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Understanding Your Rights in a Social Security Disability Case

September 1, 2022

It is common for most of us to think injury or illness won’t affect us. To protect your family from financial strain, it would be prudent to think about the probability of falling sick or hurt and being unable to work and what you could do about it.

A lot of people have conditions that limit their capacity to work. Some may develop these conditions long before they retire. Programs like Social Security Disability Insurance are available to assist those living with disabilities or illness and their families in managing their lives should an unforeseen injury or sickness occur.

The Benefits Offered

The Social Security Administration offers two programs that can ensure proper disability payments. The program would depend on your workplace and financial situation.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program, which is supported by payroll deductions, can be a resource for employees who have made contributions to the system. Conversely, people with lower incomes, kids, and visual impairments may benefit from Supplemental Security Income. Most disability benefits come in the form of payments meant to make up for lost wages.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits

It is possible to file a claim for disability benefits online, in person, or over a call. It would help to gather all required paperwork and data. Documents such as income tax returns, a list of all prescribed drugs, and dates for any operations and treatment appointments. Preparing well will make sure that everything goes smoothly.

The date on which the person became disabled and unable to work full-time is known as the disability onset date. It is one of the most important considerations in your claim. Documents of employment history claims made in the application, medical proof, and testimonies from family are used to make the determination.

Hiring a Lawyer

A lawyer needs precise facts to comprehend a Social Security disability claim.

The lawyer will inquire about the status of the claim during the initial meeting. Without the assistance of a lawyer, the analyzing process is exceedingly complicated and challenging to manage. It is crucial to submit an appeal if a Social Security disability claim has been rejected.

A timely appeal of a Social Security disability denial is required to overturn the decision. Every state has a different set of regulations governing when to submit an appeal. It is important to note if an appeal is submitted past the due date, it can be rejected.

When you work with an experienced Social Security lawyer, they will help you navigate the application process, identify deadlines, and help you sidestep potential pitfalls so you can claim the benefits you deserve.

Have you been denied disability benefits? Contact Regas & Haag, Ltd. to learn how we can help. We handle every phase of your Social Security Disability case so you can get the benefits you are entitled to.

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Occupational Diseases and Workers Compensation: Here’s All You Need to Know

July 24, 2022

Losing a job and any source of income due to an occupational disease or illness can exacerbate an already bad situation for the person involved. However, there are resources for vulnerable and unemployed workers who have become temporarily or totally disabled due to a work-related disease or illness.

This guide will explain how occupational diseases are defined and what types of illnesses are compensable according to the state’s industrial commission.

What Is an Occupational Disease?

According to the United States Department of Labor, ”An illness is an abnormal condition or disorder. Illnesses include both acute and chronic illnesses, such as, but not limited to, skin diseases, respiratory disorders, or poisoning. Additionally, illnesses are recordable only if they are new, work-related cases that meet one or more of the 1904 recording criteria. “

What Causes Occupational Disease?

An occupational disease is any illness caused by hazards in the workplace. These hazards may include physical, chemical, and biological elements such as the following:

  • Dust, gas, or fumes
  • Chemicals and toxic substances
  • Extreme changes in temperatures, noises, or pressure
  • Physical vibrations, constant pressure, and physical movement in constant repetition or radioactive rays
  • Infections and organisms
  • Radiation

What Types of Illnesses Are Compensable?

There is a list of compensable occupational diseases stipulated by state law, including the following

  • Anthrax
  • Glanders
  • Lead poisoning
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Phosphorus poisoning
  • Arsenic poisoning
  • Poisoning by benzoyl or by nitro-derivatives and amido-derivatives of benzol
  • Poisoning by gasoline, benzine, naphtha, or other volatile petroleum products
  • Poisoning by carbon disulphide

What Is Occupational Disease Claim?

Occupational diseases can leave you temporarily or permanently disabled in some ways, limiting your ability to return to work. In such cases, you are entitled to file an occupational disease claim. This claim entitles you to certain compensation till the date you are unable to resume your work or unable to join the workforce again.

What Do You Need to Get Workers Compensation?

If you have been diagnosed with a workplace-related disease, you will need a diagnosis report from a licensed medical practitioner to ensure you receive fair compensation. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation requires a medical diagnosis to establish the link between the disease and the harmful effect of a hazardous element.

However, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation also states that mere exposure or contact with disease-causing elements does not automatically entitle anyone to compensation. If you are taking any preventive measures against the plausible disease, you will not receive any compensation.

When Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation?

 The date for filing an occupational disease claim must be most recently after the disease’s diagnosis or medical treatment. According to state law, you are entitled to compensation at the following times:

  • The date of the diagnosis of occupational disease.
  • The date workers receive their first medical treatment for occupational disease.
  • The day workers discontinued their current job due to the exacerbating condition of occupational disease.

Time Limitation

Certain occupational diseases can take years to manifest or go unnoticed at first. It is incredibly tricky to establish the cause of the disease in any workplace situation. However, according to state law, a compensation claim must be filed within six months of the diagnosis or two years after the disability caused by the occupational disease begins. You may lose your claim for compensation if you file it after that.

Who Can File for Claim?

Any person suffering from an occupational disease or their authorized representatives can file a claim.

You may be going through a lot to take proper action if you fell victim to an occupational hazard. Regas & Haag, Ltd is dedicated to assisting you in successfully navigating legal liabilities for fair compensation. Our attorneys at Regas & Haag, Ltd. will help you with everything from contacting your doctor for your medical records and reports to filing compensation claims and preparing you for necessary legal hearings.

You can contact us by visiting our website or calling 330-649-9102 to get started.

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Everything You Need to Know About Receiving TTD Benefits

July 1, 2022

Workplace injuries are common and can occur in even the safest workplace. There are laws governing the compensation of injured employees. However, it can be challenging to get your compensation as most companies are not thrilled about making these payments.

What Is TTD?

TTD benefits refer to compensation as a result of a disability obtained from a workplace injury. The two categories of TTD are temporary total disability and temporary partial disability. This means an employee has incurred an injury at work that has left them disabled either temporarily or permanently. The company agrees to pay part of the employee’s salary for as long as they are out of work.

Eligibility for TTD

To be eligible for TTD, convincing evidence that the injury was incurred at work is necessary. Additionally, you will require an assessment from a medical doctor to ascertain that you cannot go back to work in the condition. The TTD payments will eventually end when the doctor confirms that you are well enough to return to work.

In some circumstances, the disapproval of the insurance company can also lead to loss of payment. This can occur if the assessing doctor is questionable. However, once you have been allowed back to work with restrictions that your company cannot accommodate, you remain eligible for TTD.

Applying for TTD

You can request TTD payment in Ohio by submitting a Physician’s Report of Work Ability (MEDCO-14) and C84 forms. Submit the two documents to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for assessment.

TTD Payment calculation

The first 12 weeks of TTD payments are a sum of your earnings for the 6 or 7 days before the injury. Your TTD will be 72 percent of the total weekly wage. If you cannot return to work after 12 days, the TTD will shift to the average weekly wage rate. This is calculated using your earnings for the one year preceeding the date of the accident.

At this point, the TTD rate will be around 66 percent of the average weekly wage. The TTD payments cannot exceed the state’s maximum rates set in place by the state of Ohio. Unfortunately, you cannot perform or take up any other job while on TTD. This equates to a crime punishable by the laws of the state of Ohio.

At Regas and Haag, we understand how tedious the compensation process can be. You do not have to go through the process alone. Our legal team is equipped and competent in handling the compensation process through the BWC. We will gladly schedule a meeting at no fee to discuss your rights. Because we have your best interest at heart, no attorney’s fee will be charged until we win the case. Give us a call today!

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Most Common Work Injuries & What to Do if You’re Suffering from One

May 29, 2022

While there is a downward trend in workplace injuries due to the increased health and safety measures, it isn’t down to zero yet. Many people still suffer from workplace injuries that force them to take a temporary or permanent break from work.

After seeking medical advice for your injuries, you should get legal advice on what your next steps should be. This article highlights some of the most common workplace injuries and what you should do if you suffer from one.

1.   Falls and Slips

Slips and falls are among the most common workplace accidents and are the leading cause of worker’s compensation claims. Slips and falls can occur during many circumstances, including:

  • Slipping on an oily, icy, or wet floor
  • Tripping due to uncovered holes, low lighting, or debris
  • Falling from skyscraper construction zones, rooftops, or ladders

Businesses should follow OSHA’s (Occupational Safety and Health Association) fall protection rules to ensure that their employees aren’t harmed on the job. If you’re injured on business premises that don’t meet the required safety standards, you should consult an attorney to file for compensation.

2.   Over-Stressing and Exertion

Overexertion injuries, such as muscular strains and RSI (repetitive strain injury), can result in long-term chronic discomfort and productivity loss. This sort of workplace injury is caused by:

  • Wrong lifting method
  • Lifting large items by hand
  • No breaks from repetitive work
  • Working on a collapsing structure
  • Carrying, lifting, throwing, and pushing
  • Microtasks in a factory
  • Working on a computer without proper ergonomics

Your organization should provide mandatory instruction on executing physical tasks healthily without straining your muscles. If they don’t, you can follow OSHA’s ergonomics guidelines. In addition, to minimize overexertion and long-term bodily injury, make sure you take frequent pauses and use that time to relax and stretch.

However, if you’ve already faced an extreme level of such injury, you can plan your recovery and look for ways to file a lawsuit against the organization for inadequate safety and rest measures.

3.   Struck by Equipment

Walking into a sharp edge of a counter or hitting your head against low-hanging equipment is pretty serious. Being struck by equipment can lead to severe hand injuries, amputations, stress fractures, traumatic head injuries, mental trauma, etc.,

You can get  injuries from equipment when:

  • Machinery is improperly protected
  • Wires & cables are tangles
  • Tools and small machinery are left lying around, and you trip over them
  • There’s excessive vibration from machinery.

Talk to an attorney to learn how you can charge for compensation, even for minor fractures, and not just amputations of body parts.

Workplace injuries aren’t an uncommon sight, but if you’re injured due to negligence from your employer, you deserve to be compensated for your troubles. To ensure that you receive just compensation for your workers’ compensation claim, you require an experienced attorney who will be by your side until the claim gets approved. We at Regas & Haag Ltd specialize in handling workers’ compensation claims in Ohio and can offer comprehensive legal assistance that you may need for workers’ insurance claims. Contact us through our website or call us at 330-649-9102.

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Understanding ‘Negligence’ in a Workers’ Compensation Case

May 5, 2022

What is Negligence?

Negligence can be defined as carelessness or wrongdoing that causes injury or harm to someone. In such a situation, the injured party has the right to seek compensation and file a civil claim against the party who caused injury due to negligence.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

If you get injured at work, you want your state’s legal system to protect you. The Workers ‘ Compensation Act controls accidents on the job and how they’re handled in the court system.

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

How does Negligence Affect Workers’ Compensation Claims?

People often believe that there is a direct connection between negligence and workers’ compensation. However, the reality is more complex, as workers’ compensation claims are distinctly different from personal injury cases. Let’s understand how:

In a personal injury case, negligence together with who is identified as at fault determines the success or failure of the case. You must prove that the other person was at fault for their injury while claiming personal injury.

Whereas in a workers’ compensation case, it is unnecessary to prove the fault. Getting injured at your workplace usually entitles you to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Can I sue my Employer for Negligence?

Generally, most workers cannot sue their employer for negligence in case of an injury. However, there are exceptions. You may be eligible to sue if a third party is responsible for your injury. Seek a consultation from a qualified attorney to know if you can make a personal injury claim because of a third party.

How can an Expert Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help?

If you get injured due to any situation, whether at work or not, you should consult an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation or personal injury cases. Since laws are almost always state-specific, it is recommended that your attorney have years of experience in the state where the injury occurred. Additionally, your first claim might get refused with workers’ compensation cases, but an expert attorney can help you get approval on your second time around.

To ensure that you receive just compensation for your workers’ compensation claim, you require an experienced attorney who will be by your side until the claim gets approved. We at Regas & Haag Ltd specialize in handling workers’ compensation claims in Ohio and can offer comprehensive legal assistance that you may need for workers’ insurance claims. Contact us through our website or call us at 330-649-9102 or toll-free at 800-520-2200.

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5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Filing for Workers’ Compensation

April 4, 2022

If you’ve been injured on the job, workers’ compensation is the best solution to obtain financial support while you are off work recovering. It is a system that exists to help you get through a difficult time.

When you’ve met with an accident on the job, you want to recover and return to work as quickly as possible. However, you also want to be compensated for your injuries and the time lost—workers’ compensation insurance can help with this. When filing a claim, it’s crucial to avoid mistakes that could delay or reduce your payments. Here are five mistakes you should avoid when filing for worker’s compensation.

Mistakes You Should Avoid When Filing for Workers Compensation

With all its legalese and complex terminology, filing for workers’ compensation can be an intimidating experience. So, it’s no surprise that many people make mistakes when filing their claims.

Not Reporting the Injury Immediately

After a work-related injury, it is essential to notify your employer as soon as possible so that they are aware of the accident and can report it accordingly. If you wait too long, your employer could reject your claim because it wasn’t reported in time.

Many places require you to report your injuries within a certain period. So, informing your organization about the accident immediately will help protect your rights to file for workers’ compensation later on, especially if you did not seek medical attention right away.

Failing to Ask for Medical Treatment from Your Employer

You must get your injuries treated as soon as possible—even if it’s just first aid or a trip to the emergency room. Not getting treatment can lead to further injuries or complications, affecting your ability to recover damages in the future.

Refusing to Cooperate with the Medical Professionals Treating Your Injuries

You may disagree with what your doctor is telling you, but failing to follow instructions could lead the insurance company or the healthcare provider to believe that you aren’t injured or are exaggerating your symptoms.

Not Having a Written Record of Your Claim

The last thing you want is to have to dispute the details of your claim with your employer. If you don’t have a written record of what happened and when it happened, it might be more challenging for you to prove that your injuries are work-related.

Failing to File the Claim within 30 Days

Do not wait until the deadline is almost over to get started on your application. Start filling out the application as soon as possible because it may take longer than expected to complete all of the paperwork. If you want to document your injuries accurately and are looking for professional guidance, you can seek assistance from the experienced attorneys at Regas & Haag.

In the wake of a workplace injury, it can be difficult knowing where to start or how to proceed. The frustrating thing about workers’ compensation is that it’s hard figuring out what you need to do for your unique situation and how much compensation you’re owed.

The large amount of paperwork and hoops you have to jump through to file a claim does not make this process any easier. But, if you know what to avoid, you’re less likely to have your claim rejected. This is where the Regas and Haag team can help you. Schedule a consultation today for more information.

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Can I Get a New Job While Receiving Workers’ Compensation?

March 7, 2022

People who suffer work-related injuries often look for a job change. These employees usually wish to switch careers and work in a low-risk industry, especially if the injuries they suffered were severe or life-threatening. In other cases, the employees may need to change jobs if their injury prevents them from doing the same work as before.

But is it possible to switch jobs while still receiving worker’s compensation? Read on to find out.

Changing Jobs While on Worker’s Compensation Benefits

Will you be entitled to the same benefits if you get a new job? From a legal perspective, all employees have the right to switch jobs any time they wish, even if they are receiving worker’s compensation benefits. However, sometimes, it may not be as simple as that.

Any decision you make regarding your job change could impact your compensation amount. For instance, the law permits you to receive compensation benefits if you accept a light-duty job with less salary. In that case, you may still receive partial benefits, but your weekly rate may not be the same as before. However, if your new job pays you the same amount as the former one, your benefits may cease entirely.

Secondary Part-Time Job

Injured workers usually opt for part-time jobs until they recover fully from their injuries. These part-time gigs help them recover better and allow them to take care of their financial needs. While part-time jobs sound like a great option, it is vital to note that any income received from such a job will reduce the amount of your existing weekly benefit.

If, as a part-time employee, you get paid and do not report your income to your current employer, it will be considered insurance fraud.

Things to Consider Before Taking a New Job

Many injured workers consider taking on a new or part-time job to meet their financial needs or out of monotony. However, there are some potential risks you should be aware of before taking this step:

  • Going back to work before fully recovering from your injury may result in a re-injury or permanent disability.
  • It may hamper the recovery process, making you unable to recover well.

So, it is best to consult your doctor before you return to work. Doctors usually conduct detailed scans and examinations to decide if you are ready to work again. If your job demands a lot of physical strain, it’s best to wait until full recovery.

Lastly, you must understand that your employer is not legally bound to retain you once you have made a full recovery. So, if you take up a new job, you may not be able to go back to your former position after recovering.

Taking the Help of Expert Attorneys

Filing for worker’s compensation benefits on your own can sometimes become an overwhelming task. This is where professional help becomes vital.

Regas & Haag Attorneys are committed to helping clients navigate the legal system. Our experienced and skilled attorneys can address all your queries and ensure you receive the highest compensation you’re eligible for. You can contact us by visiting our website or calling at (330) 649-9102 to get started.

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

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

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?

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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