Arguments That Your Los Angeles Disability Lawyer May Make On Your Case
Mesriani Law Group
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The Social Security appeals process can be a daunting task to undertake. While you still stick with your original claim, having to deal with it is like going back to square one. This is why having a Los Angeles disability lawyer would help increase your chances of an approval of your denied claim, possibly entitling you your much-needed benefits.

With an attorney by your side, you won’t have to deal appeal by yourself, which could be difficult given that you already have a medical condition. As it is, he or she will establish the best solution that would effectively win your case.

The first thing he or she will do is review the denial letter you received from the Social Security Administration (SSA). That way, he or she will come up with possible solutions as regards to the agency’s reasons for your claim’s denial.

After which, your attorney will devise a certain “theory” proving that you are indeed qualified for disability benefits as established by the Social Security law. In fact, here are the common “theories” which the disability attorneys use to establish your appeal:

  • Proof that your physical or mental condition meets or equals the criteria indicated on the Impairment Listing Manual;

  • Proof that you cannot perform both your previous work before you became disabled and all the available jobs you can do given your abilities; or

  • Proof that your residual functional capacity (RFC) classification is “less than sedentary.”

With regard to meeting or equaling your condition with the parameters of the disability listings, your attorney would make sure that your medical evidence would strengthen your claim that your illness warrants you automatic benefits.

If this “theory” does not pan out, your attorney will look articulately prove that you cannot do other jobs you did years before your current disability. That is, if the SSA deemed you as unable to do past work. Here, a “grid” is used to prove your inability to adjust to work that is less demanding. Also, sticking to such theory would also require the attorney to seek opinions from your treating physicians as to your disability and its correlation with your inability to exert even the simplest of work tasks.

Indeed, having a Los Angeles disability attorney is a relief.  With your representative on your side, all your worries would be lessened, as your attorney would argue your case and hopefully win you benefits.

The Many Challenges That the SSA Faces
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Social Security Administration (SSA) is that agency of the government responsible in distributing social security benefits among its members. They are the ones responsible in accepting, evaluating, approving, and distributing these benefits to the employee-members. That is why a lot of people depend on the SSA to help bail them out of their situations, making it easier for members to make both ends meet.

Problems affecting the SSA
Being responsible for all of the things related to social security, the SSA faces a lot of problems regarding the management of the retirement and disability funds of the millions of members. First up, the SSA receives very little funding from the federal government. Whenever the government needs to save up, the SSA is just one of the leading agencies that receive budget cuts.

Because of the limited resources, the number of employees, workdays, and work hours are very limited. This, with the influx of thousands of monthly applications for social security benefits results to a backlog in the processing of claims. Also, because of the overwhelming number of applications, there is a high-probability of committing mistakes in the processing of the claim applications.

Fraud
One more critical problem that the SSA faces are the high incidence of social security fraud. According to some reports, some individuals are using the social security records of other people, claiming their benefits. Efforts have continuously been launched to combat these but due to the SSA’s limited resources, the agency has been having a hard time completely eradicating such crimes. However, the SSA has been able to apprehend people committing social security fraud.

SSA victories
Not too long ago a woman was charged and proven guilty in court for her participation in a scam. According to reports, she helped her brother-in-law obtain $42,000 in social security disability payments. She participated in a grand scheme that also kept her brother-in-law’s earnings preventing him to pay taxes. This is just one of the growing number of social security fraud cases filed and won by the SSA. This proves that despite their limited resources and manpower, the SSA has been doing its best to perform its job.

So if you suspect that someone has been claiming your social security benefits or you want to apply for your own benefits, it is advisable that you hire the services of a good Los Angeles disability lawyer to help ensure the prompt processing of your claims. Through this, you can help the SSA solve cases of fraud and speed up the processing of your benefits’ claims.

The Importance of Checking the Status of Your Social Security Disability Claim
Mesriani Law Group
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Wonder where your disability claim goes after filing it with the Social Security? It is actually sent to your state’s disability processing agency called the DDS, or the Disability Determination Services. There, your disability examiner will look at your claim and decide whether or not you are entitled for benefits based on the medical documents you provided from the beginning of your disability application.

To further assess your eligibility for disability benefits, the examiner may request medical records from the treatment sources you listed during your application. This, however, takes time. In fact, the bulk of the wait time for a decision with regard to your disability case is on the request for your medical records.

Basically, your disability claim is at good hands with your disability examiner. However, if you haven’t heard from the DDS about your claim, it is in your best interest to check for the status of your claim. Before you call in for the status of your disability claim, you must first allow thirty days or so.

In calling the DDS agency in your state, you will be able to speak with the examiner handling your case. You will be able to know what specific type of information they are still waiting on. In other cases, you may also update the DDS about any developments with regard to your medical condition. Usually, cases move along faster after claimants have spoken with the one in-charge of assessing and handling their disability cases.

It is imperative that you immediately contact your Social Security field office or your state’s DDS occasionally just to make sure the decision has not been made yet. Notices with regards to your decision may get lost in the mail, and failing to call either two agencies may result in you losing your chances of undergoing the appeals process, especially if your claim was denied.

Moreover, it would also benefit you to hire the services of a Los Angeles disability lawyer before you apply for disability benefits. In case you need to check the status of your claim, your attorney will take care of it and relay the information to you.

About Vehicle Safety: The Car You Drive Always Matters
Mesriani Law Group
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Preventing an accident on the road is the only way if you don’t want to shoulder the burden of dealing with property damages, economic and non-economic losses, and the injuries you incurred. As a driver, it is your responsibility to keep yourself and others safe on the road.

But even if you consider yourself a safe driver who gives the right of way and follows traffic rules, you may still find yourself involved in a collision with another vehicle. Aside from your driving skills, the vehicle that you drive always matters.

If you are a licensed driver and you are planning to buy a new car, it is important that you purchase one that has a high safety rating. When you consider a vehicle a high safety rating, it must have the best safety equipment available and that you are using it in proper manner. Also, it is a must that you keep your vehicle well-maintained.

When you choose a vehicle with a high safety rating, you must first take a look at the safety features first. Also, you must ensure that the safety rating is final. That way, you are assured that your vehicle can be relied upon when you take it on your long-distance trips.

Always remember that you can’t always place all the safety equipments available for your car. Hence, it is important that you consider your driving habits in choosing the next set of safety equipment to be installed inside your car. Nowadays, more and more advanced safety equipment are available in the market, such as front and side impact airbags, backup monitoring systems, and electronic stability control (ESC) devices.

Since you have the basic safety equipment in your car such as seat belts, hazard lights, and rear-view mirrors, it is important that you always use them regularly. A lot of injuries and deaths happen in motor vehicle accidents because of failure to wear seatbelts.

Moreover, regular maintenance is likewise important in keeping your car safe from defects. By making sure that your headlights, turn signals, and safety lights are working properly, and that your vital car parts such as the braking and suspension systems are checked, you’ll definitely have a peace of mind.

For every Los Angeles car accident lawyer, the car you drive always matters. By making the right choices on your vehicle, and by safely employing your safe driving skills, you’ll surely contribute to lessening the occurrences of accidents.

Car Accidents: Holidays and Drunk Driving
Mesriani Law Group
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Holidays are such a wonderful time for people to relax. American families love going out on weekend trips, taking advantage of the holidays and making the most of it. Some people though just have too much fun for themselves, throwing responsibility out of the window. In days where holidays are observed, more and more people are getting apprehended for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

Because of such increase in drunk driving, there is a noticeable increase in auto accidents in Los Angeles, as well as other towns, cities, and states in the United States. To prevent these spikes in the number of accidents during the celebration of major holidays in the city, the operatives of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) are regularly setting up sobriety checkpoints during holidays in the state.

Recent implementation of such sobriety checkpoints was held during the weekend when St. Patrick’s Day was being observed. The checkpoints were set up across the Southland, most of which began Saturday afternoon. In the said checks, officers screened around 800 and 900 cars. There have been a dozen similar checkpoints set up all across Los Angeles in the agency’s aim to apprehend drunk drivers.

It is totally understandable that people celebrate and enjoy the holidays. The authorities however are reminding everyone to always be responsible enough when enjoying the breaks. Here are some tips provided by a Los Angeles car accident lawyer to keep you from getting apprehended for drunk driving.

-    Avoid drinking and driving. Simplest piece of advice. If you don’t drink, you won’t get caught for DUI.
-    Should you insist on drinking, be a smart about it. Eat up so that you’ll have a full stomach. This delays the absorption of alcohol. However, you still should not drink and drive no matter what.
-    One drink an hour doesn’t always work. Metabolism varies on the person and most of the time, there are no tell-tale signs to determine one’s ability to metabolize alcohol.
-    You can still get caught no matter how close your home is. So do not think about driving at all if you are drunk.

Having fun during the holidays is completely acceptable. However one should not forget that your safety and of others should be on top of your concerns. Remember, your wrong decision could cause damage to property, injury, even death to people around you. So make the right choice and say no to drunk driving.

When Tech Stuff Go Wrong
Mesriani Law Group
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Gadgets on modern cars are supposed to make it cool, right? But what if some advanced tool on your ride goes bonkers? Car manufacturers have been equipping their car models recently with high-tech remote starters. These systems help you crank the engine of your vehicle up with just a push of a button. With this feature, you don’t need the keys to turn your vehicle’s engine on and get it ready for action.

However, Japanese carmaker Subaru might have done something wrong with their cars that have been causing its remote start system problems. According to Subaru’s distributor in the United States, Subaru of America, some 47,000 card and crossover vehicles equipped with remote starters might have been suffering from a problem. Reports say that some Legacy and Outback cars made from 2010 to 2013 as well as 2012 to 2013 Imprezas and 2013 XV Crosstreks that either have conventional automatic or continuously variable transmissions.

These vehicles have problems with their remote starters. Subaru said that when the key fobs for these vehicles fall down, the engine may start on its own. After this, the motor will run continuously for up to 15 minutes. However, the carmaker also said that the engine may continue to start and stop until the time that the car runs out of gas or the battery of the key fob finally dies, making using the vehicle really dangerous. On the other hand, keeping the car in the garage idling may cause deadly carbon monoxide buildup.

Ford Motor Corporation is making a similar recall involving 230,000 Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans in 20 cold-weather states, as well as in Washington D.C. to fix the third row seats of the said vehicles.

Ford said that vans sold mainly in Canada and cold-weather US states are affected since salt is used to clear roads in the winter. According to the American carmaker, this can have the third row seat corrode faster causing it to come loose. Rust weakens the mounting brackets making it dangerous for usage.

While both Subaru and Ford said that no injuries have been reported, a Los Angeles car accident lawyer said that victims may file personal injury claims against the carmakers. If proven that the carmakers have been really negligent in making sure that their vehicles are safe, they will be made accountable for such negligence and you can be awarded damages to pay for your medication should you get injured, as well as to recover lost earnings and compensate for the pain and suffering the accident may have caused you and your family.

That is why as a consumer, you have to be aware of the condition of your vehicle and keep it properly maintained to avoid problems. If your vehicle however is really problematic, you can always approach your dealership to make sure that problems are addressed with your vehicles as soon as possible.

About Wrongful Death: Existing California Laws
Mesriani Law Group
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Most forms of personal injury results to the injury of a person involved in an accident. However, there’s one form of personal injury that ultimately results in the person’s death. This is what we call wrongful death. Just like any form of personal injury, this stems from the liable party’s negligence or misconduct.

Basically, the defendant or the liable party in a wrongful death accident could either be an individual or an entity. More importantly, the surviving members of the deceased person, or any qualified person not-blood-related to the person, can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the liable party.

Wrongful death lawsuits often stem from the most common personal injury accidents, including but not limited to the following:

•    Vehicle accidents (e.g. cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, or motorcycle accidents)
•    Pedestrian accidents;
•    Dog bites and other animal attacks;
•    Product liability caused by defective goods; and
•    Medical malpractice.

Moreover, every state has its own wrongful death laws, including the State of California. Here, such claim can be filed against the liable party by any of the following eligible persons:

•    The decedent’s spouse;
•    The decedent’s children, stepchildren, or grandchildren;
•    The decedent’s parents, especially if they were dependent on him before the decedent died; or
•    Any qualified person who oversees the decedent’s estate; especially if the deceased doesn’t have children or grandchildren.

Like every state in the U.S., the State of California has its own statutes of limitations with regard to filing wrongful death cases. If the death of your loved one stemmed from a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, or any other form of personal injury, you and your surviving members may file a wrongful death lawsuit within two years from the date of the decedent’s death.

Meanwhile, if it is caused by medical malpractice, you have three years from the date of the injury, or, if it is determined weeks or months after the decedent died, one year from the date of discovery. Also, if the death of your loved one was caused by a defective product, you have two years to file for wrongful death.

Indeed, taking on such a high-profile lawsuit can be very difficult. Apart from dealing with the legal battle to get compensated for the damages you and your family incurred, you’d also have to mourn for the sudden demise of your loved one. In this regard, it is important that you seek the expertise of any Los Angeles personal injury lawyers who can help represent you.

FAQs on Religious Discrimination in the Workplace
Mesriani Law Group
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Everybody has the right to choose his or her own preferred religion and nobody should impose his or her religion to another. Also, people should not be judged because of his or her choice of religion affiliation. However, even if laws against discrimination do exists, some people’s lack of knowledge and understanding has led to the continuous abuse of these rights for employees.

Now is the time to shed light on some of the important issues by answering some commonly asked questions about discrimination in the workplace on the basis of one’s religious beliefs. Here are just some of them.

Do you need to tell your future employer that you cannot work on the Sabbath day on the day of your interview?
No. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), “a prospective employee does not have a duty to inform a prospective employer of a need for accommodation.” The only time that a person needs to inform his boss about his unavailability is at the time when he or she gets hired by the company. Even if the job you are taking needs you go be at work during the Sabbath days, an employer can’t force you to do so, much less deny you of employment just because of the following reason. This is a clear violation of the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and is punishable by law.

Should you volunteer information about your religion?
No, as an old adage once said, “less talk, less mistakes”. Many people with different religious affiliation have been denied of employment because of such questions. If the employer asks about your religious application, that’s the only time that you reveal information about your religion.

What should you do if you experience discrimination based on your religion?
When such injustice happens to you, make sure that you document the discrimination that you have been subjected to. This will help you provide the needed evidence to prove your claims. You might also want to find a witness that could corroborate with the pieces of evidence that you have gathered. After you’ve done just that, you have to hire the services of experienced and seasoned Los Angeles employment lawyers to help you. Bolster the chances of your claims to be approved by making the right preparation and getting the best lawyers that you can find.

Following up on Your Social Security Benefit Claims Processing
Mesriani Law Group
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Retiring has to be one of the sweetest things in life that can happen to you. Imagine; after all these years of working hard and planning for your future. Now that your time to rest has come, you would want things to turn out smoothly as you could. You’d want to be able to sit down, relax and live what is remaining in your life. This is the time that is best spent with your family.

That being said, have you applied for Social Security’s retirement benefits already? Is your application still pending for approval? Are you sure that you have submitted anything and everything that you need to get your application processed?

Here are the ways on how you can check up on your SSI disability application:

•    Call your local Social Security Agency (SSA) office. Just ask them and they will give you the details and status of your application, and let you know if there are still some things that need to work on.
•    Log on to the SSA website. By visiting the agency’s website, you can have the latest information about your benefits application. Just make sure that you have your Social Security Number and the confirmation number so you can verify your identity.

You must remember that you should regularly check on the status of your application to make sure that you are aware about the progress of your application. By doing so, you also are made aware if the SSA needs anything from you so they could continue processing your request.

However, if you continue to experience problems in your application, perhaps it is best that you hire the services of Los Angeles Social Security Claim Lawyers. A good and experienced attorney is knowledgeable of the different processes of Social Security benefits processing and can better help you get sure approval of your claims.

Always remember to be patient as your application for disability will soon be approved. It won’t be long until you realize the dream life that you had worked hard to achieve in the past years.

Illustrating the FEHA’s Expanded Coverage of Religious Dress and Grooming Practices
Mesriani Law Group
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Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), a covered employer has to provide reasonable accommodation to an employee who practices a certain religious belief or creed. Unless the employer cites undue hardship to the operations of the business, an employer may violate the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

However, covered California employers nowadays have to be more careful when allowing their employees to practice their religious beliefs. Oftentimes, some of them struggle with their accommodations. For this reason, the FEHA’s definition of “religious creed” was further expanded, thanks to the passage of the AB 1964.

Signed by Governor Jerry Brown and taken effect at the start of this year, the AB 1964 expands the said definition by including “religious dress practice” and “religious grooming practice.” Simply put, employers are tasked to provide reasonable accommodation to individuals by allowing them to wear a dress or groom themselves according to their religious beliefs inside the workplace.

Also, the addition of the two new provisions also clarifies that it is unlawful for an employer to provide an accommodation to an employee in such a way that the latter may be segregated from either the public or from other co-workers.

To illustrate further, here are some of the examples in which California employees can dress or groom themselves freely inside the workplace as part of their religious practices:

•    California employers can now accommodate Muslim female employees to wear their headscarf called the hijab. Sikh male employees are likewise allowed to wear a dastar, which is their turban; for Jewish male employees, a yarmulke. Even accessories such as jewelry (e.g. Christian cross, Star of David) can be worn inside the workplace.

•    California employers can likewise accommodate employees with religious beliefs to allow them to wear a beard or a long hair, or even shave their heads, in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Accordingly, it is important that you know your rights as an employee now that covered employers are tasked to provide accommodation with regard to the dress you wear or groom yourself according to your religious creed. But if your employer failed to do so, then it may be best for you to consult with a Los Angeles labor lawyer to help you exercise your employment rights.

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