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Rossville Georgia Legal Blog

What to know about substantial gainful activity

The great benefit of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is that it helps disabled Georgia residents who cannot earn a substantial income due to their disability. However, some people who are disabled may still earn some working income, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) is careful about not letting your income level go too high if you are on disability. This is why you should know about what the SSA calls substantial gainful activity (SGA).

According to the Motley Fool, your SGA is the amount you make from your working income that the SSA deems too excessive for you to receive benefits. If your SGA is too high, the Social Security Administration will judge you to not be too disabled to receive a steady paycheck. Keep in mind that SGA is determined by your work income and not from earnings from different sources.

Brain damage resulting from slip and falls

Georgian residents expect to be kept safe to a reasonable degree when out and about. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. There are some instances where a poorly maintained location will have terrain that lends itself to slip-and-fall incidents. These incidents in turn can lead to brain damage, which can alter a person's quality of life.

FindLaw first takes a look at different types of brain injuries that can occur due to a slip-and-fall. These are generally impact or penetration injuries. Concussions and contusions are both the result of impacts, which can happen if a person slips or trips and ends up hitting their head against the pavement. With both of these injuries, swelling and bleeding in the brain can occur. In the case of contusions, blood clots that may need to be removed surgically can form. Penetration injuries are rarer and may happen if someone slips and lands on an object that breaks through the skull and into the brain.

What is the workers' compensation rate for lost wages?

One of the benefits of being an employee in Georgia is that your employer most likely must carry workers' compensation insurance under the law. Worker's compensation provides you with benefits if you are injured while at work. This insurance takes the burden off you and your employer. While pretty much every workers' compensation claim results in the payment of related medical expenses, you may also find you can get compensation for lost wages.

The State Board of Workers' Compensation explains that if you are off work for more than seven days, you can usually get a payment for your lost wages. You do not get paid for those first seven days off unless you are off work for 21 days. At that point, you would then get the back pay for those seven days.

Why was my disability claim denied?

Most likely, you thought Social Security Disability Insurance benefits would bring you some relief. If you are suffering from a medical condition or injury that prevents you from working, SSDI can provide you with funds to assist you with your bills and lost wages. However, you have to qualify, and then you must apply.

The problem is that only about one third of all first attempts to obtain benefits are successful. The Social Security Administration rejects the rest of the claims after a rigid evaluation. Many of these denied claimants have better luck on appeal, but it may help you to understand some of the reasons why the SSA denies claims in the first place.

What do field sobriety tests prove?

If you know someone who has been arrested for and charged with a drunk driving offense in Georgia, you might know that they were asked to take field sobriety tests before they were arrested. You may not, however, fully understand what these tests are or how they may be used by prosecutors and law enforcement.

According to FieldSobrietyTests.org, the battery of roadside tests administered during an investigation for possible driving under the influence is used to provide sufficient evidence with which officers may place a driver under arrest. These tests are not capable of proving intoxication, let alone of proving a blood alcohol content, but of only suggesting that a person might be impaired.

When a driver is extremely tired

Many people experience fatigue on a daily basis, whether they have to deal with stress around the household or in the office. Some people, however, may become extremely tired on certain occasions for a variety of reasons. Moreover, driving while in this state can be very dangerous and may result in a motor vehicle collision which claims lives or causes those involved to suffer serious injuries. If you ever find yourself too tired to drive safely, it is important to stay off of the road until you have rested. Sadly, some drivers choose to ignore this advice.

Extreme fatigue may occur for many reasons. Some people may have only slept briefly the night before, or they might have been unable to get any sleep during the previous night. Moreover, some people may even be tired due to missing more than one night of sleep in a row. For example, someone who is returning home from a vacation on the other side of the world may have been unable to sleep for an extended period of time. Or, someone may be extremely tired because they had to wake up unusually early for work and were only able to sleep for a very short period of time.

How does medical debt impact credit rating?

Having any type of debt has some effect on your credit rating in Georgia. However, not all debt is created equal in the eyes of the credit bureaus. One type of debt that they may treat in a different way is medical debt. Due to the state of healthcare many people have medical debts on their credit records. It is not uncommon at all. It is also a special type of debt because it is much different than credit cards or loans. Typically, if you have medical debt, it is because you truly cannot afford to pay it.

According to Experian, the credit bureaus give you more time before putting medical debt on your credit report. They generally wait about six months. This gives you time to fix any insurance issues or to pay the debt before it impacts your credit in any way. However, after that time, it does show as an unpaid debt on your report and will impact your credit score.

What impact will federal criminal justice reform have?

There are many who feel the criminal justice system has terrible problems. It can be difficult to argue when prisons are over capacity and crime does not seem to be decreasing. There have been many attempts to revise laws and make changes to fix the issue, but none have really worked. According to The Hill, the FIRST STEP Act may help. While it is a federal law, it may help states like Georgia.

The FIRST STEP Act aims to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the justice system. Ultimately, the idea is to only sentence the criminals who have the most serious crimes to time behind bars. The Act works toward this by calling for the release of non-violent and low-level offenders. It also aims to help with assistance for prisoners to make it easier to reenter society.

Having trouble getting back to work after a job-related accident?

When you experience an injury at work, it is much more than just a painful inconvenience. Some Georgia workers experience serious injuries to the extent where they require an extensive recovery, and even then, they may not be able to return to the same job they had before. If you find yourself in this position, you may need to know about the options available to you.

After a work accident or the onset of an occupational illness, you have the right to seek benefits through a workers' compensation claim. Through your employer's insurance, you can seek financial support to cover the cost of your medical bills, lost wages and more. You also may be able to secure help with vocational rehabilitation. 

Will I still receive disability benefits during the shutdown?

With the federal government shutdown extending into the longest shutdown in American history, Georgia residents who receive Social Security Disability may wonder if the ongoing deadlock in Washington will interfere with their ability to receive benefits. While the shutdown has caused some agencies to place government employees on furlough and limit services, the good news is that the Social Security Administration has not been adversely impacted.

As the Business Insider explains, previous government shutdowns have caused the Social Security Administration to furlough employees and limit some of the agency’s services. However, this past September Congress had passed a bill that fully funded the Social Security Administration through September of 2019. This means that the SSA has the funding to continue its normal operations.