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Returning to Work After an Injury: What Are My Options?

By | December 1, 2021

An injury can be devastating to your health and your quality of life. It can even be more distressing when your medical situation prevents you from doing your job. In this article, we explore the options you have when returning to work after an injury.

Worker’s Compensation Benefits

After a workplace injury, there are several benefits a claimant can receive under Ohio WCB law. Patients incapacitated for a temporary period can receive full compensation until they recover.

The employee may also have injuries that do not allow them to return to their previous work. An employer can give lighter duties, which often reduces the income from their occupation. In such cases, the employee can receive compensation for their wage loss, typically two-thirds of the wages.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) is for employees who cannot return to work or generate an income. According to Ohio’s Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC), employees have to be assessed and declared disabled by the state’s industrial commission. The bureau defines PTD as an injured worker’s inability to perform remunerative employment.

Evaluating the Compensation Claim

Your medical condition will determine if you are ready to go back to work. Sometimes employers can dispute a claim based on several factors. Ultimately, the state’s worker compensation board will resolve the dispute.

You may not get compensation if the emergency exam found intoxicants or drugs in your body. Discrepancies between the medical account and your statement can also be a reason to turn down your worker’s compensation claim. So, you should always pay attention to the claims you make to your supervisor and colleagues regarding the injury.

File a Claim as Soon as Possible

Another reason your employer will turn down the claims is filing for worker’s compensation after you are laid off. Most organizations are skeptical of employees who file for compensation after they leave the company. Whether you resign or were fired, the employer may perceive it as a way to get back at the organization.

Therefore, make a point of filing for compensation as soon as you can. You are not obliged to give a statement when your insurer requests it. But not submitting the report will allow adjusters to use it as an excuse for not starting the benefits process.

The Value of Working with an Attorney

If you receive a call for a statement, you should have an Ohio WCB law attorney with you. The request is usually an indication that the insurer has problems with the claim. A Regas & Haag attorney can assist you as you navigate complicated aspects of the law.

Sometimes doctors and insurers do not act in the best interest of the employee. If you are facing restrictions that are preventing you from doing your job, consider consulting an attorney. Call Regas & Haag for worker’s compensation claims in Ohio.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation

By | October 27, 2021

If you’ve been injured at work, you probably have a lot of questions regarding your workers’ compensation. How do you file for worker’s compensation? Will your injury be covered? Can your employer refuse compensation?

Being injured is overwhelming enough without all these questions. At Regas & Haag Ltd., we specialize in handling workers’ comp claims in Ohio. To help make your experience easier, we’ve compiled a list of common questions regarding workers’ compensation.

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

In short, workers’ comp is a state-mandated insurance program that pays benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It’s most commonly associated with injuries on the job, but it also includes occupational diseases such as lung cancer caused by asbestos. To learn more about what exactly workers’ comp covers, you can take a look at our guide.

How Does Workers’ Comp Work in Ohio?

Ohio is somewhat unique in terms of workers’ compensation. In many other union states, workers’ compensation is handled similarly to personal injury claims. Ohio, however, has a constitutionally established state insurance fund called the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

Like other states, Ohio also has a no-fault coverage system, meaning that claims can be filed even if the injury is due to employee negligence.

How Do I File for Workers’ Comp?

When you get injured at work, make sure to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible, with as much detail as possible. They can then help you file the claim—initially, the First Report of Injury (FROI)  with the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, after which your claim will be evaluated.

Do I Have to Be Injured at My Actual Workplace?

No. As long as the injury occurred due to work-related reasons during the time which you were employed, it does not have to be at the physical location of your job.

Are There Any Work-Related Injuries That Are Not Covered under Workers’ Comp?

Any injury experienced while the employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs immediately disqualifies the employee from workers’ comp benefits.

Does Workers’ Comp Only Cover My Medical Bills?

It does not. Among other things, it can include lost wages, temporary disability payments, compensation for permanent injuries, etc.

What Sort of Benefits Are Available?

Here are some of the benefits you can claim:

  • Temporary total disability benefits.
  • Permanent total disability benefits.
  • Permanent partial disability benefits.
  • Wage loss benefits.
  • Living maintenance benefits.

You can read about these benefits and how they can help you here, or schedule a meeting with Regas & Haag Ltd. to learn more.

How Much Compensation Am I Entitled To?

The compensation you receive varies depending on the factors of the situation. Until we explore the details of your case, it will be difficult to identify a specific amount of compensation. Once we are familiar with your case, we’ll be able to get a ballpark figure and examine your options.

At Regas & Haag, Ltd. in Ohio, we can handle all aspects of your workers’ compensation case. Although it is a complicated process, our lawyers can help you navigate through it with ease. Contact us today by visiting our website or call us at (330) 649-9102 to get started.

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What Happens to Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits If You Lose Your Job?

By Regas & Haag, LTD | September 24, 2021

Sadly, many workers will, at some point, suffer an on-the-job injury. If you’re unable to work or are required to significantly limit your work, you can collect workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes an employee may be let go while collecting workers’ compensation, so it’s fair to wonder what happens to their benefits. Here’s what you need to know:

At-Will Employment

Ohio is categorized as an at-will employment state, meaning you or your employer can terminate your working relationship at any time without reason. Generally, when an employee is let go, the employer states a reason, but this is not required by law.

There is one exception to the at-will rule—your contract with your employer states the specific reasons or circumstances under which you can be terminated. If the reason given for termination is different from what’s on your contract, it constitutes a breach of contract. Should this happen to you, we recommend you consult with Regas & Haag about initiating a lawsuit.

Injured at Work, Now What?

If you were injured while working your regular job duties, you are entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. These benefits can be claimed if you need to limit your working capacity or you can’t perform your work duties at all.

Workers’ compensation is in place to offer benefits to both the employee and employer:

  • It allows injured employees to recover compensation while they cannot work or must limit their work duties.
  • It also protects the employer against personal injury lawsuits because if an employee files for workers’ compensation, they cannot sue their employer for personal injury.

What Happens to Your Workers’ Comp If You’re Terminated?

Sometimes, when an employee is cleared to return to work, they find out their job no longer exists. If you can work without restrictions but are terminated by your employer, you will no longer get temporary total disability benefits from your workers’ compensation; you may still be entitled to other compensation. If your claim is still open, it will continue to cover the costs of your medical expenses, ongoing treatment, and lost wages due to the injury you sustained while on the job.

Even if you were cleared by your doctor to resume light work duties but are terminated by your employer, you can still recover those benefits once you have obtained a new job.

It’s important to note an employer cannot legally terminate an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim. While employers are required to state the specific reason for termination in this circumstance, you can file a lawsuit if you have cause to believe you were fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

If you believe you were unfairly terminated or have concerns about losing your workers’ compensation benefits, Regas & Haag can help. If you are located in or near Canton, Ohio, contact our law firm at your earliest convenience to discuss your case.

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Are You Eligible for SSDI or SSI?

By Regas & Haag, LTD | August 25, 2021

Regas & Haag, Ltd., is an Ohio-based law firm specializing in social security disability and workers’ compensation. Our attorneys represent injured and disabled people throughout the state. We can present your case to the Ohio Industrial Commission, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and the Social Security Administration. Here’s what you need to know about social security disability benefits.

Understanding the Two Types of Social Security Disability Benefits

The two main types of benefits are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These government programs were created to provide supplemental income to eligible people—specifically, people who cannot work due to particular situations or medical conditions. There is a stringent application process in which you must prove your eligibility. Although it can be stressful, we are here and ready to help simplify all of it for you.

There are two primary differences between these two programs:

  • For SSI, eligibility is determined by age, disability, income restrictions, and resources.
  • In the case of SSDI, it depends on your disability and the work credits you have earned.

The process can be long and complicated; however, with the right legal counsel, it can be less stressful and more efficient. Our experienced attorneys are extremely knowledgeable about the laws and will help you navigate this challenging journey.

The Fee Structure at Regas & Haag in Canton

We understand that this is a stressful time for you. That’s why we offer a no-charge consultation with one of our attorneys. If it is difficult for you to come to our Canton office, we’ll come to you. Regas & Haag will charge you nothing if you are not found eligible and approved. A bill for our legal services is only generated if we help you win your case. There is no risk when you hire us to represent you in your SSI or SSDI proceedings.

About Us

Our company has been operating in Ohio for many years. We are dedicated to our clients and making sure that they receive the compensation they are entitled to. Our team takes great pride in our commitment to providing you with our premier personalized service. After all, we are a client-driven full-service law firm.

Regas & Haag has always fought hard for our clients in Ohio, and we will continue to fight hard for you and your family, too. Our attorneys are very responsive to your needs, and will stay in regular contact with you to keep you abreast of the status of your application. It’s only natural that you will have questions or concerns, and we know that you deserve timely answers from your attorney.

Please contact our office to set up a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced attorneys. We will meet with you wherever it is most convenient for you. You will have peace of mind knowing that an attorney from Regas & Haag is on your side.

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What Workers’ Compensation Covers and How It Works

By Regas & Haag, LTD | July 6, 2021

In the event of an accident at work or the development of a work-related illness, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. Not sure what that means? Here’s what you need to know!

Workers’ compensation: What is it?

Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that pays benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Benefits include payments for medical bills, partial wage replacement, and compensation for permanent impairments.

The dedicated team at Regas & Haag, Ltd. can easily analyze your case and inform you about what kind of benefits you’re entitled to. As workers’ compensation attorneys with many years of experience, our team will tirelessly fight for your rights.

Is my injury covered?

Many injuries are covered by the law as long as they are the result of accidents at work. The law also covers occupational diseases like lung cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos.

The most commonly claimed injuries include:

  • Back injuries
  • Head injury
  • Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Joint injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Eye or ear injuries
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Occupational diseases

Something worth noting:

Employees are not entitled to benefits if they did anything with willful intent to injure themselves or others, or if the injury was the result of drug or alcohol intoxication.

Why Regas & Haag Ltd.?

At Regas & Haag, Ltd., we handle all aspects of your Workers’ Compensation case. This includes getting in contact with your doctors to obtain your medical records and reports, filing motions and appeals on your behalf, and preparing you for any hearings held by the Ohio Industrial Commission, so we can work to get you the benefits you deserve.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has workers’ compensation forms available for download. If you need assistance understanding how to fill out these forms, please call our office.

At Regas & Haag Ltd., we can provide you with all the legal assistance you need on workers’ insurance claims. Feel free to contact us through our website or by calling us at 330-649-9102 or toll-free at 800-520-2200.

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What Are Childhood Disability Benefits?

By Regas & Haag, LTD | May 31, 2021

Childhood disability benefits are benefits paid to children who have a disability and come from a family that has limited resources to care for them. This money can help ensure that the child has the care that they need without financially straining their parents or guardian.

Who Qualifies for Childhood Disability Benefits?

A child must have a condition or combination of conditions that limit their ability to lead a normal life. The condition must be one that will last for more than 12 months. If the child is working, they cannot make more than a set amount each month. That amount changes annually.

What Are Some of the Conditions That Qualify?

Many different conditions quality for childhood disability payments, including:

● Blindness

● Deafness

● Cerebral palsy

● Muscular dystrophy

● Down’s syndrome

● Severe intellectual disability

Must the Child Live at Home to Qualify?

The child does not have to live at home to qualify for SSI payments. If they are placed in a long-term care facility, and the state pays for their health care, they will receive a smaller amount monthly.

How Do You Qualify Your Child?

If you think that your child may qualify for childhood disability payments, you will need to fill out the form provided by the Social Security Administration to start the process. Your answers to these questions are important in the decision made by the government, so make sure you fill out the form completely and accurately to ensure your child receives the correct benefits.

After submitting the form, gather any relevant medical records as you will need this proof to ensure that your child qualifies for the correct childhood disability payments.

Set up an appointment with your local Social Security office, this step may take some time. It is not unusual to wait four to five months to schedule an appointment. When it is your turn, ensure that you keep your availability open to attend the meeting in order to avoid any delays.

You may be asked to take your child to a doctor if the government needs further information to make a decision. This doctor will examine your child and decide.

Can a Child Move Through the Childhood Disability Benefits Process Faster?

A select few children who have specific conditions, such as childhood cancer, can be moved to the front of the line for evaluation. The sooner you turn in the paperwork, the faster the process can begin.

It can be confusing and challenging to get childhood disability benefits. Therefore, it is usually best to work with an experienced attorney from the beginning. Contact Regas & Haag to receive the help your child deserves.

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Over 50? How to Determine If You Qualify for Disability Benefits

By Regas & Haag, LTD | April 22, 2021

Aging increases the probability of a disability since our bodies become less resistant to injury and illness. People older than 50 years of age are considered disabled if they are unable to perform their past relevant work and are confined to sedentary work activities. 

If you are in your 50s, social security can consider your education, experience, and age to determine if you are disabled. Continue on to learn more about if you qualify for disability benefits:

What Types of Disabilities Do People File Claims For?

Common disabilities that claims are filed for include:

  • Physical impairments such as stress injuries, carpal tunnel, and knee or hip issues
  • Disc herniations and other spinal disorders
  • Physical and mental impairments caused by illnesses such as cancer, heart problems, diabetes, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease
  • Mental illnesses like depression or schizophrenia

Can You Transfer Your Skillset?

If you are 50 or over, and no longer able to perform your job due to a disability, it may be a challenge to transfer your skillset to other types of work. 

Social Security Disability benefits are another form of compensation that may be available to qualified disabled workers. Although workers of any age are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits after claiming a disability, there are special rules for older workers to simplify obtaining disability benefits.

Workers in their older years might not be required to adjust to a new type of work even if they are physically able to.

The Four Levels of Functioning Capacity 

There are four categories used by the Social Security Administration to determine your workload:

  • Sedentary – does not involve lifting more than 10 pounds
  • Light – involves lifting of between 10-20 pounds
  • Medium – involves frequently lifting 25 pounds and occasional 50 pounds
  • Heavy – frequent lifting more than 50 pounds

Even sedentary workers between the ages of 50 and 54 may be eligible for disability benefits. People between 55 and 59 could be eligible even if they can perform light work, and those between the ages of 60 and 64 could collect Social Security Disability benefits even if they can perform medium-level activities.

At Regas & Haag, Ltd., we handle all aspects of Social Security Disability cases. If you think you may be eligible for disability benefits call us today at 330-649-9102 to learn how we can help you get the benefits you qualify for.

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How an Attorney Can Help With Disability Claims

By Regas & Haag, LTD | April 15, 2021

Have you recently been injured? Working with a Social Security disability attorney can improve your probability of receiving the benefits that apply to your situation. Here are a few ways that hiring an attorney can help:

They Fully Understanding The Process

Lawyers know your rights and can persuasively argue on your behalf in relation to the benefits you deserve after a personal injury. Their knowledge may help them to cite the rules and laws specific to your case.

They Help You Know and Meet Your Deadlines

You might be surprised to learn that making a Social Security disability claim late can potentially lead to an automatic denial. Attorneys are familiar with the deadlines involved and can help you prepare and submit your application well before the deadline.

They Work With the Social Security Office On Your Behalf

If this is your first time connecting with the Social Security office or testifying before a judge at a hearing—the experience can be intimidating. Your attorney can handle many of these details on your behalf. 

An attorney can also work with you to help strengthen your claim. Sometimes, seemingly inconsequential pieces of evidence or statements can make all the difference—so there are many benefits to having an expert on your side to support you through the process.

When Should I Call an Attorney?

The rule of thumb is always “the sooner, the better.” 

If you are considering filing for a disability claim, you should contact an attorney for a consultation meeting. Getting legal support and assistance beforehand can help you determine the strength of your case and assist you in submitting your initial application. Legal representation is not required, but the likelihood that you will be approved is greater if you have legal counsel on your side.

At Regas & Haag, Ltd., we handle all aspects of your Social Security Disability case. This includes getting in contact with your doctors to obtain your medical records and reports, filing all appeals on your behalf, and preparing you for your hearing.

For advice and guidance for your disability claim, call us today at 330-649-9102 to get started.

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Can Your Disability Benefits Be Taken Away?

By Regas & Haag, LTD | February 19, 2021

Social Security disability benefits are rarely terminated due to medical improvement, but that does not stop them from trying. The SSA has been reviewing cases in recent months to determine cases where medical improvement has occurred and they can stop payments for benefits. These are called cessation cases. 

When and How Cessation Cases Happen 

The SSD process does not end when you receive benefits. Social Security is required to review your case periodically. If the Social Security Administration determines your disability has improved enough for you to work, you will no longer receive benefits. If you face a Continuing Disability Review (CDR), your case will be forwarded to the Disability Determination Service (DDS) in your area.

Appealing a Cessation of Benefits 

You will have 60 days to request an appeal, which consists of an informal hearing before a Hearing Officer. At the hearing, you can present additional evidence, call witnesses, and testify about your conditions. 

What is the Standard for Evaluating Medical Improvement? 

During a CDR, Social Security uses the Medical Improvement Review Standards (MIRS). If you were found disabled because you were unable to stand or walk for more than an hour in an eight-hour day, you would qualify for disability benefits. If you feel better, but you cannot stand or walk for an hour, your medical improvement is not related to your ability to work, and your benefits continue. 

It is the Social Security Administration’s responsibility to prove that you are capable of returning to work. It is much harder to lose your benefits than to gain them since you initially demonstrated you are disabled. Nonetheless, disability cessations can occur. 

How Can Regas & Haag Help?

Even after being awarded disability benefits, there are still hurdles to maintaining your status with the SSA. Learning about the CDR process can help you be better prepared for a periodic review. 

Regas & Haag handles every aspect of your Social Security Disability case, including communicating with your physicians, obtaining medical records and reports, filing all appeals on your behalf, preparing you for an Administrative Law Judge hearing, and appealing through Federal district court. Contact us today by filling out the form on our website, or by calling us at (330) 649-9102. Remember—there are no attorney fees until you win.

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Skip the Line With Help From Regas & Haag

By Regas & Haag, LTD | February 11, 2021

Social Security offices have been closed to the public for in-person meetings and appointments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with vaccinations beginning, we anticipate the eventual re-opening of these field offices—however, we also anticipate significant wait times and delays in getting in-person meetings and appointments to help with the filing and process of disability claims. Fortunately, Regas & Haag is here to help.

Important Information for Disability Insurance Applicants
Each year about 2 million people apply for SSDI benefits, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) only approves about 37% of first-time applicants. That leaves 700,000 ineligible applicants who are denied; most after waiting for more than two years. At Regas & Haag, we’re here to help you through the steps of the application process for Social Security Disability Benefits. Here is what you need to know about applying for SSDI:

  1. You must meet the duration of work test, meaning you are fully insured, and record at least 40 quarters of paying FICA taxes throughout your entire working career.
  2. You must meet the recent work test of 20 quarters or credits (5 years) of earnings during the last 10 years.
  3. If your disability is determined to be long term, permanent or terminal, you can apply for SSDI. But don’t wait too long before applying, as a delay could render you ineligible.
  4. You must meet the SSA’s definition of disability to receive SSDI benefits.
  5. Once approved, plan for your benefits to begin five months after the date you last worked.
  6. Disability benefits convert to retirement benefits once you reach 65–67 depending on your birthdate.
  7. Confirm your eligibility before you apply. Regas & Haag will help you determine if you are eligible before you apply, and help navigate the SSDI process.
  8. Considering applying alone? Applicants with representatives have a higher chance of success at the application and appeal levels of the SSDI program.
    At Regas & Haag, we handle all the steps of the application process for Social Security Disability Benefits so you don’t have to. This eliminates the need for applicants to wait for hours on-hold or in line. We also anticipate appointments being filled months into the future upon the
    reopening of Social Security offices. When you file your application can affect how much money you receive, so it’s important to submit your application early. Contact us to speak to a representative today and learn how Regas & Haag can help!
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