who has filed for workers compensation and who earns $50,000.00 per year.

12. When do workman's compensation benefits start?

Your workmans comp benefits should begin immediately from the time you file a claim for workers compensation.

In most states, your employer will immediately begin to pick the cost for your medical expenses as well as begin to pay you a percentage of your income.

What is the percentage of income that you will receive? Typically (that is, in most states), a worker will receive two thirds of whatever their gross weekly income was.

13. When can you file a claim for workmans comp?

You can file a claim for workers compensation benefits as soon as you become injured on the job or develop an illness that is related to your work.

And, in fact, taking any delay in filing for workmans comp benefits after you've become sick or injured on the job can pose a distinct disadvantage and can potentially allow a workers compensation carrier to deny a worker's benefits.

In fact, a substantial delay between the time a potentially compensable workmans compensation occurs and the time it is reported can throw up red flags for a carrier who suspects that a benefit claim is not wholly legitimate.

Initiating the process, of course, is a matter that involves providing notification to an employer of the worker's injury or work-related illness. Notification should be made promptly and should include pertinent details such as the time and place of the injury, as well as how the injury occurred.

A worker may also wish to provide a list of witnesses if the injury was due to a specific workplace accident.

14. What does workman's comp or workers compensation provide for?

A worker who becomes sick or injured as a result of their working environment and is approved for workmans comp benefits can generally expect to receive the following:
payment of the expenses attributable to medical care (including initial emergency care, followup treatment, and rehabilitation services);

payment of a percentage of earnings (typically 66 % of a worker's average weekly earnings);

payment of a lump sum amount in the event of permanent incapacity;

and payment of benefits in the event of death.
In many cases, a person who receives workers compensation will also find that certain benefits will be continued for the time during which they are incapacitated and unable to work.

15. What are the main benefits of workers compensation?

The primary, or main, benefits of workmans comp include indemnity payments for lost wages, payment for medical services, payment for necessary rehabilitation services, and, unfortunately, in some cases, death benefits.

Regarding the matter of wages, workers compensation can provide for lost wages for either temporary disability or permanent disability. In cases involving permanent incapacity, workers compensation will provide for a lump sum payment.

Regarding rehabilitation services, most states include provisions in their workers compensation laws for rehab programs which, of course, benefits employees since rehabilitated workers are more likely to re-enter the workforce.

16. Who decides if you get workman's comp benefits or not?

In most states, it will be the workmans comp carrier who makes this decision, i.e. approves or disapproves the workers compensation claim.

If the carrier disapproves the workmans comp claim, the claim can be arbitrated before the workers compensation board (depending on the state, it may also be called "the industrial commission).

If the workers compensation board or industrial commission denies the workmans comp claim, it can, typically, go to court for resolution.

17. Is there a statute of limitations for workers compensation claims?

Yes, workers compensation laws require an employee (or his or her family) to file a claim for workmans comp benefits and, typically, this filing for benefits must be done within one year of the date of the injured worker's accident.

18. How do you start the workman's compensation process?

Though workmans comp laws vary and differ state by state, most jurisdictions require a injured or sick worker to notify their employer of an injury within thirty days of an accident or and injury becoming known (failure to do so can potentially result in a denial of benefits).

Providing notification to an employer of a workers compensation compensable injury is typically done by giving notice to someone in a managerial position. However, in cases where a worker is unable to provide such notification (perhaps due to hospitalization), the notice requirement can generally be excused, provided that the employer is otherwise made aware of the worker's injury.

Once notification has been made to the employer, the employer can submit a report to the state worker's compensation board (or industrial commission). The employer can also notify the worker's comp carrier. At that point, the workmans comp carrier will be in the position to begin paying an injured or sick worker's medical bills, as well as a percentage of the worker's average weekly income (usually 66 percent), though payment of wages .

However, the workmans compensation carrier may reject the worker's claim, leading to arbitration with the state workers compensation board or industrial commission, and, potentially, a series of appeals if arbitration does not find in favor of the worker.

In such cases, a worker would certainly be wise to seek the assistance of an attorney who specializes in workers compensation claims.

19. What jobs are usually not covered by workmen's comp?

Typically, the following jobs will not be covered by workers comp:

- part-time domestic employees in private homes
- newspaper carriers
- real estate sales agents
- some agricultural workers
- casual workers*
- unpaid volunteers (who are not considered employees in the first place)
- sole proprietors
- partners

* A casual worker is a worker whose work is not continuous or recurrent or is below a certain monetary threshold.

20. Who actually pays workmans compensation benefits?

The workmans comp benefits that are paid out to an injured worker are, usually, paid out by the employer's workman's comp carrier.

However, in a small number of states, employers are actually given the option to self-insure.

And in instances where an employer has done so, the employer is liable for whatever workers compensation benefits an injured worker would have been entitled to receive.

21. Are mental or psychological conditions covered by workers compensation?

Mental conditions can be covered by workmans comp, but, typically, this is in the sense of a psychological or pyschiatric condition being tied to a physical condition.

For example, job related stress or tension may contribute to a heart attack. Another example might be a worker who suffers a physical injury and later develops anxiety disorder or PTSD as a result of this.

In either case, the primary condition in many cases would be the physical injury, though the worker's mental consideration would also merit consideration.

Worker's compensation claims can be won solely on the basis of mental or psychiatric impairments, but, generally, it must be shown that the condition was the result of an abnormal work environment.

22. Is an independent contractor covered by workmans comp?

It depends. Independent contractors are not eligible for workmans comp; however, some employers will classify a worker as an independent contractor when in fact the worker in question more readily fits the definition of a basic employee.

If a worker is designated as an independent contractor but is substantially "controlled" in the conduct of work duties, then the worker is an employee.

What are control issues? Basically, control issues involve a person's work schedule, whether or not they are trained for job tasks by the employer, and whether or not the performance of their job duties is largely dependent on resources made available by the employer.

In other words, if the individual is largely dependent on the employer in order for work duties to be accomplished, the individual is probably an employee…even if on paper they are designated as an indepependent contractor. Employees, of course, may file for worker's compensation.

23. Can your employer retaliate on a workmans compensation claim?

Without a doubt, many employers, if given the opportunity, would retaliate against workers who filed for workers compensation benefits. And the motivation behind this would have everything to do with money since the filing of workmans comp claims drives up costs for employers.

In fact, many employers routinely use investigative agencies to determine if a workers compensation claim is groundless (and to "trip up" even those workers who are truly injured and have solid workmans comp claim).

Legally, however, an employer is prohibited from retaliating. This includes taking action against an employee who files for workers compensation benefits (such as disciplining them or even firing them) or taking action against a worker who assists someone else in their worker's compensation claim.

24. Will my employer think my workman's comp claim is not legitimate?

From the standpoint of an employer, ideally, it would be best to never have to payout on a workers compensation benefit claim. Unfortunately, this employer-based mindset often sets up injured and sick workers up for a level of scrutiny for which the results may not be fair.

To avoid a suspicion or accusation of f-r-a-u-d regarding a workmans comp claim, a worker should be mindful of the following factors:
If no one witnessed the injury or accident, this may cause the worker's compensation carrier to have suspicions regarding the claim. For this reason, a worker will certainly want to present a list of witnesses to the accident.

If the employee's story regarding the accident changes, this may cause suspicion as well. For this reason, a worker filing a workers compensation claim should be very clear in their own mind regarding the details of a work accident or injury.

Finally, if there is an unusually protacted length of time between the occurrence of the work injury or work accident and the time that it is reported as a compensable workers compensation claim, a carrier may suspect that the claim is not wholly legitimate. For this reason, among others, a work accident or injury should be reported promptly and immediately to one's employer, typically to someone in a supervisory capacity.

25. What medical expenses will workers compensation pay for?

If you become sick or injured on the job, you may be entitled to workmans comp benefits that provide compensation for mental injuries, traumatic physical injuries, and injuries that are the result of cumulative or repetitive trauma (carpal tunnel syndrome comes to mind for such cases).

Typically, the medical expenses that are paid for by workers compensation will include expenses related to hospital and treating physician care, emergency room care, the costs associated with imaging studies (xrays), blood panels, and other testing, and even the cost of rehabilitation treatment.

If you file a workers compensation claim, you employer's workmans comp carrier will immediately start paying all your medical expenses. This also includes bills for surgery that might be necessary.

26. Does a workmans comp injury have to be from a specific accident?

If you become sick or injured on the job, you may be entitled to workmans comp benefits that provide compensation for mental injuries, traumatic physical injuries, and injuries that are the result of cumulative or repetitive trauma (carpal tunnel syndrome comes to mind for such cases).

Typically, the medical expenses that are paid for by workers compensation will include expenses related to hospital and treating physician care, emergency room care, the costs associated with imaging studies (xrays), blood panels, and other testing, and even the cost of rehabilitation treatment.

If you file a workers compensation claim, you employer's workmans comp carrier will immediately start paying all your medical expenses. This also includes bills for surgery that might be necessary.

27. Can I get workers comp even if the accident was my fault?

The nice thing about the workers compensation system is that, regardless of the state in which you live, workmans comp is uniformly designed to be a no-fault system.

So, in other words, even if a job injury is caused by a work accident that is determined to have been the fault of the worker, the worker may still be eligible for worker's compensation benefits.

The only exceptions to the no-fault workman's comp system tend to be injuries that are self-inflicted, or are the result of a worker's impairment due to drug or alcohol use on the job.

28. Do you need a lawyer for a workmans comp claim?

Whether or not you need a lawyer to assist you with a workers compensation benefit claim may depend on a number of factors.

If your work injuries are relatively minor and the expectation is that the impairments caused by the job injury will not be permanent, there may be little need to hire a workman's comp lawyer.

However, if the work-related injury is serious and the worker's compensation claim is rejected, getting an attorney involved in the case may be the best course of action.

Also, an attorney may be helpful in the following instances:
the workmans comp is accepted but the worker does not receive the correct amount

the employer retaliates against the worker after the workers compensation claim is filed, either by disciplinary action or by outright firing.

medical care is denied to the injured worker
However, since workman's comp cases may be adversarial (as regards the employer/carrier) and since consultations with workers compensation lawyers tend to be free, it's probably prudent for an injured worker to speak with a qualified attorney before doing anything independently.

Having a worker's compensation attorney handle a case can often ensure that an injured worker is treated fairly and given appropriate financial consideration with regard to their injury or illness.

29. Can I get workers comp even if the accident was my fault?

The nice thing about the workers compensation system is that, regardless of the state in which you live, workmans comp is uniformly designed to be a no-fault system.

So, in other words, even if a job injury is caused by a work accident that is determined to have been the fault of the worker, the worker may still be eligible for worker's compensation benefits.

The only exceptions to the no-fault workman's comp system tend to be injuries that are self-inflicted, or are the result of a worker's impairment due to drug or alcohol use on the job.

30. How do you choose a worker's compensation lawyer or attorney?

When it comes to something as important as a workmans comp claim, you probably want someone to handle your case who is experienced and who also has expertise.

For this reason, you may find it wise to choose an attorney who specializes in workers compensation claims, and has handled such cases for a certain length of time.

While you can locate a workers compensation attorney via advertising, the state bar association, and even the yellow pages, if you know someone who also had a worker's compensation claim, inquire as to whether or not they were represented. If they had a lawyer handling their case and were satisfied by the work their lawyer did, you may wish to seek a referral.

However, if you cannot obtain a qualified referral for a potential attorney, you may wish to consult with more than one attorney to determine who is best qualified to handle your claim.

31. How much does a workers comp attorney or workers compensation lawyer get paid?

Though workers compensation systems vary by state, attorneys who handle workmans comp cases are usually entitled to receive a fixed percentage of the compensable benefits to which a sick or injured worker is found to be entitled.

However, depending on the state in which you live and file your workers compensation claim, if your employer (or the workman's comp carrier) denies the claim in bad faith, the burden of paying the attorney fees may fall back on the employer.

32. If you have a workmans comp injury, can you choose the doctor who sees you?

This may depend on the state in which you live. Some states may require that an injured worker be seen by a doctor who has been chosen by the employer or workman's comp carrier. Other states may allow a worker to select a physician of their own choosing, subject to approval by the state workers compensation board, which in some states is known as the industrial commission.

However, in most states a worker may make an objection to the treatment provided by the employer and request that another doctor be selected. Additionally, in most states a worker will also have the right to be seen by their own doctor as well.

Medicare Q&A

1. How do I become eligible for Medicare?

Most people become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65. If you are under the age of 65, however, you may become entitled to Medicare 24 months after the date that the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines that you first became eligible for SSDI benefits.

2. How do I enroll in Medicare when I become eligible?

If you are receiving SSDI benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B in the 25th month of your disability payments. You will be enrolled sooner if you suffer from end-stage renal disease or ALS. If you are automatically enrolled, you will not pay a premium for Part A, but you will pay a monthly premium for Part B ($115.40 in 2011).

Prior to your Medicare eligibility date, Medicare will send you an initial enrollment package containing information about the program, an Initial Enrollment Questionnaire, and your Medicare card. If you choose to keep Part A and Part B, all you have to do is sign the card and keep it.

3. Will my family be covered when I become eligible for Medicare?

Unfortunately, no. Medicare is not offered as a family or dependent benefit. This means that all people must qualify on an individual basis in order to be eligible for Medicare benefits. For example, a person under age 65 does not automatically receive Medicare because their spouse turns 65 and enrolls in the Medicare program. In addition, when a parent qualifies for Medicare, this does not entitle their dependent children to Medicare coverage.

If you have a family member who needs health insurance and does not individually qualify for Medicare, you should consider contacting your State Health Insurance Assistance Program to discuss your options.

4. How much does Medicare cost?

Most people with Medicare get Part A (Hospital Insurance) premium-free because they have sufficiently worked and paid taxes into the system. If you are receiving SSDI benefits, then your Part A will be premium-free. If you do not have enough work history, you have to pay a monthly premium for Part A. Everyone has to pay a monthly premium for Part B (Medical Insurance). In 2011, the monthly premium for Part B is $115.40. Additionally, people with high incomes have to pay a higher Part B premium. Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans are available for an additional monthly premium.

If you have low income and assets, you may qualify for help with some of your Medicare costs. An Advocator Medicare specialist can help you determine whether you qualify.

5. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older, people under age 65 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, and people of any age who suffer from ALS or end-stage renal disease. Your income does not affect your eligibility for Medicare.

Medicaid, on the other hand, is a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with low incomes and limited resources. To qualify for Medicaid, you must have low income and limited resources.

6. I have other health insurance coverage. Do I still need to enroll in Medicare?

It depends. Medicare rules allow you to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D if you are covered by an employer group health plan with 100 or more participants, only if your health coverage is based on your or your spouse's current, active employment.

If your employer plan acts as your primary insurer and has high cost sharing, having Medicare as your secondary insurer may help pay some of your costs. However, if your employer plan includes comprehensive medical and prescription drug coverage with low cost sharing, you may decide it's not worth paying the monthly premium for Medicare Part B and/or Medicare Part D. If you choose not to enroll in Part B and/or Part D when you become eligible, you may delay enrollment only until you, your spouse, or family member stops working or is no longer covered by the employer group health plan.

If your other health insurance coverage is NOT based on the current, active employment of yourself or a family member, you should contact your employer to determine your obligations under the terms of your insurance plan.

If your other health insurance is COBRA continuation coverage, your coverage will terminate when you become entitled to Medicare.

7. Will Medicare cover my prescription drugs?

Yes. When you are eligible for Medicare, you have the option to enroll in Medicare Part D, an optional prescription drug insurance program available to everyone who has Medicare, regardless of your income or health status. Part D plans are offered by private insurance companies and require you to pay a monthly premium.

8. Can I get help paying for my prescription drug costs?

Maybe. The Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program, also known as "Extra Help," is available to help pay for a portion of Part D costs, including premiums, copayments, and deductibles, for certain people with low incomes and minimal assets. Depending on your income and assets, the Extra Help program may provide a full or partial subsidy. Some people are automatically enrolled in the Extra Help program, while others must apply for the subsidy.

9. What is a donut hole?

The donut hole refers to a coverage gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage during which you must pay all of your drug costs out of pocket. Generally, after the total retail cost of your drugs reaches $2,840, you have to pay 100% of your costs until you reach catastrophic coverage. In all Part D plans, you will reach catastrophic coverage after the total retail cost of your drugs reaches $4,550, at which point you will pay only 5% of the costs of your drugs. In 2011, Medicare beneficiaries will receive a 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs and a 7% discount on generics while in the donut hole.


Social Security Disability

1. What is Social Security disability?

There are several types of Social Security disability (SSD). The most common type is disability insurance, which pays workers (or people that have worked 5 of the last 10 years) that are disabled to the point that they cannot work or earn a minimum amount of income set by the Social Security Administration.

2. What are the other types of Social Security Disability?

Widow or Widower Benefits: This is paid to widows or widowers who have become disabled within certain amount of time following the death of a spouse. Conditions require that the spouse have worked under Social Security and earned enough to be insured.

Disabled Adult Children: This type of benefit protects disabled adults that have been financially supported by their parents; it pays benefits to disabled adult children whose parent has passed away. In order to qualify, the disabled adult child must have been receiving Social Security disability or retirement benefits prior to the death of the parent.

Supplemental Security Income: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is paid to disabled individuals that are also considered impoverished.

Child's Supplemental Security Income: This is a form of Supplemental Security Income that is paid to disabled parents or caregivers of children under the age of 18.

Depending upon your circumstances and the state you live in, you may be eligible for other disability benefits as well.

3. How does the Social Security Administration define disability?

In the Social Security Act, disability is defined as the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medical determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months."

4. How many Social Security claims are actually approved?

Social Security only approves around 40% of claims the first time they are filed. Only 20% of reconsideration claims are approved. More than 50% of the claims brought to a hearing are approved.

5. Why are so many claims denied?

The answer to this is rather complex. For one thing, it can be difficult for a disability examiner to tell whether or not a person is disabled. There may be insufficient information or evidence of impairment. Another possibility is that Social Security has tended to focus its efforts on making sure that non-disabled persons do not receive benefits. This focus seems to have taken priority over the important task of making sure that disabled persons do receive them.

6. What is Medicare, and how is it different from Medicaid?

Medicare is a government-financed medical insurance program. Citizens will qualify for Medicare when they are either 65 years old or are determined to be disabled by the Social Security Administration. If you are receiving disability benefits, you will also be eligible for Medicare.
Medicaid, on the other hand, is a poverty insurance program for people who earn below a certain amount. It is not related to age or disability. Doctors tend to dislike treating people with Medicaid because it pays very little. However, they generally don't mind treating people with Medicare because it pays much higher rates.

7. When I receive SSD, aren't I simply receiving what I paid into S.S. when I was working?

Yes and no. If you were working, then you were probably paying into the Social Security program. However, you will likely draw far more benefits than you actually paid to Social Security.

SSDI - Denied Claims Q&A

1. If I am approved for Social Security disability, how much will I receive?

The amount of money you receive depends on how much you have earned (or how much your deceased spouse has earned if you're applying for widow or widower benefits). Disabled adult children will receive an amount that corresponds with, and she the deceased parent has earned. SSI is awarded based on a person's current income, but will not fall below a certain amount for impoverished persons.

2. Will I receive back payments for the time I was disabled before my benefits started?

Social Security disability benefits can begin as soon as 5 months after you become disabled, and you can receive back payments for any time you were disabled after this five month period. SSD will pay back payments for up to previous 12 months, but no more. With disabled adult children, the rules are slightly different: You don't have to wait 5 months to start receiving benefits, but you can only receive back payments for 6 previous months.

3. Can my benefits ever be stopped?

Once you are approved for Social Security disability, benefits are not stopped unless your medical condition has improved to the point where you are no longer considered disabled. Social Security will occasionally review cases to determine whether or not you are still disabled. However, in most cases, Social Security approves the continuation of your benefits.

4. What should I do if Social Security decides to stop my benefits?

If this happens, you should file an appeal right away. If you file the appeal within 10 days of receiving your notification, you may be able to continue receiving benefits while you wait for the decision. Of course, you should also talk to a qualified attorney if this happens.


SSDI - Financial & Legal Q&A

1. How can I get help with my Social Security disability claim?

Here at NAIDW, there are many resources for injured and disabled workers and we are constantly searching for more. This includes discussion forums and a free directory of lawyers, doctors, and other professionals who can help. By talking to other people in the same situation, you'll have access to more resources and knowledge than you could ever find on your own.

2. I have applied for SSD, I'm waiting for my benefits, are there any other financial resources?

The unfortunate reality is that there are few financial resources for disabled people waiting on SSD or SSI benefits. The best course of action is to visit a local Social Services office and talk to someone about social programs. These will vary from state to state, but a good caseworker should be able to identify any programs that could help you. They can probably help you find non-government programs such as private charities and local programs as well.

Waiting for SSD and SSI benefits is almost always a long and difficult process, and you should spend as little as possible while you're waiting. If the situation becomes truly desperate, you can also consider refinancing your home or other debts, but this is not recommended unless you have no other options. We also suggest that you reach out to other NAIDW members to see how they have managed and what resources they have found.

3. Where can I find a Social Security disability lawyer?

NAIDW provides a free lawyer directory for all members and visitors. The attorneys listed in our directory have expressed a sincere interest in helping injured disabled workers. You can access the directory by Clicking Here. Another option is to talk to some of our members to find out which attorneys they have used. Become a member for free here.

4. Am I required to have a lawyer?

No. There is no requirement to have a lawyer file or appeal a Social Security disability claim. However, it is strongly recommended that you do. Claimants who are represented by an attorney have far greater success rates than those who are not.

5. I cannot afford to pay a lawyer. What should I do?

For the most part, Social Security disability attorneys understand the financial difficulties of disabled workers. Most of these lawyers will take their fee out of the back benefits that you receive. On average, the attorney will take 25% of back benefits if you win and will not charge if you lose.

6. I'm frustrated with the SS process. Can I get help for my congressional representative?

The lengthy process of filing for benefits and waiting to be approved causes many people to become frustrated. Some have sought help from an elected official such as a US Representative or Senator. When this happens, a staffer may perform a congressional inquiry which could, in turn, move along a stalled case. However, this will have no effect on the outcome of the case.

7. Can I get help with my medical bills while I'm waiting for my benefits?

Unfortunately, no. Assistance with medical bills is generally included in the same process as your cash payments. You will not receive help with your medical bills until you are approved and start receiving benefit payments.

8. I'm disabled cannot earn an income. What can I do to survive while I am waiting for my benefits?

This is a serious problem for most disabled workers, and there is no sure answer. The best thing you can do is manage your finances carefully and try to get approved as soon as possible. To help speed up the application process you should:

  • • File as soon as you can.
  • • Make sure your application is as complete as possible
  • .• Find a good Social Security disability lawyer.
  • • Understand the appeals process and prepare for an uphill battle.

You can help protect yourself by preparing: Avoid taking on any new debts and save as much money as possible. Cut out any unnecessary spending—down to the bare minimum—until you have a concrete financial plan to cover the next 18 months. Yet, no matter how much you prepare, you'll probably find yourself in a financial struggle before your benefits start. Most people have to go through the appeals process before their case is won, and this can take up a year and a half or even up to three years in some cases.


Filing for Social Security Disability Q&A


1. How do I file for my Social Security Disability Benefits?

You have several options to get the claim process started:• Make an Appointment: Making an appointment is probably the best way to get started. You can locate your local social security office by clicking here and entering your zip code at the bottom of the page. Call anytime during regular business hours and say that you want to set up an appointment to apply for Social Security Disability.

• Walk In: If you don't want to wait for an appointment, you can simply walk into the Social Security office and wait to be seen. You may have to wait for quite a while, but this is probably the quickest way to get the process started.

• File Online: Today, you have the option to file for SSD at the Social Security website. This is a good option for anyone who has trouble getting around or finding transportation. To file online, click here and follow the instructions. If you decide to go this route, you should know that some people have said that lack of a face-to-face meeting makes the process somewhat more difficult.

NOTE: No matter how you choose apply, the most important thing is that you get the process started as soon as possible.

2. What steps can I take to best ensure that my claim will be approved?

The best thing you can do is be as completely thorough and honest as possible and submit detailed medical records. Think about all of the ways in which your impairment has affected you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Consider the following when completing your application:Maecenas

  • Were you a slow learner in school?
  • What are the psychological symptoms of your impairment?
  • Does your impairment affect your ability to sleep?
  • What are the side effects of your medications?

These and other questions can help the disability examiner better understand your entire condition. However, the most important thing to remember is: Don't give up. If your claim is denied, request reconsideration from another examiner right away. If that is also denied, request an appeal. Continue to appeal to your case at higher levels until it is either approved or you cannot go any further. Remember: Most people have to go through the entire appeals process before they are finally approved.

3. What do I need to know about submitting medical records?

Medical records are incredibly important when applying for Social Security disability. These are what the disability examiner will use to make a determination about your level of impairment. In order to make sure you have the best possible chance for approval, your medical records should be thorough and supported by solid medical evidence. Here are a few things to remember:

Your medical records should include any reports, doctor's notes, mental health records, blood and lab work, and imaging studies as well as any other medically relevant information.
  • Your medical records should be as detailed as possible, containing information about your symptoms, limitations of movement, muscle strength, and other relevant complications
  • .Your medical records should clearly explain why you cannot work. What are the problems preventing you from performing your job? What is preventing you from performing other lines of work?
  • Social Security will not accept records from chiropractors as evidence of impairment.They will, however, accept x-rays from a chiropractor's office.
  • Without adequate medical records, a case can be slowed down substantially.

4. How long will I have to wait until I find out if I'm approved?

Social Security will typically make a decision on your claim within four months of filing. If you have requested reconsideration, the decision can take up to another four months. An Appeals Council review can take up to a year or longer. However, people can wait up to three years before the full process of appeals is complete so be certain to prepare.

5. I become disabled, do I have to wait before I can file a claim?

Not at all. Many people feel that they should wait for months or years before filing their SSD claim. This is a huge mistake because it may take quite a while before benefits are actually received. The only thing you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not to file is how long you will be disabled and unable to work. If the answer is 12 months or more, you should file right away. The longer you wait to file, the longer it will take for you to start receiving your benefits.

6. How long should I wait before filing for Social Security Disability?

If you think you will be unable to work for a year or more, you should file for your SSD benefits the very same day you become disabled. Don't wait until the year is up. Don't wait until you find the right lawyer. And don't wait until your doctor confirms that you are disabled. File for your benefits as soon as you can to get the process started. Chances are you will have to go through several appeals before you are approved, and filing early can give you a crucial head start.

7. Can I file for Social Security disability if I am on sick leave?

Yes. It is perfectly legal to file for SSD benefits while on sick leave, and if you feel you will be out of work for at least one year you should begin your claim as soon as you can.

8. Can I file for Social Security disability if I am receiving workers compensation?

Yes, and this is a commonly held misbelief. There is no law stating that you cannot receive both workers compensation and Social Security disability. However, most states will reduce your SSD while you are receiving workers compensation. On the other hand, some states will reduce your workers compensation while you are receiving SSD. Either way, there is no reason why you should not file your claim for both.

9. If I become disabled while I'm unemployed, can I still apply for Social Security disability benefits?

The answer depends on your circumstances. Generally, a person will have earned enough income to qualify for Social Security disability if they have worked for 5 of the last 10 years. There are, however, exceptions for people who are less than 31 years old, as they have not had as much time to earn income. Homemakers that have previously worked may also qualify for SSD benefits. Plus, if you are impoverished, you may qualify for SSI benefits as well.

10. Can I apply for Social Security disability benefits if I still have savings?

Yes. You can apply for SSD benefits regardless of how much money you have so long as you meet the requirements. If you have recently worked, are a widow, widower, or disabled adult child who has recently lost a parent, you are free to apply.

11. Is there anything else I need to know about the application process?

Yes. It is very important that you do not let uncertainty stop you from applying for benefits. The person who matters the most in this situation is you. If you feel that you are disabled, you should apply for Social Security disability—bottom line.You should also keep this in mind: The more information you can provide, the faster your case can move forward. If you think about it, the people who work on these claims have a very large case load. They will usually focus on the ones that have the most information because these are the easiest to process. Insufficient medical records will almost always hold up the application process. Therefore, it's very important that you organize your medical records and submit them to Social Security as soon as you can. Don't forget that you will need to request the records from the doctor or hospital, and this can take quite a while.It's very likely that you won't have all of your records available when you apply. But you can still help move the application process along by carefully listing the name, address, and phone number of all the facilities where you were treated as well as the doctors who treated you.

SSDI - Qualifying for Benefits Q&A

1. What qualifies someone as disabled, and when can they receive benefits?

Social Security categorizes a disabled person as someone with at least one impairment (physical or mental) that prevents them from earning income over $900.00 a month. This must persist for one full year. The disabled person's impairment must also be properly noted in his or her medical records in order to be validated by the Social Security Administration.

2. How will Social Security decide whether or not I am disabled?

When deciding whether or not a person is disabled, Social Security weighs several factors. In addition to reviewing your medical records and impairments, they will consider your age, past work experience, and level of education. They will determine whether or not you are able to perform your previous job and if you are able to perform any other type of job based on your age, health, and education.

3. Why is age consideration in determining disability?

The Social Security act requires that age is considered. It is generally assume that as people become older, they also become less able to adapt to new areas of work. Older people also tend to have more health conditions that could make it more difficult to change jobs.

4. Who will make the decision as to whether or not I am disabled?

The person responsible for making this decision is called a disability examiner. The disability examiner works at your state's Disability Determination agency and is assigned to incoming claims. Once the disability examiner receives your claim, he or she will work with a doctor to make a determination. If your case is denied, there are many steps you can take to have it reconsidered, the first being a review by a different disability examiner.

5. How will I know if Social Security will consider me to be disabled?

If you are suffering from a grave illness—one that fully eliminates the possibility of working—then you can be fairly certain Social Security qualify you as disabled. However, this is generally limited to life-threatening diseases such as terminal cancers and organ failures that require immediate transplant. If you suffer from any other type of impairment, it is very difficult to determine whether or not you will be considered disabled. You can better predict the outcome by consulting an attorney familiar with SSD, who has witnessed the rulings of many cases.

6. Does Social Security have a list of disabling conditions?

There is no firm list of disabling conditions because most conditions have various degrees of severity. The same illness can produce disabling effects on one person while hardly affecting another. For this reason, SSD benefits are awarded to people based on the severity of their impairment. A few exceptions do exist: If an illness progresses beyond a certain state, the person could automatically be considered disabled.

7. Are there any limitations for which diseases or conditions a person can have?

No. The deciding factor is not the disease or impairment that you have; it is the extent to which you are affected by it. For example, some people have cancer and are perfectly capable of working, while others may be completely disabled by a seemingly common condition. Social Security will primarily focus on how your disease or impairment is affecting you. They will consider your level of pain, physical limitation, and mental distress in addition to many other factors.

8. My impairment is caused by a mental condition. Can I receive Social Security disability?

Yes you can. If you are disabled due to a mental illness or condition, you are simply considered disabled, and it is not uncommon for people to receive disability benefits for mental conditions.

9. What if my impairment is caused by my addiction? Can I receive Social Security disability?

What if my impairment is caused by my addiction? Can I reThere was once a time when you could receive Social Security disability if you were addicted to drugs or alcohol and could not work. Congress has since forbid the payment of Social Security benefits for addiction impairments. However, if your addiction has led to a secondary disease or condition that has disabled you (such as a heart attack, cancer, or other illness) you should able to receive benefits.eive Social Security disability?

10. If I'm disabled but have never had a job, can I receive Social Security disability?

There are only a few circumstances where you will be able to receive Social Security disability benefits without having ever worked. If you are a disabled adult child, your parents will receive benefits on your behalf. If you are a disabled widow or widower, you may be able to receive benefits for your deceased spouse. If you do not fall into these categories, and have never worked, you probably will not be able to receive SSD. You may, however, receive SSI if you are disabled, have never worked, and are considered to be impoverished.

11.What if I am only partially disabled? Can I receive partial benefits?

Social Security disability is only provided to people who are completely disabled and unable to work. It will not pay a percentage of benefits to someone that is only partially disabled.

12. If I am not permanently disabled, can I still receive Social Security disability?

Absolutely. The time requirement for SSD is one year. This means that you must be disabled and unable to work for 12 consecutive months.

13. Applying for SSDI if they are multiple conditions, but no condition is completely disabling?

Yes. It is common for people to become disabled due to the combined effects of multiple impairments. When considering your claim, Social Security should weigh all the conditions that contribute to your inability to work before making a determination.

14. If I am disabled but plan to return to work when I am well, can I receive Social Security disability?

Yes. You can receive SSD benefits if you are unable to work for at least one full year. If you believe that this is the case, you should not wait until the end of the year to file your claim. Instead, you should file your claim is in as you make the realization that you will be out of work for one year.ll, can I receive Social Security disability?

15. My child is severely disabled. Can my child receive Social Security benefits?

If either parent is disabled and drawing Social Security disability benefits, the child may also be eligible. If the child is under the age of 18, the parents may be able to receive SSI if they earn less than SSI income limit. For disabled children who are over 18, they may receive their own SSI benefits regardless of how much the parents earn.

16. What if I am on Social Security disability and I want to return to work?

You can return to work at any time but will stop receiving benefits. If you are receiving adult child benefits or benefits for a deceased spouse, you may continue to receive Social Security disability for up to one year after returning to work. If you have returned to work and decided that you are still impaired, you may stop working and resume your disability payments immediately, without having to file a new claim.

Published in NAIDW ABOUT US

Welcome Members and Visitors:

The National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers NAIDW® is a nationally recognized 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable foundation that advocates on behalf of injured & disabled workers and their families. 

NAIDW's purpose is to provide FREE unlimited resources, support, guidance and short-term financial assistance to injured & disabled workers and their families that suffer from the result of an injury, illness, chronic pain, disability and death. Best of all, an NAIDW® membership is absolutely free for all injured & disabled workers and their families. 100% of all donation funds are put directly to work for those who need it most.

Since 2009, has been the official workers' rights & disability benefits website for all workers. We are proud to have served millions of workers and their families in their time of need, providing them with easy, online access to information and eligibility criteria for local, State and Federal benefit and assistance programs.

Our mission remains the same as it was when we began: reduce the time and difficulty of injured & disabled workers and their families searching for resources while increasing access to support and benefit information.

The site’s core function is the community support groups and forums, a tool that allows workers to interact with other injured & disabled workers as well as service providers, and industry professionals who are also dedicated to our cause.

The Realities of Injury, illness, chronic pain, disability and death!

Did you know that, every second, a worker is injured in the United States—a country where most families live paycheck to paycheck? In fact, 50% of all home foreclosures occur as a result of income loss after disability. Yet, Workers' Compensation benefits only pay 66% of your lost income, which might not be so bad if you are one of the lucky ones who's claim is not being disputed and denied! And if that wasen't bad enough, social security disability benefits only pay about 33% of your lost income. And as if that weren’t hard enough, these vital benefits are denied to injured & disabled workers over 60% of the time.

Disability Community Facts and Statistics

  • 650+ million people living with disabilities (“PWD”) worldwide!
  • 50+ million PWDs living in the US alone!

Workplace Injury & Death Statistics:

The raw statistics are always startling, In 2009, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4,340 workers were killed on the job—an average of 12 workers every day—and an estimated 50,000 died from occupational diseases. More than 4.1 million work-related injuries and illnesses were reported, but this number understates the problem. The true toll of job injuries is two to three times greater—about 8 million to 12 million job injuries and illnesses each year.

And the cost in dollars alone?

The cost of job injuries and illnesses is enormous—estimated at $159 billion to $318 billion a year for direct and indirect costs of disabling injuries.

Chronic Pain Community Facts & Statistics:

Chronic pain affects an estimated 116 million American adults and costs the nation up to $635 billion each year in medical treatment and lost productivity.

- Source: IOM -  It is estimated that 20 MILLION AMERICANSare stricken by Neuroendocrineimmune Disorders. Worldwide the estimates can be staggering. Recently a demographics expert suggested that between 23-28 million individuals are now suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME worldwide.
- Source: P.A.N.D.O.R.A.

What’s more is that injury, illness, pain and disability doesn’t just affect income; it damages relationships within families and drains the joy from our lives. The physical and emotional effects of this stress and isolation lead to depression and mental illness. With no way to earn a living, and no support for our cause, how are we expected to survive?

The world looks down on people who have been injured or disabled, assuming that we are lazy, or taking advantage of the system. Insurance companies have shaped this stigma through decades of similar claims. As a result, injured or disabled people feel completely alone.

Join NAIDW and start the process of recovery. We know what you’re going through and what you need to pull through, because we are injured & disabled workers ourselves. Get the help and information you need to put the pieces of your life back together. Through the community of vital support and resources, you can take a step toward change.

Benefits of Free Membership:

  • You'll get our bi-monthly NAIDW publication, the INJURED INSIDER - an online e-action newsletter sent right to your computer with critical information about issues you need to know about and act upon.
  • You'll have access to a wide variety of benefits exclusive member only discounts on products and services.
  • You'll be eligible to apply for grants for financial assistance.
  • Plus, you'll get access to the NAIDW Community Online - an interactive network of other injured and disabled members that share your experience:
    • Connect with other members, Join Groups, share conversations...
    • Full powered discussion forums built directly into groups that allow for more conventional in-depth conversations.
    • Private messaging allowing members to talk to each other directly, and in private.
    • Global, personal and group activity streams with threaded commenting, and direct posting.
  • Access to the entire NAIDW website
  • Extensive directory of professionals that can help you get back on track
  • Clear and accurate information on topics directly related to injured & disabled workers
  • Discounted services from quality professionals

The NAIDW Directory

Our professional directory offers quick access to service providers who are dedicated to helping injured & disabled workers and their families. And many providers offer discounted services up to 20% for NAIDW members.

The NAIDW National Discount Drug Card

NAIDW's National Drug Card, was created to help people with little or no prescription drug insurance to save money on their prescription drugs.  This includes, but is not limited to, injured & disabled workers and their families, veterans, senior citizens, on fixed incomes and Medicare; self-employed business-people who have to pay their own medical costs; families; college students; and those who have recently lost their jobs and benefits and may be struggling financially.

Additionally, many people who have prescription benefits use our card to receive discounts on drugs not covered by their prescription plan (e.g. dermatology, elective procedures, weight loss, anti-smoking, and hormone therapy drugs).

Our Free Discount Prescription Card can save 10% - 85% on all FDA approved brand-name and generic drugs.  The card can be used at over 58.000 pharmacies nationwide including:

CVS, WALGREENS, RITE-AID, WAL-MART, TARGET,  KROGER, K-MART, PUBLIX, SAFEWAY, COSTCO, SAMS and many more including local independent pharmacies and regional chains.

NAIDW is proud to provide our FREE prescription drug card to millions of people across the country to help them reduce their healthcare costs. We hope this money savings card will benefit you, your family and friends.

If you are a injured or disabled worker or a family member, you know how difficult it is to find the help you need. The lack of resources and support can turn your life into a shell of what it once was. But you don’t have to fight this alone. We connect people who have experienced a injury, illness, pain, disability and death first hand. We understand what you’re going through: the frustration, fear, and hopelessness. But here, you will unite with a community of peers and professionals who have joined together to fight back.

We believe our ideas can change the world, and we want to let other people know how they can join in and make all of our lives better.” – Jon A. Arbay, Executive Director & Founder of NAIDW®

Warmest Regards,

Jon A. Arbay

Volunteer Executive Director 

"No Workers' Left Behind"®

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