The law firm of Turley, Redmond and Rosasco is one of the leading disability, workers’ compensation, and veterans disability compensation firms on Long Island. Through our office in Garden City, we are well-positioned to serve our clients in Nassau County, and we take great pride in helping our friends and neighbors recover when they suffer injuries that prevent them from working. Over the past 30 years, we have recovered over $250 million for our clients, including many in Nassau County. When Long Islanders suffer injuries that put their livelihoods in jeopardy, they turn to us to get them the compensation they deserve.
Areas Handled by Our Nassau County Disability Lawyers
We represent individuals in Nassau County who have suffered injuries and illnesses that prevent them from working in the same capacity as they did in the past, primarily through advocating for their interests before several federal and state agencies.
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides injured workers with cash benefits and medical treatment when their injury or illness prevents them from working temporarily. Almost all workers in the state of New York are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits because almost all employers in the state are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. This includes:
- Full- and part-time employees in the private sector
- Public school teachers (excluding New York City public school teachers)
- Public employees of the state of New York
- Farm workers
- Corporate officers
- Domestic workers who work at least 40 hours per week
- Non-profit employees who receive compensation for their work
A few notable exceptions are:
- Unpaid volunteer workers
- Ministers, priests, and rabbis
- Teachers employed by non-profit institutions
- Uniformed New York City police officers, fire fighters, and sanitation workers
- Individuals performing casual chores in and around a one-family, owner-occupied residence
A key feature of the workers’ compensation program is that it is a no-fault program — i.e., a covered worker may receive benefits regardless of who was at fault for the accident. So long as the injury or illness arose out of the worker’s employment, it (generally) is covered.
The program provides benefits in several forms, including cash benefits, health benefits, and death benefits. The amount of cash benefits claimants are eligible to receive is equal to two-thirds of their weekly wage multiplied by the percentage of their disability. For example, if a claimant had an average weekly wage of $1,000 and is 25% disabled, he or she could receive $166.67. Medical benefits cover the full cost of the injured employee’s medical care, so long as he or she is treated by an approved medical team. If the claimant dies, death benefits in the amount of two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage for the year prior to the accident may be paid to his or her spouse and minor children.
Social Security Disability
While the workers’ compensation system applies only to injuries and illnesses that arose in connection with claimant’s employment, Social Security disability (SSDI) provides benefits to all individuals who have worked for a certain amount of time and paid taxes into the social security system, regardless of whether the accident or injury was work-related. Some of the most common qualifying disabling injuries and illnesses we see in Nassau County are:
- Heart disease
- Mental illness
- Vision and hearing disorders
- Spinal disorders
- Gastrointestinal disorders
To prove that claimants are “disabled” within the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) definition of the term, they must show:
- They cannot perform the work they did before the injury or illness,
- They cannot transition to other types of work due to the injury or illness, and
- The injury or illness is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in the claimant’s death
The amount of benefits claimants are eligible to receive is based upon the amount of income for which they paid social security taxes — known as Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). The SSA then applies a complex formula to the AIME to determine how much the claimant may receive — this is known as the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). Any benefits the claimant receives from other sources (including workers’ compensation benefits) may reduce that amount.
Veterans disability is a program administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that compensates veterans for injuries or illnesses that arose out of their military service and that affect their employment capacity. The “disabilities” that qualify for compensation under the program include:
- Injuries and illnesses received during the claimant’s military service
- Pre-existing injuries or illness that were exacerbated by the claimant’s military service
- Latent illnesses contracted during military service that arise after the conclusion of the claimant’s service
The VA awards disability benefits based on a disability rating that is commensurate with the applicant’s percentage of disability, ranging from 10% disabled to 100% disabled. Generally, the higher the disability rating, the more benefits the claimant may receive.
Do You Need a Disability Lawyer to Apply for These Programs?
No. You are not required to hire an attorney to apply for benefits under any of these programs. However, hiring one of our skilled Nassau county disability lawyers to help you apply is in your best interests for several reasons. First, each of the government agencies that administers these programs requires extensive proof of the claimant’s eligibility, and an attorney can help you present the strongest evidence possible. Second, each agency has complex procedures in place to appeal denied claims, and these procedures can easily confuse and overwhelm those who are inexperienced at navigating them. And third, hiring an attorney may cost more on the front end, but that cost can often be offset by the potential increased amount of benefits you may receive when using professional help.
Contact Our Nassau County Disability Lawyers for More Information
If you are injured and no longer able to work in the same capacity as you did before, you may be entitled to receive government benefits through workers’ compensation, social security disability, or veterans’ disability. For more information about your eligibility for any of these programs, please contact the attorneys at Turley, Redmond and Rosasco by using our online form or calling our Nassau County office at 516-745-5666.