Trump Administration proposes more changes designed to make it harder to obtain and keep receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

Once again, the Trump Administration is proposing changes to the Social Security Disability benefits program that could result in many people losing their SSDI and SSI benefits. Individuals who receive disability benefits are always subject to “continuing disability reviews,” which were originally intended to determine whether they still deserve compensation.

For many years, there have been only three categories of disabilities that were used to determine how frequently an individual is subject to a review. The reviews were infrequent and generally triggered by some change in condition that Social Security learned about.

The Administration is now proposing a fourth category for people for whom it “believes” medical improvement is “likely.” These reviews would occur every two years and would primarily apply to children and Step 5 recipients. Step 5 recipients typically suffer from debilitating medical conditions and cannot work.

The problem is that complying with disability reviews can be difficult, and requiring more frequent reviews appears to just be another attempt to push people out of receiving benefits.

We will monitor these proposed changes and keep you apprised.

We regularly represent individuals seeking Social Security benefits and can assist you throughout the process. You can call our office at 610-446-3457 to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys. We will explain the process, guide you and fight to get and keep the benefits you need.

Another Victory for Pa. Workers’ Compensation Medical Providers

The Commonwealth Court has, in another case in which Attorneys Dan Siegel and Christa High were appeals court counsel, eliminated yet another method used by insurers and employers to prevent medical providers who treat injured workers in Pennsylvania from being paid. In the case, Workers’ First Pharmacy v. Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fee Review Hearing Office, the Court ruled that when a provider seeks payment for treatment or services under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, the insurer or employer may not claim that the care was not “causally related” to the injury. If it intends to dispute whether the treatment was related to the work injury, it must file a utilization review.

This is the latest in a series of appeals court victories for the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC that has yet again helped assure that doctors and other medical providers will be paid for the care they provide to injured workers. This also helps assure that doctors and other medical providers will be willing to provide the care these injured workers need.

Attorneys Dan Siegel and Christa High not only represent medical providers, but also represent injured workers, assuring that they receive every type of compensation they are entitled to. Dan Siegel wrote The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law Book  and The Injured Worker’s Guide to Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law, a FREE book for injured workers

When you need a lawyer who not only knows the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law system, contact the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC the Law Firm Whose Cases Make the Law.

We don’t have billboards and TV ads, WE HAVE RESULTS!

Pennsylvania Supreme Court bars insurance companies from taking away benefits from and invading the privacy rights of auto accident victims.

Recovering from an automobile accident can be difficult and painful. It is even harder if your auto insurance company requires you to go to a medical examination whenever it wants and with a doctor it selects—or risk losing your benefits. No more. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that insurance companies cannot mandate that insureds submit to independent medical examinations whenever the insurance company wants because these policies violate public policy (essential fairness) and are “repugnant” to the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL).

In Sayles v. Allstate Insurance Company, the Supreme Court concluded that the auto insurance policy provisions mandating these exams were void, emphasizing that these impacted the insureds’ “significant privacy interests” because they set no limits.

We regularly represent individuals injured in motor vehicle accidents and can assist you. You can call our office at 610-446-3457 to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys. We will explain the process, guide you and fight to get you the benefits and recovery you need.

Another Supreme Court Victory for Injured Workers (In Which Philadelphia Area Attorney Dan Siegel Was Counsel)!

If you get hurt walking to your job from the parking lot, you are often eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania. On November 20, 2019, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously agreed that injured workers should be compensated if they are injured in a parking area—even if that parking area is optional. Attorney Daniel J. Siegel of the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC submitted the friend of the court brief on behalf of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice.

In US Airways, Inc. and Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Bockelman), the Court agreed that a US Airways employee, who was injured on a shuttle bus taking her to an employee parking lot that was not owned by the employer, was entitled to wage losses and payment of her medical bills. Justice David Wecht authored the Opinion, writing that “the phrase ‘the employer’s premises’ in [the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation] Act should be construed liberally to include any area that is integral to the employer’s business operations, including any reasonable means of ingress to or egress from the workplace.” Because “the lot in which Bockelman parked her vehicle was integral to US Airways’ business operations,” she was entitled to benefits.

This is one of many Pennsylvania Supreme Court cases in which our office successfully represented the interests of injured workers and other accident victims, including many cases referred to our office by other lawyers. Just give us a call at (610) 446-3457 to learn how we can help you.

Why Voting Matters – the General Assembly and Protz

We all hear that voting matters. Recent events highlight why voting matters for every worker in Pennsylvania and why, if the legislature reflected the values of injured workers, this blog post might be different. Tomorrow, Pennsylvanians vote for judges, and it’s important to vote for candidates who reflect your values; your vote matters.

Here are the details. In 1997, the legislature amended the Workers’ Compensation Act to allow insurance companies to reduce injured workers’ benefits through a process known as an impairment rating exam (IRE). It took 20 years, but through the efforts of our office and others, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declared the IRE process unconstitutional in an opinion known as Protz II.

So what did the legislature do? In 2018, it enacted a new IRE process, fixing the problems that made the entire process unconstitutional. As a result, the IRE is back and insurance companies are using it one again to reduce the benefits available to Pennsylvania’s injured workers. And one appeals court has now ruled that the amendments were legally enacted.

If we had elected more legislators sympathetic to the plight of injured workers, there would not have been a new IRE process, and workers would have more rights than they do now.

Just like that, we are back to a process that can be used to reduce benefits for the majority of injured workers. So when you go to vote, for judges, for legislators, or for anyone else, make sure you find out where they stand on issues that matter to you.

Our office regularly represents injured workers and fights hard to get them the benefits they deserve – even if the system is not always fair. Just give us a call at (610) 446-3457.

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