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The Law Office of Gerald G. Lutkenhaus

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Virginia Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Attorney
Rated “ONE OF THE BEST” in Central Virginia* with over 35 years of Experience.

Contact me for a FREE EVALUATION regarding your Virginia Workers’ Compensation accident, claim, denial, injury, disability, or settlement: by filling out the Quick Contact panel on the right, or by calling (804) 335-0268.

Lawyer.com* Rated by Richmond Magazine as one of the best Workers’ Compensation attorneys in Central Virginia in a survey of 2,000 lawyers in the July 1999 issue.

 

GERALD’S CASE OF THE WEEK

Painter Falls at Work in Glen Allen, Gets $205,000 Settlement for Chronic Pain
Anthony was a foreman for a painting company.  He hurt his right ankle in a fall due to uneven terrain.  The simple ankle injury developed into a permanent ailment when Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) set in.  CRPS, also known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD), is when the injury heals but the pain persists.  Anthony lost his job due to the ankle injury.  As a result of CRPS, he could never work on ladders again, which is an essential job function of a painter.  He had to go on workers’ compensation.  After a struggle with the work comp insurer, we managed to work out a $203,000 settlement.  These funds will allow Anthony to pursue his dream as a long distance truck driver.

GERALD’S TIP OF THE WEEK

Your Disability Benefits Are Cutoff, Now What Can You Do?

This is the nightmare.  You fought long and hard to win your Disability but now Social Security has reviewed your claim and says you have improved and are no longer disabled.  This is what you can do:

  1. File a “Request for Reconsideration” appeal within 10 days to challenge the decision that you are no longer disabled.  If you file this appeal within the 10-day deadline, your Disability benefits will continue until the Reconsideration decision.
  2. If you miss the 10-day deadline, still appeal within 60 days to challenge the decision that you are no longer disabled.  However, your Disability benefits will not continue while you wait for a Reconsideration decision and will only be reinstated if you win.
  3. Make Social Security prove there has been “medical improvement” in the condition that led you to being declared disabled in the first place.  To rightfully suspend your benefits, Social Security must show there has been sufficient improvement in your medical condition since the date of your prior favorable decision that now allows you to work.
  4. Exceptions to #3 are exhausting the Trial Work Period (TWP) or failing to attend a Consultative Exam (CE) with a Social Security doctor.  Social Security does not have prove medical improvement if you have exhausted the TWP or if you missed a CE appointment.
  5. If you get a Reconsideration denial, file a “Request for Hearing” appeal within 10 days to challenge the decision that you are no longer disabled.  If you file this appeal within the 10-day deadline, your Disability benefits will continue until the Hearing decision provided that the benefits continued after the original Cessation notice.  Even if you miss the 10-day deadline, still appeal within 60 days to challenge the decision.  However, your benefits will not continue while you wait for a Hearing decision and will only be reinstated if you win.  If you fail to appeal within 60 days or if you lose the Hearing, all the benefits you were paid after the original Cessation notice will be an “overpayment” you owe back to Social Security.

In summary, all is not lost if you receive a Cessation notice.  However, you must act quickly.

 

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The Virginia Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Law Office of Gerald  G. Lutkenhaus, located in Richmond,  Virginia, is pleased to represent clients in: Greater Richmond (including Bon Air, East End, Fan, Short Pump, West End), Amelia, Amelia Courthouse, Ashland, Burkeville, Caroline, Charles City Courthouse, Chester, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Crewe, Dinwiddie, Farmville, Glen  Allen, Goochland, Hadensville, Hanover, Henrico, Hopewell, Jetersville, King William, Mechanicsville, Midlothian, Montpelier, New Kent, Nottoway, Petersburg, Powhatan, Prince George, Quinton, Rockville, South Hill, Sutherland, Warsaw, and Williamsburg.