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The Employment and Social Security Disability Blog

How do lawyers help with disability applications?

Social Security Disability Insurance is a program that provides benefits for workers who are no longer able to work due to long-term disability. Once an applicant has been approved and starts receiving benefits, the system can be a life-saver for people who are not able to earn an income due to injury, illness or long-term conditions.

Unfortunately, most people who are applying for Social Security Disability find there are many, many obstacles they must overcome before they get to the point where they are receiving adequate benefits. Sometimes, just gathering all the necessary documentation, filling out the paperwork and corresponding with the Social Security Administration can feel like a full-time job in itself.

Struggle continues to protect Michigan's LGBT workers

Michigan law protects workers from being unfairly discriminated against in the workplace because of their race, sex, religion, nationality, age and several other categories. The federal Civil Rights Act provides similar protections. However, neither state nor federal laws specifically list sexual orientation or gender identity as protected categories. Civil rights activists have long argued that this situation leaves LGBT workers vulnerable to workplace discrimination.

Recently, state lawmakers officials have revived a push to enshrine protections or LGBT workers into the law. Last year, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced it would interpret the state's Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protection for LGBT workers. The commission said it would consider the law's protections against discrimination on the basis of sex to include protections against employment and housing discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

Applying for SSD under the compassionate allowances list

Because of how important Social Security disability benefits are to many disabled individuals and their families, it is important for applicants to know there may be ways to expedite the Social Security disability application process. The application process is well known as being cumbersome, time-consuming and can result in many denials, so it can be helpful to fully understand the process before applying.

Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits depends on the applicant's disability, medical condition and work history. In general, to be eligible to receive benefits, the individual must meet certain work history requirements and have paid into the system. They must also suffer from a medical condition that prevents them from working and is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death. The disabled individual may establish their disability through medical records but the disability they suffer from may be on the list of disabling conditions maintained by the Social Security Administration.

What are the different types of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is prohibited in the workplace but it is helpful for workers to be aware there are different types of sexual harassment which can help them better understand the legal protections and resources available to them if they are suffering sexual harassment in their workplace. Workers suffering sexual harassment in the workplace may wonder what the different types of sexual harassment are.

There are generally two types of sexual harassment including quid pro quo harassment and hostile work environment sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment refers to when someone in authority, typically a supervisor in the workplace, demands that the employee tolerate sexual harassment in return for keeping their job or receiving promotions or raises. Hostile environment sexual harassment occurs when the employee is subjected to offensive, unwelcome and persistent sexual conduct that creates a hostile work environment.

Workers are protected against workplace discrimination

Workplace discrimination is against the law and workers who suffer it should be familiar with their rights and the legal protections available to them. Employment law provides valuable protections for workers who have suffered harm because of workplace discrimination.

Under federal law, employers with 15 or greater employees are prohibited from discriminating against an employee on the basis of race, national origin, gender or religion. Employers are prohibited from taking certain hiring and firing actions based on the race, national origin, gender or religion of the employee and if they fail to abide by the law, they may be liable according to a claim for workplace discrimination.

How do I qualify for Social Security disability?

This blog recently discussed how to apply for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Knowing how to apply for SSD benefits is half the battle but understanding how to qualify is equally important so that disabled individuals can receive the Social Security disability benefits they need. You may wonder how to qualify.

There are two components to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The first component is that the disabled applicant has the necessary work history to qualify for SSD benefits. This means that they worked in jobs that paid into social security and that they have the number of work history credits needed which is why it is important to be familiar with how many are required at any given time.

Helping you apply for SSD benefits

When individuals in Michigan are struggling because of a disability, it is not always easy to ask for help. While Social Security disability benefits are designed to help those unable to work because of a disability, some are worried about the application process. No one likes hearing no or being denied; however, many first time applicants have their applications denied. Thus, it is important for disabled individuals to understand what they can do to increase their chances of being approved.

The application process can be confusing and complex. If living with a disability is not already hard enough, it can be overwhelming to navigate the application process on one's own. At Miller Cohen, PLC, our experienced legal team understands how difficult a disabling injury or condition can be. Therefore, we not only take the time to help our clients understand their options and rights, but we also take the time to work through the details of the application process.

What it means to be a whistleblower

The workplace can be a very busy and complex place. Employees take on many tasks, and get acquainted with co-workers, supervisors and the interworking of the business. Thus, when an employee sees something going on that isn't right, they may seek to speak up about it. However, they may also be hesitant about saying or doing something as it could compromise his or her job, as employment law matters can be challenging to take on.

When an employee observes a violation and reports it, this is known as whistleblowing. The type of violation reported could range greatly, and it could include sexual harassment, violating state or federal regulations or unlawful business practices. Because an employee is putting his or her employer on the spot with regards to doing something wrong, many things could hold an employee back from blowing the whistle.

The SSA looking at social media of SSD applicants

We often share a lot about ourselves on-line. In a world where social media takes priority over in person interactions, it is easy to uncover many details about a person's life on these platforms. While this is common for individuals in Michigan and other states across the nation, one does not often consider how the information they share on social media could impact his or her ability to recover disability benefits.

Living with a disability can be challenging; thus, when obstacles occur during the application process for Social Security disability benefits, this can become a very overwhelming and discouraging situation. According to recent reports, it is suggested that the Social Security Administration may look to Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms when one files a disability claim.

Helping you secure the SSD benefits you are eligible for

Living with a disability can pose various challenges for individuals in Michigan and elsewhere. Whether one was born with a disability or acquired one later in life due to an injury or illness, one needs to consider his or her needs and if they are currently being met. When a disability prevents an individual from working, this can create additional problems, as one may no longer be able to afford food, clothing and even shelter. This is where Social Security disability benefits can be very valuable. This program was designed to help those living with disabilities afford their basic living needs.

Applying for SSD benefits can seem daunting, as many initial applications are denied. For the fear of being denied, many put off the application process; however, because it can be a lengthy process, it is important to timely seek these benefits. The attorneys at Miller Cohen, PLC, understand how complicated the application process can be, especially now that the government is looking to cut costs.

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