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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Landlord's Refusal to Pay for Bathtub for Disabled Tenant Proves Costly

What are the rights of the disabled when asking a landlord to make "reasonable modifications"?

It is widely understood that, under Federal, state and local law, it is illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities. When it comes to housing, for example, landlords can be required to provide accommodations for the disabled  to help make an apartment or home more accessible to those with physical or mental impairments. For those who refuse, the penalties can be substantial, as one New York landlord recently discovered.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Civil Service Retirement Disability

Who is eligible for Civil Service Retirement Disability?

If you believe you are entitled to Civil Service Retirement Disability from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), you will have to provide your employing agency with documents supporting your claims of medical disability. Be prepared for the agency to make attempts to accommodate you so that you can continue to be productive on the job. It is best to have expert legal advice and guidance when trying to navigate any government program and CSRS is no exception. You should contact an

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

What do I have to do in order to receive SSD for my PTSD?

The modern world -- with its superabundance of wars, terrorist attacks, and natural catastrophes -- creates an environment in which cases of PTSD are all too common. Veterans, victims of attacks, and first responders, as well as their families, frequently suffer one or more of the severe, disabling symptoms of PTSD.

While PTSD can be the basis of a successful Social Security Disability (SSD) claim, it is essential that such a claim be medically documented for it to pass muster. If you have become disabled and the disability is not related to your workplace (in which case it would be covered by workers compensation), you may be eligible for SSD.

As with most government programs, however, rules and regulations can be complicated, and navigating the system can be challenging, especially if you are suffering psychiatric symptoms.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Disability Lawsuit Targets Uber's Lack of Wheelchair Access

While Uber has transformed transportation in New York City, there is one area in which the innovative company has often lagged behind the yellow cab industry—providing wheelchair accessible transportation for New Yorkers with disabilities.

Now a Brooklyn woman has taken the ride-sharing company to court. In a new lawsuit, the disabled New Yorker says that Uber's app purporting to link customers to wheelchair-accessible yellow or green cabs does not work. In court papers, she calls it "a paltry smokescreen.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Lawmakers Consider Expediting SSDI for People with ALS

Why is there a 5-month waiting period to receive SSDI?

While individuals with disabilities are eligible for Social Security disability benefits, there are a number of waiting periods associated with the claims process. First, there is a waiting period  from the application date until receipt of the first disability check. In light of the fact that most initial claims are denied and subjected to a series of reviews, this waiting period is often quite long.

Once an application has been approved, however, there is another five-month waiting period, and the SSA does not pay benefits during this time. Now, Congressional lawmakers are considering legislation that would waive this waiting period for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Suit by Former NFL Player Highlights Difficulty of Proving Disability from Brain Injuries

Qualifying for disability payments because of a head trauma has always presented challenges. Brain injuries are often invisible and it can be difficult to obtain objective proof of a disability. Insurers seem especially reluctant to acknowledge the seriousness of medical complaints when the brain is involved.

Insurer Accused of Deliberately Creating Burdensome Requirements to Avoid Paying Claims

A recent lawsuit over disability benefits by Haruki Nakamura, a former professional football player, vividly illustrates the problem.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Large Insurers Accused of Fraud in Denying Disability Claim

When can a policyholder sue an insurer for its tactics in refusing to pay disability benefits?

Obtaining disability payments is difficult even in the best of circumstances. Applicants must meet countless medical requirements, obtain letters and test results from doctors, and file reams of paperwork. But the task is especially difficult when an insurer may be committing fraud.

Plaintiff Seeks Damages for Breach of Contract and Bad Faith

That is the allegation at the heart of recent disability lawsuit against Unum Group, The Paul Revere Life Insurance Company, and New York Life Insurance Company.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

PBA Pushing for Disability Benefit Parity for Newer City Cops

What disability benefits are being provided for NYPD officers?

Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch has been engaged in a running dispute with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over disability benefits for City police officers. Currently, cops hired after July 2009 do not receive the same benefits as veterans. In fact, newer officers only receive 50 percent of their final pay for career ending injuries, while veteran officers receive 75 percent.

Now the city police union is enlisting the aid of Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a push to get the same disability benefits for newer cops.

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Monday, June 27, 2016

Retired NYPD Cop Convicted of 911 Disability Fraud

How much of a problem is disability fraud?

Recently, a retired NYPD officer was convicted in connection with a massive $400 disability fraud scheme. The officer was among more than 100 people who were indicted by the New York District Attorney in 2014. The retired cop filed a false SSDI application, claiming to be suffering from a mental illness. From 2005 to 2013, he collected $2,000 a month that topped out at $200,000 in ill gotten benefits.

The key players in the scheme included a retired NYPD officer, a disability consultant to the police union, an attorney and a pension consultant.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Reducing the Social Security Backlog—Will New Steps Help or Hurt?

How will procedural changes affect individuals applying for SSDI?

For those who become disabled, making ends meet can be an ordeal. And waiting for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to be approved is another obstacle for those already coping with serious injuries or illnesses. Currently the wait time to have a new claim resolved can be as long as 17 months.

Although nine million people receive disability benefits of approximately $1000 per month, the backlog means that 1.
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Monday, May 23, 2016

Improving Your Chances of Being Approved for SSDI Benefits

What can you do to reduce the chances of an SSDI denial?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a benefit provided by the government to those that are unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to an impairment or illness. That is, make more than a certain amount of income in a month. These cash benefits are not provided automatically, and those seeking them must undergo a rigorous application process and prove that they meet certain requirements. But, not everyone meets these requirements. In fact, most claims for SSDI are denied.

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