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Myths about Permanent Disability Benefits

There are a lot of different myths and misconceptions about disability benefits, especially permanent disability. If you’ve been injured or have an illness that makes it difficult or impossible for you to work regularly, you need to consider applying for permanent disability. However, you want to make certain you understand the myths around it and educate yourself about the process and what permanent disability benefits mean.

Myth: You Can’t Work with Benefits

Many people believe you can’t work at all while applying for disability or receiving benefits. That’s not the case. In fact, there’s a monthly limit to the amount of money you can earn from work while on disability. You can also earn money from investments and interest you make on investments. If you’re married, your there’s no limit on how much money your spouse can make.

Myth: Everyone Who Applies is Denied the First Time

Most people have heard that they will be denied benefits the first time they apply. While it’s true that many people who do apply are denied at first, but if you fill out all of the necessary paperwork and have all of the required documentation, you can certainly be approved for your benefits right away.

Myth: Young People Can’t get Permanent Disability

Another misconception people have about disability is that it’s only available to older people. They believe that if they’re not near retirement age, they can’t get benefits. That’s not true at all. You actually become eligible to receive disability when you turn 18, but the amount you receive depends on how much you’ve paid into social security. Older people will usually be eligible for more monthly benefits than young people, which is likely the basis of this myth.

Your Benefits Will Fully Replace Your Income

Sadly, this is a myth. Your benefits are calculated based off of your lifetime average wage. That means if you’ve had a low paying job for much of your life, but had a higher paying job for the last two years, your benefits won’t match that higher salary.

Need Help Applying?

If you need assistance applying for permanent disability, the experts at Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.

  • Posted on: Dec 30 2019
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How Do Ultrasounds Help with Pain?

If you’re in pain, but don’t want to take pain medication all the time, you may have heard about therapeutic ultrasound. This pain management option isn’t something many people understand or even know about most. Most think of ultrasounds in relation to pregnancy, but the technology can be used for much more. In fact, ultrasounds have been used to treat pain as far back as the 1940s!

How Does it Work?

Therapeutic ultrasound is done in much the same way as ultrasounds used to view a fetus is done. The doctor will first apply a transmission gel to the area. Next, they run an ultrasound probe over that area. The gel transfers the vibrations from the probe to the skin.

How Does it Help?

Ultrasound vibrations help increase the flow of blood in the area where they’re applied to. This can help reduce inflammation and swelling. Some studies even suggest that it helps bone fractures heal faster. If you have pain caused by old scar tissue, high intensity ultrasounds can help break that tissue down and relieve the pain. Ultrasound is often used to treat injuries to soft tissue, muscle spasms, and non-acute joint swelling.

Another way ultrasounds can be used in treatment is called phonophoresis. This is a way of administering medication beneath the skin without using a needle. The ultrasound vibrations actually push the medication through the upper layer of the skin.

What to Expect from a Treatment

An ultrasound session doesn’t take long at all. Typically, the doctor will run the probe over the area for about five minutes. However, if the ultrasound is being used to break down scar tissue, it can take longer. During the treatment, the doctor will continue to move the probe around the area. You won’t feel any pain at all. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to have ultrasounds done several times.

Do You Suffer from Chronic Pain?

If you have pain that you believe could be treated by ultrasound or want to know if ultrasound therapy is an option, contact Maximum Orthopedics today to set up a consultation.

  • Posted on: Dec 15 2019
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Signs You Are in Shock After an Accident

If you’ve been in an auto accident, you may find yourself going into shock. Shock is a physical condition that occurs when the blood flowing through your body suddenly decreases. It can come from a number of things in addition to an accident, including an infection, an allergic reaction, and even from heatstroke. Shock is a major condition that needs to be taken seriously because it means your organs are not getting the oxygen and blood they need.

The Signs of Shock

It can often be difficult to tell if you’re in shock yourself since some of the most common signs are appearance. Your skin may look pale, your pupils may dilate, and you may find that you feel cool or clammy to the touch. The tips of your fingers or lips can also become somewhat blue or gray in color.

While you may not necessarily notice these signs of shock yourself, you can take note of your breathing and pulse. If both are rapid, you may be in shock. Other signs include vomiting, nausea, weakness, dizziness, and feeling agitated or anxious.

You don’t need to have all of these symptoms to be in shock. In the early stages of shock, you may only experience one or two of them, but the longer the condition goes on, the more symptoms may come on.

What to Do When in Shock

If you’re in shock, you need to call 911 or let someone know that you need medical assistance as soon as possible. Lie down and elevate your legs unless doing so would cause you further injury or causes pain. Do your best not to move. Don’t eat or drink anything, and loosen your clothing if it feels too tight. If you believe you’re going to start vomiting, you may turn on your side unless doing so causes pain.

The most important thing is to call for medical assistance or let someone know that you need help. Shock is serious, and without help, your organs can be permanently damaged due to lack of oxygen.

If you’re in shock due to an auto accident, the condition needs to be included in any claim you file. The doctors at Maximum Orthopedics can help you file the correct paperwork and submit all of the necessary medical documents needed. Call today to discuss your case.

  • Posted on: Nov 30 2019
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How Employees Are Protected from Retaliation in Workers Comp Cases

If you’re thinking about filing a workers comp case or if you’ve been asked to testify in a workers comp case, you may be concerned about losing your job or facing some other type of retaliation from your employer. Fortunately, the law provides a number of protections against retaliation.

You Can’t Be Fired

If you file a workers comp claim, it’s illegal for you to be fired in most states, including New York. According to the New York State Workers Compensation Board, your employer cannot fire you or in any other way discriminate or retaliate against you. This protection covers both employees who file workers comp cases and those who are called to testify or provide information in these cases.

You Also Can’t Be Demoted or Otherwise Penalized

If you’re suddenly demoted without a legitimate reason or believe you’re being penalized in some way, you can report your employer to the board and file a complaint. This includes being given lesser work or assignments, having your pay reduced, and being harassed. The bottom line is that your employer cannot prevent you from filing or testifying in a workers comp case, and they cannot do anything to penalize you for doing so, either.

What If They Do?

It’s important to also note that New York is what’s considered an “employment-at-will” state. This means that employers do have the right to fire employees for any reason at any time. What many will do is document any small infraction you make and then cite that infraction as the reason for your termination rather than going against the protections provided in workers comp. This can make it very difficult to bring a wrongful termination case against them, especially if they have solid documentation against you and didn’t move to terminate you right away.

Employers may be tempted to retaliate against employees who cost them money, especially if they were forced to pay out a large sum in a workers comp case. If you filed such a case or testified in one and were later fired, you need to seek legal assistance if you plan on fighting that termination.

You also want to make certain your workers comp claim is as solid as it can be so there’s no need to worry about losing your case. The experts at Maximum Orthopedics can help you file your claim and assist with any other paperwork required. Contact us today to schedule a meeting.

  • Posted on: Nov 15 2019
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Three Necessities of a Workers’ Comp Claim

If you want to win your workers’ comp case, you need to make certain that you meet the three necessities that any valid claim must have. A workers’ comp case isn’t always that difficult, but if you’re lacking in one of these three factors, it can be impossible to win. Here are the three necessities of any workers’ comp claim.

1) You Must Be Covered

While many employers are required by the state or federal government to carry workers’ comp insurance, there are a few that actually don’t have to. Because guidelines vary from state to state, some employers may be exempt from workers’ comp due to how small they are. For example, if you are the sole employee of a business, that business may not have to provide workers’ comp coverage. Some other states may have exemptions for construction and agricultural companies. Others don’t require charities to cover workers’ comp.

In New York, any company with even one employee, volunteer, or subcontractor must carry workers’ comp. If you’ve been injured while employed by a company, it’s very likely that you will be covered. However, it’s always best to consult a legal expert.

However, you also must be a legal employee of the company. This means if you worked as a contractor, consultant, or freelancer, you likely are not eligible for workers’ comp. Volunteers are also usually not eligible.

2) Your Injury/Illness Must Be Related to Your Work

The next necessity is that your injury must have occurred while you were doing something related to work. This doesn’t necessarily mean you had to be in your office or on the job site. If you’re traveling for work, injuries sustained during travel may fall under workers’ comp, as can injuries that occur while you’re on your lunch break. There are a number of rules that help determine when an injury is work-related and when it isn’t.

3) You Must File the Correct Paperwork on Time

Finally, you must be certain you file the correct paperwork on time. If you don’t, even if your case is clearly qualifies you for workers’ comp, you may not be eligible. It’s important you meet every deadline.

Let Us Help

Need help completing your workers’ comp paperwork? Contact Maximum Orthopedics today to talk to one of our workers’ comp experts.

  • Posted on: Oct 30 2019
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How Do Workers’ Comp Leave and FMLA Differ?

There are two different types of leave available to those who need it: workers’ comp and FMLA (the Family and Medical Leave Act). It’s important, however, not to confuse the two. They are not the same, and you are likely going to be eligible for one or the other but not both. If you’re in need of leave, you need to know how these two options differ so you can make the best choice. Here are some of the most fundamental and important differences between worker’s comp and FMLA.

Workers’ Comp Is Only for Your Injuries

If you’re injured on the job, workers’ comp is your go-to option. Work-related injuries are why it was created. However, it’s only available for injuries you have sustained. If you need to take time off work due to the injury or illness of a child, spouse, parent, or other person, workers’ comp is not an option.

However, FMLA is. This leave provides those who meet the eligibility requirements with up to 12 weeks of leave per 12 months (not a calendar year—12 months from the date you receive FMLA). FMLA leave is unpaid, but it does protect your job. Employers are not allowed to retaliate against anyone who is eligible for FMLA.

Leave Time

With FMLA, you can take either 12 weeks at once or ask for intermittent FMLA that you can take as needed, working some days and taking off others. However, your employer can require that you use up all of your paid sick and leave time before taking FMLA.

With workers’ comp, you receive up to six months of paid time off. You are not required to use up any of your personal leave before taking workers’ comp time. However, it’s important to note that each state can implement its own version of workers’ comp, which means your actual compensation or time off can vary. With FMLA, that is not the case—it is a federal law that must be implemented the same way across the country.

Your Employer May Not Offer FMLA

It’s also important to note that only companies with 50 or more employees have to offer FMLA. Small businesses are not required to provide this type of leave. Workers’ comp, on the other hand, is required of every company with employees.

Need Help Filing for Workers’ Comp?

If you need to file for workers’ comp or aren’t sure if it’s the right option, you need a proven workers’ comp doctor on your side. The experts at Maximum Orthopedics have assisted many employees with filing for the compensation they’re due. Contact us today to discuss your specifics.

  • Posted on: Oct 15 2019
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Managing Your Pain Without Drugs

No one wants to live their life with pain, especially if it’s severe or chronic pain. But no one wants to take a ton of medications, either, especially when they’re addictive painkillers or have bad side effects. Fortunately, there are ways of managing your pain without resorting to pills. These pain management techniques will help you live a life that is, if not completely pain-free, at least with as little pain as possible.

Exercise

To many, this sounds backwards—if you hurt, surely you don’t want to exercise and risk hurting yourself even more, right? Actually, the opposite is true. Depending on what’s causing your pain, sometimes strengthening your body or helping the muscles loosen up is the best option, and exercise is great for that. That’s not to say that you need to hit the gym, but sometimes, simply walking or doing some light exercising can truly help reduce your pain. While rest, especially right after an injury, is necessary, if you are inactive for too long, it can make the pain worse.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often a special type of exercise that focuses on working certain muscles or parts of the body. Like exercise, it can help restore mobility and reduce or eliminate pain. Because physical therapy is done under the supervision of a healthcare professional, there’s little or not chance you’ll cause further damage. Often, patients begin with physical therapy before moving on to exercising on their own.

Massage and Chiropractic Care

Massage can help ease the pain in your muscles, and chiropractic care can help realign your spine, neck, and head to reduce inflammation and other issues. While you may need to seek out this type of care regularly, it’s often more effective than taking medication. Sometimes a single spinal realignment is all it takes.

Surgery

In severe cases, orthopedic surgery may be the best option for pain. While no one likes undergoing surgery, it can be the most beneficial option and may be the only way to truly live pain-free. Some procedures are now minimally-invasive, making them much better options.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you want to live your life without pain and medications, the experts here at Maximum Orthopedics can help. Contact us today to discuss options.

  • Posted on: Sep 30 2019
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How Much of My Salary Will Temporary Disability Cover?

If you’ve been injured on the job and are unable to work, you may have to file for temporary disability in order to have some form of income while you’re recovering. Unlike permanent disability, temporary disability is only available for a short time, but it is ideal if you’ve broken a limb or are dealing with a medical issue that you are expected to make a full recovery from but will need a number of weeks to recover before you can work again.

How Much Do You Receive?

If you are approved for short term or temporary disability, you will receive 50 percent of your salary or standard amount of hours worked. This is calculated by averaging your pay for the previous eight weeks. However, there is a weekly maximum—you cannot receive more than $170 a week in temporary disability payments.

It’s also important to note that you will not start receiving payments until the eighth day of being unable to work. The first seven days are considered an unpaid waiting period.

Are There Other Limits?

In addition to the maximum weekly payment, there are a few other limits and exclusions you need to know about. First, you can only receive temporary disability for 26 weeks out of every 52-week pay period—note that this is 52 consecutive weeks, not a calendar year. If you start receiving temporary disability in October, the 26-week limit will not reset on January first.

Note that disability insurance only covers 50% of your wages, not any other costs. It will not pay out on any medical costs.

For women who are pregnant, temporary disability will cover the first six weeks starting immediately after giving birth for those who had a normal delivery. For women who had to have a Caesarian, temporary disability covers eight weeks of income. In cases of birth complications or other medical issues, this period can be extended. However, these extensions are granted on a case-by-case basis.

What About the Paperwork?

The paperwork to apply for and receive temporary disability can be a headache. That’s why you always want to work with an expert in disability and workers compensation. Maximum Orthopedics has a number of experts on staff who can assist you in completing this paperwork and submitting the right medical documents. Contact us today to learn more.

  • Posted on: Sep 15 2019
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Why Trying to Manage Your Pain on Your Own Isn’t the Best Idea

No one wants to be in pain all the time, but that’s what happens when you deal with chronic pain. Even short-term pain that you know will eventually end can be horrible. Learning to manage your pain may seem impossible, but in many cases, it can be done. You can live pain-free or at least be in much less pain every day. However, getting to that point involves working with a pain management expert. Trying to manage your own pain is often not effective or, in some situations, can even make your pain worse.

You Need an Expert

Doctors and other medical experts who focus on pain management have spent years learning how bones, nerves, muscles, and the other parts of the body affect each other. They know how the body can be damaged and how to treat that damage. They know the most effective types of treatment and can look at your overall physical health to determine the best ways of managing your pain. Without this type of training, it’s very difficult to treat your pain in the right way.

They Can Teach You the Correct Treatment Methods

You might look online or watch videos of different exercises that can help reduce pain in muscles or build up your body to help protect your joints and bones. However, even the clearest instructions or highest quality videos aren’t a replacement for having an instructor in the room with you. It’s possible you could be doing these exercises incorrectly, making them less effective or even causing additional damage.

They May Know of Alternative Treatment Options

You may not consider treatment options such as acupuncture, or you may not think about applying heat and cold to certain types of injuries. However, a medical expert knows when to think outside the box. They have options that go beyond simply taking a few pain killers or doing a couple of exercises each day. Some of these treatment options may be perfect for you.

If you want professional help in managing your pain, reach out to Maximum Orthopedics today. Our experts will help you reach and maintain the pain-free life you want.

  • Posted on: Aug 28 2019
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Common Injuries from an Auto Accident

Have you been in an auto accident? If you have, you may have found yourself injured in a number of different ways. On the other hand, it’s possible to walk away from an auto accident feeling fine, only to later discover that you were hurt much worse than you thought. Some injuries are more common than others, so it’s important to know how you may have been hurt after you’ve been in an auto accident. Here are some of these common injuries.

Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when your head is forced forward and then snapped backwards. It’s incredibly common in car accidents, but unfortunately, the damage also often doesn’t show up for weeks or even months. The damage to your ligaments, tendons, and muscles may be much more severe than it seems, and it can take a good amount of time for you to recover. Because there are often no immediate symptoms, though, it’s important that you see a doctor right away so they can treat whiplash before it becomes worse.

Cuts and Scrapes

It’s not unusual to find that something has cut or scraped across your skin during the accident. In many cases, these cuts and scrapes are minor and only need a bandage. In other cases, however, they may be much worse. This is often the case if a window or your windshield was broken. You may have glass stuck in your skin that needs to be carefully removed. Always allow paramedics to examine you after any accident in which they are called to the scene. You may have injuries on your back or in other areas you can’t clearly see.

Broken Bones

In serious accidents, it’s also not uncommon to suffer broken bones. The ribs and arms are two of the fairly common bones to break, though an accident can result in any bone or multiple bones breaking. If you believe you’ve broken a bone and it’s safe to remain where you are, it’s usually best to do so. Moving may make the injury worse.

If you’ve been in a car accident, you need to seek medical care, even if you don’t think you’ve suffered a major injury. Let the experts at Maximum Orthopedics check you out to make certain there’s not a hidden injury waiting to cause you pain later.

  • Posted on: Aug 15 2019
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