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Cleveland Tennessee Legal Blog

Applying for disability benefits for a hearing loss

Many Tennessee residents suffer from hearing impairments, some of which can affect their ability to work . People who are hard of hearing may wonder if they can get Social Security Disability benefits for their hearing loss, particularly if they are no longer able to do their jobs because of it. Hearing impairments are included in the Social Security Administration's "blue book" of specified disabilities, with specific standards tied to audiometry testing and speech testing. Audiometry measures a person's levels of hearing and ability to differentiate sounds.

These types of tests may be used if a person with hearing loss applies for Social Security Disability benefits. A disability examiner will arrange a consultative examination with an audiologist. This is particularly important if applicants have not yet visited an audiologist and obtained some data related to their difficulties with hearing. It should be noted that these hearing tests focus on the applicant's better ear, rather than the ear with a higher level of hearing loss. If a person's hearing impairment is not significant enough to meet the standards, he or she will not be approved for SSD benefits on that basis.

Heart attacks and SSDI

Despite modern advances in cardiac medicine, a heart attack can have a life-changing impact on an individual. The health effects could even lead to employment issues in Tennessee. Someone recovering from a heart attack may wonder if their condition would qualify them for Social Security disability benefits.

Qualifying for Social Security disability coverage can be difficult. That's because the United States sets very high standards for being deemed so disabled that one can no longer earn a sufficient income. Applicants for benefits not only have to be able to prove that they have a serious health condition, but they also have to show that they cannot work in their current field, cannot perform jobs that they have worked within the last 15 years and that it's not possible to switch to a different type of work.

Seeking Social Security Disability is your right as an American

People who live in the Cleveland, Tennessee, area tend to have a sense of communal pride because this region is populated by people who work hard for their money and try to support themselves no matter what. That deeply ingrained work ethic is a beautiful thing that has led to the Cleveland area becoming a rapidly growing community with a lot of promise for the future.

However, while the stoic, hard-working independent ideal is a blessing for our community, it could be a dangerous myth for individuals on a personal level. People may internalize the idea of not asking for help or support, even if they really need assistance.

Drunk driving facts

Drunk driving is still alarmingly common in Tennessee and across the United States according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency reports that nearly 30 people are killed in alcohol-related traffic accidents on U.S. roads each day. In 2017, 10,874 Americans died in drunk-driving wrecks, which averages to one death every 48 minutes.

When people consume alcohol, it is quickly absorbed by their digestive system and passed into their bloodstream. It then starts to reduce their brain function, diminish their ability to think and reason clearly and slow down their reaction times, which can all negatively affect their ability to safely operate a vehicle. A driver's level of impairment can be determined through a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, test, which measures the weight of alcohol in an individual's bloodstream. The legal BAC limit in 49 states and the District of Columbia is .08. However, in 2018, Utah became the first state to enact a BAC limit of .05.

FMCSA moves to relax hours of service regulations

Truck drivers in Tennessee and around the country could work shifts as long as 17 hours if recently proposed revisions to federal hours of service regulations are implemented. The current rules limit truck driver shifts to 14 hours. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says the revisions will make the nation's roads safer, but several advocacy groups including Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition oppose them.

The maximum amount of time that truck drivers can spend behind the wheel during their shifts would remain 11 hours under the proposed hours of service revisions. The new rules extend the maximum truck driver shift because they do not count the time truckers wait to load or unload cargo and allow extra time to account for unexpected traffic congestion or adverse weather conditions. The revisions would also require truck drivers to take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving instead of eight hours of being on duty.

Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving

Few Tennessee drivers would think of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, but the results of a recent American Automobile Association survey suggest that about one in three of people have driven while dangerously fatigued within the last month. Going without sleep for 24 hours impairs a driver as much as five shots of whisky, yet study after study shows that motorists are willing to take this risk even when they are aware of it.

Drowsy driving is underreported because accident investigators have no reliable way to determine that a driver was fatigued when they crashed. When AAA researchers studied dashboard camera footage recorded in the seconds before a collision, they noticed signs of drowsiness in almost one in 10 of the drivers. The problem may be so widespread because the steps drivers take to combat it simply do not work. Opening a window or turning up the radio has virtually no effect on fatigue levels, and drinking a cup of coffee only increases alertness for a short time.

Understand the truth about the Ticket to Work program

When you're disabled, one thing you may realize is that your abilities change over time. You might learn a new way to do something or develop skills you didn't have in the past.

As time goes on, you may miss working and even find a job that suits you despite your disability. Sadly, you've heard that if you start to work, you'll lose your disability benefits. It was difficult to obtain them to begin with, so that's not a risk you want to take.

Supplemental Security Income is a boost to your income

Supplemental Security Income is an additional benefit paid to those who have little or no income. The goal is for this income to help them meet basic needs when it comes to buying clothing, shelter and food.

It's not always reasonable to expect someone to live on disability benefits alone, which is why SSI benefits exist today. For those who are still struggling, SSI benefits can significantly increase their income and help them live more comfortably.

Settling a personal injury claim? Know your options

After a car crash, the last thing you want to deal with is a long, drawn-out personal injury case. The good news is that cases rarely go to trial. Why? It's usually in the insurance agency's best interests to settle outside of court.

When you have to take a case to trial, the result is unknown. There is no guarantee of how much the judge or jury will award you. There is no guarantee that they'll rule in your favor, but, generally speaking, your injuries will speak for themselves.

Commercial vehicle crashes: What should you expect?

Commercial vehicles are all around you on the highway, and it's no surprise that they are involved in many collisions each year. These vehicles have large blind spots, and drivers can be fairly young and inexperienced.

Despite that, with a booming economy, commercial vehicle use will continue to grow and put other drivers at risk. If you're involved in a crash with a commercial vehicle in Tennessee, you should know what to expect moving forward.

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Logan-Thompson, P.C., Attorneys at Law
30 2nd St NW
Cleveland, TN 37311

Phone: 423-716-6261
Toll free: 800-506-8012
Fax: 423-472-0211
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