Attorney Tim Mercer to Join the Bluestein Attorneys VA Disability Team

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Nov 28, 2018 10:04:03 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Attorney Timothy Mercer has joined Bluestein Thompson Sullivan, LLC.
He will practice exclusively in the area of Veterans Disability.

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Topics: Veterans Affairs, News

Bluestein Attorneys Recognized in 2019 Best Law Firms in America

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Nov 1, 2018 10:23:41 AM

COLUMBIA, SC — Bluestein Attorneys is rated among the top law firms in Columbia, SC in the new edition of Best Law Firms in America. This is the ninth year the firm has been honored in the publication.

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Topics: News

Is Social Security Disability Back Pay Taxable?

Posted by Stacy Thompson on Oct 23, 2018 8:59:22 AM

Most applications for Social Security Disability benefits are not immediately approved, and applicants may wait for two years for a final decision.

Even after approval, the backlog of cases in nearly every local Social Security Administration office means that some recipients don't receive their first payments until months or even a year after approval.

The upside to this unfortunate reality is that Social Security Disability benefits include back pay for most or all of that time spent waiting, in the form of a single lump sum. This sum can be substantial, depending on the amount of benefits approved.

Individuals who have received 'lump sum payments' in other situations have been dismayed to learn that their payments were taxed at a higher rate than they expected, or threw off their 'Annual Income' for the year and raised their tax bracket.

This may make the prospect of receiving a similar lump sum from the Social Security Administration a bit more stressful than it would be otherwise.

Is Social Security Disability back pay taxable?

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Topics: Social Security Disability

What is Subrogation in Workers' Compensation?

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Oct 8, 2018 1:59:34 PM

Although worker's compensation is the exclusive remedy against an injured worker's employer, there are some cases in which the injured worker can also pursue a claim against the at-fault. 

This means that the injured worker may be able to pursue a recovery from both workers' compensation and the at-fault third party. 

There is some overlap in the benefits that an injured worker can collect from workers' compensation and the at-fault, which means that the injured worker may recover twice for the same injury.  To prevent this from happening, the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Act provides that the workers' compensation provider has a right of "subrogation" and get paid back for the benefits it paid from any liability recovery from the at-fault third party.

What is subrogation in Workers' Compensation? How does the right to recovery work in these situations? Let's take a closer look.

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Personal Injury: What to Know About Cruise Ship Injury Claims

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Aug 28, 2018 9:24:45 AM

Today's blog comes to us from Frank D. Butler, a Personal Attorney who practices in the area of maritime law, including cruise ship injuries and other maritime concerns. You can reach Frank D. Butler to request a consultation at (888) 262-8529 or contact him online at any time.

In 2018, it is projected that 28 million passengers will cruise on one of the numerous cruise ship options.

For many residents of South Carolina who choose to cruise, it will be from Charleston—which now offers nine cruises through Carnival Cruise Lines. Other South Carolina residents will choose to go to Florida and leave on a cruise ship from Jacksonville, Port Canaveral, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale or Miami.  

For the last ten years cruise ship passengers have increased from 18 million passengers in 2009 up to the 28 million passengers projected for 2018. Florida offers a range of cruise lines—like Disney, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebration—more than any other State.

Having handled cruise ship injury cases for 25 years throughout Florida from our Tampa Bay law office, we have seen the cruise lines continue to add more passengers on ever larger vessels with ever larger numbers of crew to service the passengers. Accidents do happen on cruise ships. The cruise ships have been called “floating cities”—which have their own medical staff, police force, restaurants, movie theaters, casino, shops, spas, community pools, etc. It is a matter of statistics that placing 4000 to 6000 people on a vessel every five days is going to lead to potential injury claims.

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Topics: Personal Injury, Guest Blog

Three Bluestein Attorneys Recognized as 2019 Best Lawyers

Posted by Stacy Thompson on Aug 17, 2018 2:31:07 PM
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Topics: Insider

Bluestein Attorneys Named Legal Elite

Posted by Stacy Thompson on Aug 17, 2018 1:41:17 PM

We're proud of what our attorneys at Bluestein Attorneys accomplish in their professional lives, and we're thrilled to share the recent recognition of Allison Sullivan and Clarke Newton as 2018 Legal Elite of the Midlands by Columbia Business Monthly!

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Topics: Insider

Can You Receive Social Security Disability for Hearing Loss?

Posted by Stacy Thompson on Jul 30, 2018 8:26:28 AM

When most people think of Social Security Disability, they generally picture people who fall into one of two categories:

  • adults who are no longer able to work due to a sudden disabling injury or illness
  • or people disabled at birth or in early childhood or young adulthood
However, there is a third category of people who may be eligible for Social Security Disability — those who suffer from a progressive disability that only gradually removes their ability to work.

Hearing loss is not always disabling, but in some cases previously-hearing people have lost the ability to maintain employment as their hearing loss worsens.

People suffering from disabling hearing loss may qualify for Social Security Disability payments to help make ends meet.

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Topics: Social Security Disability

What to Do When Your Employer Denies Medical Leave

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jul 25, 2018 11:57:27 AM

Crystal Reynolds Fisher's 18-year-old son became sick with a fever, ending up on life support as he deteriorated rapidly. Crystal, who works at a gas station in her local Albion, Michigan community, texted her boss to let her know that she would need to take time off work in order to be close to her son during his recovery.

Dawn's response was chilling: "If you can't come to work, that's you quitting."

Crystal posted the text conversation on her personal Facebook page, where it quickly began to spread and eventually appeared on national news organization websites detailing Crystal's situation.

In the case of Ms. Fisher, the company she works for terminated the employment of the manager after her story made national news and granted her medical leave as needed. 

But... what if you don't have a story that 'goes viral', attracting national attention and putting pressure on a company to approve emergency leave?

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Topics: Worker's Compensation

Happy Fourth of July from Bluestein Attorneys!

Posted by Allison Sullivan on Jul 4, 2018 9:06:00 AM

The United States of America is celebrating its 242nd birthday this year, and we'd like to wish all of you and safe and happy celebration!

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Topics: holidays