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Elder Woman Owes North Carolina Thousands for the State’s Mistake

Posted by on Sep 2, 2017 in Workers' Compensation | 0 comments

When it comes to receiving disability checks, most people expect to be paid monthly by the government to help financially support them. Nobody expects to have to pay the government for their own disability. Especially if it is for a mistake the state messed up on and it is now your responsibility to pay them back $19,000 to fix their record books for them. If this sounds like a really specific example with some obvious real-world tie-in then your right.

For 74-year-old Carla Shuford, a phone call from the state treasurer’s office changed her life for the next ten years. Apparently the state of North Carolina had been overpaying Carla since 2016 for her monthly Disability Income Plan. There was some math that wasn’t accounted for and the state never deducted her cost-of-living bonuses from Social Security from her disability checks. So what was the state’s answer to this computer error so obviously on their fault? Well, they started to cut Carla’s disability checks by more than half for the next five years to cover their tail. Without budgeting for this Carla will surely be financially hurting for the next half-decade, which is ridiculous. She is not alone either; there are 60 other people who have to face financial hardships because the state treasury department didn’t properly compute their benefits. The craziest thing is that those 60 other people including Carla were all former employees of the North Carolina state department! It really shows some kind of incompetence when a treasury department doesn’t even know how to pay its own employees. In a bittersweet end to the story, Carla was able to change the repayment play so that she has ten years to pay back her surprise debt. This still means that for the next decade she will be receiving only three-fourths of the disability checks she had planned her budgets around.

It is absurd to saddle an elderly woman with financial struggles for a mistake that she isn’t even involved in. Since Carla’s injury was a leg she had to have amputated when she was 15, she would most likely be entitled to full disability compensation. That means that she could have lived in relative comfort with monthly payments and still she wanted to work for the state. And the state repays her by making her pay for their mistake. The main problem here is how the treasury department can let such a financial mistake continue and build up for so long.  

Carla says that she is happy that the treasurer’s office is working with the people who have been affected but also feels sad for those involved. Apparently, overpayments are one of the main problems in treasurer’s office as it was flagged in a state audit report. Hopefully, they do more to fix this in the future before more good people like Carla have to suffer.

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Dangers in the Workplace

Posted by on Dec 2, 2013 in Mesothelioma, Workers' Compensation | 0 comments

Working with asbestos in the workplace can put any worker, as well as their families, in significant health risks. Asbestos is actually a group of minerals mined and used in various products from vehicle brakes to building materials. What makes asbestos popular and widely-used is its characteristics such as being fire, heat, and corrosion-resistant. It is an ideal ingredient in products that require good insulation and fireproofing.

According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), about 1.3 million people in the United States are exposed to asbestos every day in their workplace. Because it has been used for many years now, the health dangers of have become obvious. Long exposure to asbestos can put workers in big chances of developing lung-related health complications. Among the serious effects of asbestos exposure are lung cancer, mesothelioma (a form of cancer that affects the lining of the chest and abdomen), asbestosis, and other gastrointestinal cancers. Many of these illnesses are incredibly dangerous, and often fatal. Survivors often live with the consequences of them their whole lives.

It is part of OSHA to ensure that workers who are directly or indirectly come in contact with asbestos in the workplace are properly informed, trained, and protected. Each worker is required to have medical examinations especially if they have worked with asbestos for more than 30 years. Those who have developed health complications brought about by working with asbestos without proper training and protections can acquire workers’ compensation for all the troubles they have suffered. Regardless of what industry you are working with, as long as asbestos will be part of your exposure, each company and worker are entitled to be given on-the-job protections.

Although worker’s compensation can help in easing the financial burdens that come from working with asbestos, if you think your company has not provided proper safety and protection to you and you have developed health complications, then you can file a lawsuit against your company. OSHA is required to monitor and regulate the exposure of workers to asbestos. This would legally signify that your employer has the responsibility of providing safety and protection against possible asbestos-related complications.

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