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Staten Island Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Does a will need to be updated?

It's a common misconception that after someone makes a will, they no longer need to put any further thought into it. The truth is, there are many reasons a will may need updating after its initial creation. If there is a tragic accident and your will comes into play, you want to make sure it reflects your most accurate wishes.

Temp workers face many safety issues

The job market in America is in recovery. Even so, there are many New Yorkers unable to find full-time employment or who are between jobs. When this happens, they may consider temporary work to make a living while they wait for something better to come along. A lot of these workers end up in blue-collar work environments with heavy machinery, great heights and overall high risk for injury.

According to MarketWatch, temp workers now end up at desk jobs less and less often. For instance, in Pennsylvania, just 21% of temp workers are employed in an office. In contrast, 45% of workers end up working jobs in manufacturing and transportation. They also receive lower pay than most other workers.

Estate planning tips for new parents

Having a child changes everything in your life and brings new responsibilities to care not only for their everyday needs but their long-term physical and financial well-being. Parents make plans for their child’s education and upbringing, but one of the most important steps is creating an estate plan to care for their children if they are not around.

Estate planning is not usually at the top of a parent’s list, especially in young families. Making a will or setting up a trust is often thought of as something you do later in life once your family is grown and you are preparing for retirement.

What is long-term care insurance?

For many New York residents, one of the most complicated aspects of planning for the future relates to health care. Part of your estate planning may include creating a health care advance directive and/or a living will to state your preferences for medical treatment. Another essential part of planning ahead includes figuring out how to cover health care expenses. One option is investing in long-term care insurance, which may help offset the cost of extended care.

While traditional health insurance generally covers medical treatments and medications, it may not pay for assistance with bathing, dressing and other daily activities. If you end up needing some of these personal services from a home health care worker or a caregiver in an assisted living or nursing home, you may have to pay for them yourself. Some experts recommend buying long-term care insurance to help protect retirement savings if you get an injury or illness that requires long-term care.

Does mental illness qualify for workers' compensation?

As an employee in New York, you may qualify for workers' compensation if you sustain an injury on the job. In general, workers' compensation benefits allow you to continue receiving income while you recover from an injury you got at work. Many claims involve physical injuries, but there are numerous mental health issues that could affect your ability to work. While mental illness may affect your life just as much as a physical injury, getting workers' compensation for it may be a complicated process.

While working often provides mental health benefits, some work environments may lead to mental illnesses. If you experience stress or anxiety about your job, it may lead to a mental illness such as depression or panic disorder. A hostile work environment may have adverse effects on your mental health as well. Mental health issues may be more common in certain professions. For example, first responders, law enforcement personnel and military veterans may experience higher rates of work-related mental health issues.

The benefits of having a health care proxy and how to choose one

Should you suffer a catastrophic accident or are nearing the end of your life, wouldn’t you want to be in a certain setting (at home or in a hospital,) be surrounded by those you love most (family and friends,) and have your other health-related wishes realized?

If you up in situation where you can’t speak or express those wishes, they’ll likely go unheard and you’ll have to hope that those around you make the decision you would make for yourself in such a circumstance. The Conversation Project found that over half of those 65 or older that end up in the hospital lose the aptitude to speak for themselves.

As a guardian of your loved one, what are your duties?

Several estate planning tools can help individuals plan for the unpredictable and the unexpected. Not many people want to think about when their loved ones near the end of their lives or when they become incapacitated.

However, it is critical to address these possibilities. In many cases, New York families can consider establishing legal guardianships of loved ones who can no longer take care of themselves. But what responsibilities would you have as your loved one's guardian?

The link between burnout and depression

New Yorkers who work in and around urban centers likely face some of the highest burnout rates in the country. The Empire State is known for its cut-throat business environment, high-pressure deals and a fast-paced life at work and play. While employers should take some personal responsibility for holding unreasonable — or at least, unhealthy — expectations of workers, it is ultimately up to workers to identify the signs of burnout and take action.

According to NBC News, the World Health Organization believes occupational burnout is a serious workplace hazard. While the organization did not refer to it as a medical condition, it certainly put employers on notice. Workers should also look out for the following symptoms:

  •          Lack of engagement with work
  •          Negative or cynical feelings related to work
  •          Exhaustion and an overall feeling of depletion
  •          Reduced efficiency at work or increase in errors

Non-US citizen spouses not exempt from federal estate tax

When you plan your estate, you will create a plan for where your assets go. If you have a lot of assets, your plan should have ways to avoid paying the federal estate tax. One way you can avoid this tax is to give your assets to your spouse.

Spouses are exempt from the federal estate tax. But if your spouse is not a U.S. citizen, the government does not allow the estate tax exemption. You will want to make sure you understand your options to protect your assets from the federal estate tax.

3 ways to prevent common workplace accidents

Preventing workplace accidents is a top priority in most New York organizations. Even when managers do not prioritize this for philanthropic reasons, they may fear the legal and economic impact on a company. Whatever their reasons, there are easy steps a manager can follow to help prevent common workplace accidents.

According to Business News Daily, here are the five most common injuries in the workplace:

  •          Fractures
  •          Inflammation
  •          Cuts or punctures
  •          Strains and sprains
  •          Bumps and bruises
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