Nurses Face Increased Risk of Workplace Violence

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) has estimated that 2 million Americans a year are subjected to workplace violence. Specifically, there has been new light shed on the violence that many health care providers face on a daily basis. Nurses are most likely to experience workplace violence, with up to 82% of emergency room nurses reporting that they have been the subject of physical violence, and 100% claiming they had been subjected to verbal violence, according to a survey conducted by the Emergency Nurses Association.

Last month, the issue of workplace violence for nurses rose to the forefront when a cardiologist was shot at a Boston hospital, allegedly upset over his mother’s death. Although shootings at hospitals are not common, violent crimes in hospitals have been increasing as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Emergency room nurses and nurses who work in psychiatric wards are among those employed by the profession that faces the highest risks of injury resulting from violence in their workplace. Many of those who attack nurses are under the influence of alcohol or narcotics, or suffer from mental illness. Last year, a 70 year old nurse went into a coma and suffered brain damage as a result of a patient repeatedly kicking her in the head at a New York hospital. OSHA found that particular hospital had 40 incidents within 3 months, failing to take proper measures to prevent such scenarios from occurring.

As well as violence causing injury in the workplace, nurses also face a number of other job related injuries and illnesses that are prevalent in the profession. Back injuries, slip and falls, exposure to chemicals and diseases, and the injuries that may arise from a patient’s violent episode can all contribute toward a Worker’s Compensation claim if you have to miss work due to your condition.

If you are a nurse who has been the victim of workplace violence or suffered injury as a result of performing your job, you are eligible to file a NYS worker’s compensation claim. Contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will work aggressively to secure full and appropriate compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP have experience representing clients before Workers’ Compensation boards throughout New York City and Long Island, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.

Potential 2015 Workers’ Compensation Legislation

Last year, 2014, the state of New York enacted several Workers’ Compensation bills, including the New York State Commercial Goods Industry Fair Play Act and the NYCERS and WCB Mandatory Exchange of information. To refresh, the New York State Commercial Goods Industry Fair Play Act, in part, established a standard to prevent the misclassification of trucker drivers as independent contractors. This simply means that truck drivers may be eligible for workers’ compensation if they were to suffer an on-the-job injury.

The NYCERS and WCB Mandatory Exchange of information, among other things, mandated the exchange of information between the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) and the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) in an effort to implement pension plan offsets for the workers’ compensation benefits a retiree receives for the same injury.

This year, 2015, several previously proposed pro-labor workers’ compensation bills are likely to be reintroduced at the state legislature. Among them includes a bill which would require a presumption of permanent total disability if an individual is approved for social security disability benefits; a bill which would allow claimants to choose their own pharmacy; a bill that would allow death benefits to continue if a spouse remarries; a bill which would require medical treatment guidelines for all body parts and medical conditions; and a bill prohibiting the retroactive application of the medical treatment guidelines. While it remains unclear whether these proposals will be adopted, it is important that New York workers remain informed of potential rights and protections.

If you have suffered a work related injury, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and other damages. An injury on the job can occur in a number of ways and can jeopardize your ability to provide for you and your family.The attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP have experience representing clients before Workers’ Compensation boards throughout New York City and Long Island, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.

ABLE Creates Long Term Planning Solution for Disabled Americans

In order to qualify for federal programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person can’t have more than $2,000 in cash savings or other assets. As a result, many disabled Americans are discouraged from working or setting aside money for long term expenses, since they don’t want to put their benefits at risk.

A traditional planning solution that many permanently disabled individuals have as means to provide for long term care beyond government benefits, has been to create a special-needs trust. However, many people receiving Medicaid and SSI benefits, do not have the extra money to hire the necessary legal services to produce a trust.

This past December, however, congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, more concisely referred to as ABLE. Essentially, ABLE creates a lower-cost of means for the disabled and their families to save for long-term needs without jeopardizing their federal benefits.
According to the New York Times, disabled people and families with children who have special needs can pay into the accounts. So long as the money is spent on pre-approved categories of expenditures for the beneficiary, withdrawals from the accounts will not be taxed. Such pre-approved expenditures include, housing, education, transportation, health care and rehabilitation.

ABLE accounts have an annual contribution limit of $14,000 and can grow to $100,000 without effecting S.S.I. benefits. To qualify you must have been disabled before age 26. While specific regulatory are still emerging, anyone eligible for S.S.I. benefits will likely be eligible for ABLE.
Additionally, if you or a loved one have any questions regarding your workers benefits, social security, or disability benefits contact our experienced attorneys at McIntyre, Donohue, Accardi, Salmonson & Riordan, LLP. For a consultation, call (866)557-7500.