Dugan & Associates, P.C.
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Serving all of Western Pennsylvania
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January 2013 Archives

Yes, SSD beneficiaries can work toward eventual full employment

The title of this blog post may, at first reading, be confusing to some who have an interest in Social Security disability law. Many people in Pennsylvania incorrectly believe that in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you must be unable to work, period.

Man electrocuted while working at Carnegie Mellon

A 59-year-old Mt. Oliver man who worked for the Eaton Electrical Company was killed a week ago while doing electrical work at Carnegie Mellon. The University, while expressing its condolences, offered little information about the electrocution except to say that it was an unfortunate industrial accident.

Man dies in industrial accident

Pennsylvania industrial workers are constantly aware than an accident can result in injury or death, and are cautious to do everything possible to avoid them. Unfortunately, there was an accident recently which resulted in a death in California. The 62-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene after what has been ruled to have been an accident.

Social Security payments will be electronic for all come March

The Social Security Administration has been working on changing the method of distributing Social Security benefits for a while. Now, the SSA has set a deadline for when recipients of benefits-including Supplemental Security Income and disability benefits-need to switch to receiving their benefits electronically.

First responders to school shooting may get workers' comp

For the first responders on the scene of the Newtown shooting last month, there may be options to pursue workers' compensation due to post-traumatic stress disorder. A state Senator and U.S. Army veteran addressed the need to include post-traumatic stress disorder in the workers' compensation laws. She told the Associated Press that there have recently been moves to care of returning veterans who are suffering as a result of their service, but at current, there are not provisions in the law for workers' compensation.

Pennsylvania announces new rates for workers' compensation

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry has come to a decision about the workers' compensation rates for 2013. The statewide weekly average will be $917 per week for injuries occurring following January 1, 2013. This represents an increase of 3.3 percent from last year.

Denied Social Security disability claims to be retried

Applying for Social Security disability benefits can be a very frustrating process. A person who is applying for benefits has likely already experienced numerous challenges. Having a claim denied can make the process of applying for disability benefits even more difficult. However, if a person's application is initially denied, he or she can appeal the ruling.

Video reveals workers' compensation claim fraud

An Ohio man has pled guilty to workers' compensation fraud after an investigation by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. Video surfaced of the man performing bench-press exercises at his local gym, using a weight of 500 pounds. His workers' compensation claim, however, was based on his inability to lift more than 10 pounds.

FDA to remove contaminated soil from former worksite

In a process expected to cost over $2 million and last about 50 days, the Environmental Protection Agency will remove 3,600 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the site of a former electroplating factory in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. However, the funding has not yet been secured and a date to begin the project has not been set.

Applying for disability benefits after an ALS diagnosis

When a person is diagnosed with a life changing condition, he or she may experience a stage of intense grief. One diagnosis which may bring on this type of reaction is ALS. As this illness eventually leads to a person's death, it can be very difficult to accept, as one man who was diagnosed with ALS two years ago probably remembers.

Ohio stone company faces fines for exposing workers to health hazards

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revealed violations found at a Cleveland granite and marble company. There were 21 violations in total. The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires that all employers provide safe and healthy workplaces for their employees, and employers must adhere to certain requirements. If they are found by OSHA to be in violation, whether from routine investigations or as a result of employee information, an employer may face fines and additional citations.

Employees need to be protected in the workplace

Working in a psychiatric institution can be a dangerous job especially after last year's shooting at a Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Experts on workplace violence suggest that this hospital was not putting enough focus on protecting its employees from attacks by patients, thus causing workplace injuries.

Company contesting OSHA violations after employee fatality

If you have a career in the construction industry, you may encounter more workplace injuries than those that work in an office setting. Last March an employee was accidentally killed at a construction site for PARTA's Kent Central Gateway transit center and now the employer is appealing two workplace safety citations it was issued in connection to the man's death.

Number of people receiving disability benefits increasing

Many Pennsylvania residents have likely benefitted from disability benefits in recent years. According to a one report, the number of people receiving disability benefits has increased since the recession began several years ago. And, even though the recession ended in 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of unemployment claims and disability benefits claims has continued to increase.

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