» disability

Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) February 14, 2017 – President Donald Trump announced the selection of David Shulkin as head of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in January. The decision ended a lengthy search for a qualified individual to lead the sprawling federal agency that comprises a nationwide network of 1,700 medical facilities. Trump said he and his transition team interviewed “at least 100 people” to find the right person to take on the responsibility of improving veterans care. They ultimately decided to look for someone inside the VA. The decision means Shulkin, 57, would be the first serving […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 6, 2017 – Hundreds of people who previously worked in the coal-mining industry in Kentucky and West Virginia have been embroiled in a fight with the federal government to retain their Social Security Disability (SSD) checks. All of them were represented by a flashy attorney named Eric C. Conn, who referred to himself as “Mr. Social Security.” However, federal officials allege that Conn directed fraudulent claims in the amount of $600 million to this poverty-stricken area of Appalachia, and the government halted the disability payments. The suspension of such payments affected hundreds of Conn’s […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 31, 2017 – Advocates for those who have taken out student loans claim that the government has been aggressive in its collection of such debts, even from borrowers who qualify for a disability discharge. One person who was adversely affected by the government’s collection efforts is army veteran Hector Rodriguez. During the 1970s, he took out student loans to attend college. However, eventually, he was forced to drop out because he was often hospitalized. Rodriguez subsequently defaulted on the debt, as was revealed in a lawsuit he filed against several government agencies in December […]


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Los Angeles, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 18, 2017 – On November 15, the California Court of Appeals ruled that a former Univision Radio DJ can proceed with filing a disability and leave claim. The ruling calls into question the definition of disability and when an employer must be on notice to offer employees leave. Sofia Soria, a former Univision Radio DJ, filed a discrimination and wrongful termination suit against Univision in 2013 when she was allegedly fired after she notified her employer of needing surgery for a potentially cancerous stomach tumor. According to the suit, Soria allegedly gave notice […]


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San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 19, 2016 – A former letter carrier who worked at the Sausalito, California, branch of the United States Postal Service (USPS) for over two decades filed a lawsuit alleging disability discrimination and retaliation. The USPS was also accused of improperly disclosing his confidential medical records, according to the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiff Kian McCarthy was fired in January 2011 for alleged unsafe driving and unauthorized use of overtime. McCarthy suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and various related mental disabilities including obsessive compulsive disorder, […]


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Pennsauken, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 22, 2016 – The Appellate Division decided to reverse a trial court’s dismissal of a disability discrimination case in which the plaintiff was an employee who received a diagnosis of Lyme disease. Matthew Cook was employed as a printing machine operator at Gregory Press since 2002. In 2011, he consulted a neurologist who believed he might have a demyelinating disease – a condition resulting in damage to the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Cook took one day off from work, in 2011, to have an MRI, which revealed […]


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San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 27, 2016 – A former merchandizer who began working at Home Depot in April 2013 has sued the company for disability discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination. The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, on July 28. Guadalupe Carbajal was injured in a workplace fall on February 2, 2015. She suffered pain in her right knee, right hip and lower back, according to the complaint. Her supervisor allegedly did not let her see a doctor the following day. She also delayed providing Carbajal with paperwork for a […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) October 11, 2016 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) paid deceased federal employees $1.7 million in benefits for an average of seven years after they died. According to an audit by the inspector general, the error occurred due to the SSA’s failure to crosscheck beneficiaries’ death files with the Office of Personnel Management. As a result, the deaths were not logged in SSA records. The office manages the administration of retirement benefits and other services for government workers. “The erroneous benefit payments account for a handful of cases out of the millions the SSA processes […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 31, 2016 – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has admitted that around 24,000 veterans were improperly screened and given a traumatic brain injury (TBI) diagnosis by VA doctors deemed unqualified to conduct such examinations under departmental policy. As a result, some veterans diagnosed with TBI between 2007 and 2015 did not receive disability benefits. VA officials told Congress in July that the department is reviewing the cases concerning veterans who underwent incorrect exams and trying to settle their disability claims. Officials announced the VA sent letters offering re-examinations to the affected veterans. “It […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2016 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) is planning to change how it handles some disability benefits appeals in an effort to reduce the claims backlog. A Senate oversight subcommittee held a hearing on May 12 to discuss SSA adjudication and appeals judges. The agency is transferring the responsibility for thousands of pending cases in certain categories from administrative law judges (ALJs) to federal administrative appeals judges (AAJs) and attorneys from the Social Security’s Appeals Council. They will deal with non-disability related appeals, such as those involving an applicant’s income, age or citizenship […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 26, 2016 – The U.S. government announced plans to eliminate $7.7 billion in student loan debt for around 400,000 severely disabled individuals. According to the Department of Education, Americans who are “totally and permanently disabled” have no obligation to repay their federal student loans. In 2012 the government moved toward simplifying the loan forgiveness process by allowing disabled individuals use their Social Security designation to get a discharge. However, student activists claim many Americans are unaware of the benefit or have encountered difficulties with submitting paperwork. As a result, some borrowers’ disability checks have been […]


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Northville, MI (Law Firm Newswire) March 8, 2016 – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald unveiled a 12-point plan of breakthrough priorities for his department in 2016 before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in January. The list of goals included updating the VA website, modernizing hotlines, improving veterans’ health care access, reducing the disability claims backlogs, increasing employee training and tackling veteran homelessness. Four priorities focused on department needs while the other eight specifically served veterans. However, McDonald emphasized the ultimate outcome of all 12 aims would be to provide veterans with timely care and prompt benefits. “The VA […]


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Atlanta, GA (Law Firm Newswire) March 7, 2016 – Atlanta attorney Charles Allen and Las Vegas attorney Benjamin Cloward announced today a winning verdict of $15 million in the case of Chernikoff v. FIRST TRANSIT. The case involved the death of Harvey Chernikoff, a mentally disabled 51-year-old who choked to death on a sandwich while on a para-transit bus for the handicapped on his way to work at a sheltered workshop. The transit company had rules against eating and drinking on the bus and requires the bus driver to scan interior mirrors every five seconds; rules that were both broken […]


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Harrisburg, PA (Law Firm Newswire) January 29, 2016 – The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has relaxed its regulations for new accounts that will permit people with disabilities to save money without risking loss of their government benefits. In 2015, the IRS proposed rules governing how accounts created under the Achieve a Better Life Experience (ABLE) would function. However, the agency met with a considerable amount of opposition from disability advocates and state officials who stated that the proposed rules would be unduly onerous. In response, the IRS has issued preliminary guidelines pending release of the final regulations that include less […]


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Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) January 27, 2016 – The statement of claim in this case involves allegations of negligence in the workplace, a vessel servicing Anadarko Petroleum Corporation’s offshore platform Lucius. Plaintiff Alfred Holmes, who filed a personal injury lawsuit in the Galveston Division of the Southern District of Texas, was living and working on the offshore platform Lucius in Sept. 2014 when he sustained serious injuries while working with and on inadequate and/or malfunctioning equipment. At the time of the accident, Holmes was performing a pipe-tightening operation. The named defendants in this lawsuit are Stranco Services and Anadarko […]


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San Francisco, CA (Law Firm Newswire) January 21, 2016 – A former employee of Ferguson Enterprises sued the plumbing distribution company for disability discrimination, wrongful termination and retaliation among seven causes of action. Eric Padayhag was diagnosed with cervical radiculopathy, commonly known as a pinched nerve, after a car accident in 2005. The disability prevented him from straining his neck during his employment. He began working in Ferguson’s distribution warehouse in Stockton, California, in early 2012. Padayhag’s primary job duty was driving the order picker, a type of forklift, to pick up products off shelves. Due to his neck injury, […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 18, 2016 – The approval rate for disability claims arising from Camp Lejeune-related illnesses has fallen by two-thirds since the Department of Veterans Affairs introduced a third-party process to review veterans’ medical files. Veterans advocacy groups have filed a Freedom of Information request for details about the identities and qualifications of the experts in the VA program. “Veterans could benefit from greater transparency on the VA’s part. The agency should make public basic information about its personnel and the process they use to evaluate claims,” said David Magann, a Florida-based veterans attorney. Almost a million […]


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Harrisburg, PA (Law Firm Newswire) January 13, 2016 – Many veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), but some of them are not being properly diagnosed because of the use of a test by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Consider the case of Army Captain Charles Gatlin, who served as a platoon leader in Kirkuk, Iraq, in 2006. A car bomb detonated in close proximity and he was knocked to the ground by the explosion and struck by flying debris. He was evacuated and later diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 11, 2016 – The Social Security Administration (SSA) is struggling with long wait times for disability benefits hearings. Administrative judges are facing heavy caseloads of pending appeals with a national average wait time of around 16 months. Two Florida cities have the country’s longest delays. It takes 22 months to get a hearing in Miami, while Fort Myers has a 20-month wait time. The SSA announced plans for two new judgeships in Miami to ease the burden of pending cases. “A lot can happen during such lengthy wait periods,” said David W. Magann, a […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 11, 2015 – When handling one’s estate planning, it is important to prepare the relevant documents and ensure that they can be accessed by trusted family members prior to one’s death. Such documents can include wills, health care directives, and lists containing passwords to online accounts. However, there are other less common items that some family members may need when their loved one dies. One such item is military discharge papers. John J. Scroggin, who manages a tax business and estate planning firm in Atlanta, knew that his father wished to be buried […]


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