The figures for 2013 fiscal year have been prepared by the Office of Disability Program Management, and the allowance rate for the various levels claimant's have to go through to receive their benefits are available.
The premise behind enacting workers' compensation law was to ensure medical and disability payments to those injured on the job due to circumstances beyond their control. Prior to the enactment of workers' compensation legislation, there was concern over a "growing army of maimed and (disabled) work(ers) ... widows and orphans." Thus, states across the country initiated laws to protect those injured on the job to ensure proper medical and disability coverage for such workers, so that today virtually every employer is required to provide coverage, either through public or private insurance, or self-insurance, for those employees injured on the job.
As you know, there are two types of Social Security Disability Benefits, Disability Insurance Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. However, the process to apply for each benefit is different.
As of June 19, 2014, the FDA is requiring manufactures to add general warning to testosterone product labels of all approved testosterone products about potential risks of venous blood clots and to ensure this risk is described consistently in the labeling. FDA is requiring this label change because of postmarket reports of venous blood clots, such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) which include deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are reported to be unrelated to polycythemia, an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells that sometimes occurs with testosterone treatment. Testosterone labeling already warned about a possible consequence of polycythemia, but not related to venous blood clots.
It has been reported that on June 6, 2014 U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has created a MDL in the US District Court, Northern District of Illinois for Low-T lawsuits which claim that drugs such as AndroGel, Axiron, AndroDrem, Depo-Testosterone, Testim and Foresta caused men to suffer serious cardiovascular problems, including but not limited to, heart attacks, strokes and sudden death. The MDL transfer order initially sent 49 testosterone lawsuits to the Northern District of Illinois and has noted that dozens of other cases eligible for transfer are currently pending in federal courts around the country. The Order further indicates that related cases will number in the thousands.
The FDA has warned that the prescription oral viscous lidocaine 2% solution should not be used to treat infants and children with teething pain. FDA is requiring a new boxed warning, which is the FDA's strongest warning, to be added to the label to highlight this information. FDA further goes on to educate that this prescription is not approved to treat teething pain and the use in infants and young children can cause serious harm, including death. FDA has reviewed 22 case reports of serious adverse reactions, some including deaths and accidental ingestions, in infants and young children 5 months to 3.5 years of age who were given oral viscous lidocaine 2% solution for the treatment of mouth pain, including teething and stomatitis.
A few weeks ago, I wrote in this space about a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court which found that a man who lost his vision and hearing as a result of irreversible brain damage caused by complications of surgery on his work-related injury was not entitled to statutory awards for loss of sight and hearing because his eyes and ears were not injured. My remarks, I think, made it clear that I considered this to be as bad a decision as I have ever seen by any court, on any subject. Today, I am pleased to report that not all the news from the appellate courts is bad. The Ohio Supreme Court and the Tenth District Court of Appeals have each released decisions in the last month which are helpful to injured workers.
A few months ago, we wrote a short article summarizing Ohio law as it applies to the termination of teachers. We noted in that article the concerted movement to impair the protections that exist to ensure that teachers are not subject to arbitrary and unfair terminations. In fact, the efforts to impeach the teaching profession has led to the recent extraordinary decision of a lower California court finding that teacher tenure and due process protections are somehow unconstitutional. While this decision is undoubtedly an aberration and will likely be reversed on appeal, it vividly illustrates the lengths to which the anti-teacher forces will go to in order to attack and vilify the profession.
Recently, in April, the House Oversight Committee held hearings examining the disability determination and adjudication process. Based upon certain recommendations, it appears that disability claimants could be in for a wave of cessations. Cessations occur when people are reevaluated and cut off their benefits on the basis that they have either improved, or that medical advancements have been made regarding their conditions, such that they could be improved through current care and thus can not be currently considered disabled. It was recommended that SSA conduct more timely reviews (continuing disability reviews), that SSA should expand the use of reviewing ALJ determinations when an ALJ has a very high award rate, and that social media accounts should be reviewed and incorporated into a continuing disability review.
I often hear from injured workers a belief that the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) is there to look out for them. They didn't think an attorney was needed because BWC would take care of them.