In this Blog category you will find articles about long term disability claim and your right to file for them. Personal Injury suits and insurance claims may require the help of an attorney. A good lawyer can protect your rights under the law.

Intel Severance Agreements: Devil in the details

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Intel workers probably do not realize what is given up when a severance agreement is signed. Severance agreement terms may differ among classes of employees. Some Intel severance agreements may include a term forfeiting rights under ERISA. ERISA is the vast federal law governing employee benefits including pensions and disability. Signing such a release could mean forfeiting long term disability benefits, for example. Do not sign an Intel release unless you are absolutely sure what you are getting and….giving up.

By |June 15th, 2015|Employment Law, Long Term Disability|

Resolving Washington State Personal Injury & Insurance Claims

 

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Richard Rizk is now admitted to the Washington State Bar. He is also licensed to practice law in Oregon, Federal Court (9th Circuit), Oregon District Court and Illinois (currently inactive). Mr. Rizk became familiar with Washington insurance laws as a high level claims analyst in the 1990s working to resolve environmental insurance coverage disputes involving insureds including Cadet Manufacturing, Port of Vancouver and Dairygold.

 

Can New Fibromyalgia Test Prove Disability?

Until now, proving disability in Fibromyalgia cases required a health provider’s report ruling out other conditions through physical exam and various blood tests. A blood test called FM/a may now be available to help diagnose fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a potentially debilitating disorder that causes chronic, body-wide pain, fatigue and “brain fog.” It affects more than 12.3 million people in the United States, according to the American College of Rheumatology.

FM/a Test May Help Provide Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

EpicGenetics claims to have produced a new test called FM/a, that identifies markers produced by the immune system blood cells in people with fibromyalgia. The manufacturer states that, used with a patient’s report of fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms and how those symptoms seriously affect the patient’s ability to do “any substantial gainful activity,” the FM/a test could provide a definitive diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

A report published in 2012 by Dr. Bruce Gillis, founder of EpicGenetics and developer of the test, stated that, in a study of 110 patients with a fibromyalgia diagnosis, and confirmed by two separate physicians, the test was positive in 93 percent of the cases. Of the 91 control patients, all but 10 tested negative for fibromyalgia.

Medical Experts Refute Results of Study

Dr. Daniel Clauw, director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, said the results are not consistent with results from previous studies, and would need to be replicated in other studies. He further added that these findings may occur in people with other pain-related disorders, which the study doesn’t address because it only compared those with fibromyalgia to healthy adults. “We have no idea if these markers would be found in people with other illnesses,” said Dr. Fred Wolfe, director of the National Databank for Rheumatic Disease.

The FM/a test requires a patient to complete a comprehensive health questionnaire, allowing the researchers to see if having other illnesses affects the results. The test costs about $750 and is not typically covered by insurance. “I can diagnose fibromyalgia less expensively with a questionnaire and by asking patients about their symptoms,” Dr. Wolfe said.

By |March 23rd, 2014|Long Term Disability|

The 529-ABLE Act: to Secure a Future for Those with Disabilities

When a sensible bill like the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act that has a long list of benefits, solves a pressing problem, and has bipartisan support, yet for seven years has not been passed, Congressional gridlock is to blame.

What is a 529-ABLE Plan?

The purpose of the 529-ABLE Act is to provide a tax‐deferred savings vehicle for persons with disabilities. It would help those with disabilities and their parents and caregivers, allowing them to put money into tax-deferred savings plans like the 529 plans that parents use to save for college. 529-ABLE accounts would be especially helpful for parents who have a child with disabilities that require intensive, expensive forms of care and wonder what will happen after they die.

Who Qualifies for a 529-ABLE Plan?

529-ABLE Plans would be easier and less expensive to set up and maintain than a trust fund, and would be available to anyone at any age with a medically determined physical or mental impairment which results in marked limitation or can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months or to anyone who is blind.

Are Assets in a 529-ABLE Account Taxed?

Assets in a 529-ABLE account could be accumulated, invested, grown and distributed free from federal taxes, as long as they are used to pay qualified expenses, such as:

  • Education
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Employment Support
  • Health Prevention and Wellness
  • Assistive Technology and Personal Support

Can a Disabled Person Have a 529-ABLE Plan and Work?

An individual with a disability can work and maintain a 529-ABLE Plan as long as the individual meets the definition of disability and is engaged in substantial gainful activity.

Can an Individual Have More Than One 529-ABLE Plan?

There are no limits on the number of 529-ABLE Plans per beneficiary.

Would a 529-ABLE Plan Effect an Individual’s SSI or Medicaid Benefits?

There is no impact on a beneficiary’s federal benefits, including SSI and Medicaid, if he/she is the beneficiary of a 529-ABLE account, until his/her total combined assets, including funds in that person’s 529-ABLE account, exceed $102,000.

Can a 529-ABLE Account of a Deceased Beneficiary be Transferred to Another Beneficiary?

Upon the death of a 529-ABLE beneficiary, the account could be rolled over to another beneficiary without a taxable event if the beneficiary is the spouse or another qualified individual.

At last count, the bill had 342 co-sponsors in the House and 66 in the Senate, and now needs

By |March 16th, 2014|Long Term Disability|

My Long Term Disability Insurer is so nice…not!!!

A familiar call: “Mr. Rizk, my long term disability insurer is so nice…it agreed to hire a social security law firm for me, get this, FOR FREE! I once thought insurers were mean, self interested…I was wrong…these guys really care.” Reality: Many long.....

By |February 13th, 2014|Long Term Disability|

New PTSD Classification System Aids Diagnosis

Recent changes to the way Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is classified are helping doctors diagnose and treat this condition. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe......

By |February 11th, 2014|Brain Injury, Long Term Disability|

What You Need To Know About Disability Insurance

In the US a disabling accident occurs on average once every second. Nearly 18.5% of Americans are currently living with a disability, and 1 in 4 persons in the US workforce will suffer a disabling injury before retirement. What Is Disability Insurance Income Disability, often called DI or......

By |February 7th, 2014|Insurance Law, Long Term Disability|

What to Do If an IME Report Denies Your Claim

If you feel that the Independent Medical Examination (IME) your health insurance company or employer required you to take has unfairly concluded that you have reached maximum benefit from your injuries and no longer need care, there are things you can do to counter that decision. How to Challenge......

By |January 30th, 2014|Insurance Law, Long Term Disability|

The Not So Independent Medical Examination

Sometime during the course of your treatment for an injury, your health insurance company or employer may require you to submit to an independent medical examination (IME) to determine if you need further care for your injury. What you say and do during this examination can determine whether or not......

By |January 30th, 2014|Insurance Law, Long Term Disability|

How to Get a Quick Decision on Your Social Security Disability Claim

If you have completed all required paperwork with your initial application for Social Security Disability, responded promptly to Social Security requests for information, submitted your medical records early in the process and then received a denial of benefits, you may appeal the decision and......

By |January 30th, 2014|Insurance Law, Long Term Disability|