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Raising Social Security Age to 69 Will Put More on Disability

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

In an effort to jump start the President’s stalled Social Security privatization plan, Senate Republicans are now proposing to raise the normal retirement age to 69. Those of us who represent the disabled have to watch this carefully. As both academics and those of us in the trenches will tell you, this proposal would ordinarily force more older Americans onto the disability program – thereby not fixing Social Security’s solvency problem. But what if the sly Senate Republicans simultaneously make the standard for obtaining disability benefits so high that no one qualifies? They could have their cake and eat it […]

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New York Workers Compensation Benefit Increase Bill Introduced

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Here is a summary of the new Workers Compensation bill introduced on 6/9/05 in the State Assembly and supported by the New York State AFL-CIO. It provides a long overdue benefit increase for injured workers AND provides significant cost savings for employers. Sounds like a win/win to me! Thanks to my partner Chris Redmond, the firm’s WILG representative, for bringing to my attention the recent workers compensation benefit increase negotiated in Illinois. Chris just got back from the latest WILG Conference in Washington, DC where attorneys from others states were a lot less optimistic about real benefit increases for workers. […]

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New York Social Security Disability Bar Dinner

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Had a great time last Thursday night at the New York Social Security Bar Dinner. Along with five other attorneys and staff from my office, we got a chance to socialize and laugh with old friends and colleagues, including Richard Morris and Vic Fusco. Judge Emanuel Poverstein from the Long Island Office of Hearings & Appeals was presented with the Lester Rosen Memorial Award – the highest honor an Administrative Law Judge in the New York region can attain. In his acceptance speech, Judge Poverstein humbly described the role of a Social Security Judge: “Helping the most vulnerable in our […]

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Poetry to the Rescue for AIG?

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

The Workers’ Comp Insider, an excellent employer oriented blog for workers compensation info published by Lynch Ryan, has a great post on AIG’s public relations attempts to get out from under the current scandal by using poetry. If I recite a few verses to the next AIG adjuster I talk to, I wonder how far it will get me…hmm, maybe not. As I frequently say to my partner Bill Turley, “You can’t make this stuff up!”

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Spitzer Rips AIG and Greenberg Workers Compensation Fraud

Monday, June 6, 2005

Here is New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s complaint alleging fraud against mega workers compensation insurance carrier AIG and its former CEO, Hank Greenberg. Thanks to Matthew Lerner and his New York Civil Law Blog for bringing it to my attention. If the allegations are to be believed, it appears that Greenberg was a rogue CEO who would not take the legal advice of his own lawyers when they told him that AIG was defrauding the New York Workers Compensation system. If you read the complaint in detail, look at factual allegation #93. It alleges that AIG had secret “side […]

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Craig Rosasco Passes New York Bar Exam

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Long time firm employee and New York State Licensed Workers Compensation Hearing Representative Craig Rosasco recently passed the New York Bar exam. He will soon become our firm’s 11th attorney (talk about overhead!). Craig graduated from Touro Law School where he was the Student Bar Association President. At his graduation cerimonies at Lincoln Center last weekend, I had the honor of suiting up in my old St. John’s doctoral robes and “hooding” my brother. Please join us in wishing him a long and honorable career before the Bar.

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Memorial Day & Social Security Disability

Friday, May 27, 2005

As a veteran, Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day) has a special significance for me. As we all enjoy our 3-day holiday weekend, please remember that American soldiers are still dying in Iraq every day (now up to 1647). If you get a chance, please attend a Memorial Day parade and salute the marching veterans. They will appreciate your support. While we will be honoring the dead, lets not forget all those soldiers who come home disabled, either physically or psychologically. Since the news focuses so much on death numbers, its easy to forget the much larger number wounded in action […]

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Workers Compensation Rating Board Asks for 16% Rate Increase

Monday, May 23, 2005

Are they nuts? No, just greedy! The Rating Board, which is controlled by workers compensation insurance company CEO’s, waited until new Insurance Superintendent Howard Mills was confirmed before submitting their most recent money grab. Former Insurance Superintendent Gregory Serio correctly shot down their last outrageous request for a 29.5% increase, noting that industry profits were over 8% in 2004. Obviously, the insurance companies think they have a better shot with Mills. The New York State Business Council should start protecting its employer members by fighting the real cause of increasing workers’ compensation costs in New York State – the AIG’s […]

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Injured Workers Bar Association Conference – 5/14/05

Monday, May 16, 2005

Heard a lot of potential good news at the Injured Workers Bar Association conference in Albany over the weekend. First, along with the New York State AFL-CIO, we will be pushing the legislature hard for a long overdue workers compensation rate increase. Its been thirteen (13) years since injured claimants had a raise in their workers compensation payments. During that same period, workers compensation insurance companies have been reaping record profits while cheating the Workers Compensation Board. When will business, represented by the New York State Business Council and the Central New York Manufacturers Association, learn that gouging insurance companies […]

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Long Island Federation of Labor Dinner

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Chris Redmond, Craig Rosasco and I had a great time at the Long Island Federation of Labor Dinner this past Monday. Honored for his long time commitment the labor movement was our friend, New York State Assemblyman Tom DiNapoli (Dem – Great Neck). Tom is one of the major players in Albany protecting workers compensation claimants. The son of a CWA union official and a former school board member like me, Tom gave a moving speech about labor‚Äôs crucial role in protecting the middle class. No wonder some are touting him as a possible Lt. Governor candidate in 2006. We […]

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