Archives for January 2013

Residual Function Capacity and Social Security Disability Claims

The Social Security Administration (SSA) must know what you can and cannot do on a job before it makes a decision on your disability claim. The SSA will take into account both the extent of your disability and your capability or functionality in coming to a determination in your specific case.

Evaluating Your RFC

If you have a medical condition that does not fit into one of the SSA’s List of Impairments, then they will have an evaluation performed to determine what your functional capacity and limitations are and whether you can return to the work you used to do. This evaluation will determine what is called your residual functional capacity (RFC).

Generally, a disability claims examiner will work with a medical consultant who will review your medical records, including physician’s notes about your functional capacity and limitations. They will then make a decision about the type of work you can perform and the type of restrictions that may limit the work you do.

RFC and Strength Limitations and Impairment

The RFC will look at strength-related limitations that include your ability to:

  • stand
  • sit
  • lift
  • carry
  • walk
  • push
  • pull

Once your ability to exert has been defined, your RFC will be assigned to a certain category of work.

The RFC and Work

Depending on your ability to exert and your limitations, the RFC will determine whether you can reasonably perform various types of work, including:

Sedentary work. A restriction to sedentary or seated work means that a person has been determined to have the ability perform a job sitting, with the occasional requirement to walk or stand. The person will also be able to lift no more than 10 pounds at time.

Light work. A person who has been restricted to light work has been evaluated as able to lift up to 20 pounds on occasion and 10 pounds frequently. The job can also require frequent standing and walking with the ability to push and pull arms and legs.

Medium work. A person assigned to this RFC can lift up to 50 pounds at a time and carry frequently 25 pounds.

Heavy work. A person assigned to this RFC category can lift up to 100 pounds at a time and frequently carry up to 50 pounds.

Very heavy work. A person who has been evaluated into this category can lift weights of more than 100 pounds and frequently carry 50 pounds or more in your job.

A claim may generally be turned down your RFC determination means you are capable of performing work in one of the above categories. However, the SSA must also take into account whether you have other types of limitations, called non-exertional limitations. The exertional and non-exertional limitations are combined to come to a determination. Your age may also play a role in this determination if you are considered an “older” person.

RFC and Other Factors That Limit Your Work Ability

Non-exertional factors that are taken into account include your ability to:

  • stoop, climb, crawl, or crouch
  • use hands and fingers to reach, move, or handle things
  • talk, see, or hear
  • focus or concentrate
  • remember or understand instructions
  • function around noise, dust, or other environmental issues
  • work effectively out of depression, anxiety, or nerves

As you can see, the SSA claims disability process is extremely complicated. Combing exertional and non-exertional impairments to win a Social Security Disability Claim can be done, but you need to know how to do it. An experienced disability attorney can evaluate your case and help you understand how to tailor an effective approach to achieve your goals.

Contact an Experienced Social Security Disability Claims Attorney in New Jersey

Find out how we can help you effectively navigate the SSD claims and RFC evaluation process. We encourage you to arrange a free case evaluation with an experienced attorney at Taylor and Boguski, in Mount Laurel, NJ. Please call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 or contact us online.

Workplace Toxic Exposure and Health Impact

Many people are employed in workplaces where harmful or hazardous materials are used. If they come in contact with or are absorbed into the body, through inhalation of fumes, contact with the skin, or other types of body contact, a person may become seriously ill. However, when determining the health impact of certain materials at work, one must distinguish between toxic and hazardous.

What Is Toxicity?

Toxicity means that the material causes an unwanted effect when the substances reach a certain level of concentration at a particular site in the body.

If a material is high in toxicity, then just a small dose may be necessary for a body to absorb before it causes harm in some way. The lower the level of the toxicity of the substance, the greater amount of substance needs to be absorbed to cause toxicity.

What Is Hazardous?

A hazard is a probability that a toxic concentration in a person’s body will actually happen. For example, a material can be toxic by its nature, but not hazardous if all safety rules are followed and the material does not come into contact with the body.

Two liquid compounds may be equally toxic but have different degrees of hazard associated with each. For example, the first material may not irritate the nose or eyes and have no smell, as in the case of gas. The other may irritate eyes and nose and have a strong smell. In this case, the first material is more hazardous, because people have no ability to know when they have been exposed.

Toxicant Routes of Entry to Body

A toxic substance can enter the body through:

  • Ingestion – swallowing the toxic material
  • Skin or eye absorption – contact with the toxic material
  • Inhalation – breathing the toxic material

Chronic and Acute Health Impact of Toxic Exposure

A toxic substance can have immediate effects or it may take a long time to actually present the effects. For example, acid spilled on skin will immediately burn the skin. However, asbestos exposure or tobacco smoke exposure can take a much longer time to impact the health, in some case as much as 20 years.

What Type of Exposure?

On the job, you may have been exposed to a dose of toxic material once, or you may have experienced chronic exposure that has built up toxicity over time. In a one-time exposure, or an acute exposure, the dose and absorption into the body is quick. Chronic exposure is generally a low does that builds over time.

Some materials, however, may not cause toxicity over the long term, but they may have impact if a person suffers a high dose all at once.

Certain types of toxins include:

  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Asphyxiants
  • Narcotics
  • Systemic poisons
  • Nephrotoxic agents
  • Sensitizers
  • Teratogens

Are you dealing with health troubles related to toxic exposure in the workplace?

Email or Call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 for a Free Consultation with a Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney – New Jersey

If you or a loved one has been exposed to a toxic chemical that has cost you your health or caused you to suffer in some other way, a workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyer at Taylor & Boguski in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, can help you understand your rights, including rights to sue for damages or to obtain lost wages. We offer a free, private consultation where you can get your questions answered and your case will be evaluated.

Tragedy When Car Strikes Morning Bicyclist

A morning bicycle ride ended in tragedy when a Mount Laurel cyclist was struck and killed by a car. The cyclist left behind four children, 13 grandchildren, his wife, his mother, and his company which he owned.

Bicycling is a healthy, joyful, and generally safe activity. Bicycling is growing significantly each year, especially in cities where bike rental is available and convenient to access.

Despite increased awareness of cyclists on the road in New Jersey and elsewhere, in most cases, car drivers are not looking out for cyclists on the roads. In 2010, there were more than 52,000 cyclists injured in crashes in New Jersey and throughout the nation.

While bicyclists have the same rights to the road as car drivers do, car drivers often disregard this to a biker’s peril. Motor vehicle drivers whose careless or negligent actions strike and injure a bicyclist may be held liable for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the crash.

Common causes of NJ bicycle accidents include:

  1. A bicycle and car are riding parallel to one another and the car driver turns into the bike’s path, striking the cyclist.
  2. A bike and a car are heading in opposite directions toward an intersection. When they get into the intersection, the auto driver fails to yield right of way to the cyclist, striking him or her.
  3. A car driver parks the car and opens the door into the path of an oncoming bicyclist, who cannot swerve to avoid it.
  4. Inattentive car drivers simply do not see a cyclist.
  5. A bicycle that has been poorly maintained or is missing something as critical as brakes – and yes, cyclists do ride on occasion without brakes.

When cars are driving at speeds and crash into a bicyclist, the chances are great that the biker will suffer life-changing injuries. It can help a great deal to have someone who understands personal injury law and bike accident issues protect your rights.

Call 800-404-5299 or 856-234-2233 for a Free Consultation with a Lawyer

To learn more about your rights and issues of liability and damages on behalf of injured bicyclists and pedestrians, email or call the personal injury lawyers of Taylor & Boguski in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. We offer a free, private consultation where you can get your questions answered and your case will be evaluated.