Bowling Green Kentucky Legal Blog

Can you get Social Security Disability benefits for EDS?

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, or EDS, is actually a group of genetic disorders that cause problems with your connective tissues. That's a big deal because connective tissues are a major part of the support for your skin, joints, muscles, bones and internal organs.

But is EDS disabling under Social Security's rules? Some people with EDS can qualify for Social Security Disability. Some can't. Here's why:

How you can help prevent overmedication of loved ones

Decades ago, it was all too common for nursing homes to give their patients sedatives and anti-psychotic drugs to calm them down or get them to go to sleep. In the days before very much was known about Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, these patients were given medications that are now known to have serious and potentially fatal consequences to people with these conditions.

Fortunately, nursing homes are now more closely regulated under federal law by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as well as by state laws. That has helped cut down on unnecessary and potentially dangerous overmedication of patients. In fact, some nursing home personnel complain that there are too many hoops to jump through to get new medication for a patient -- particularly if it's needed immediately.

New requirements are designed to lessen drugged truck driving

With the start of the new year, the minimum required random drug testing rate for commercial truck drivers is doubling. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) now requires a 50% rate of tests for controlled substances each year -- double the previous rate of 25%. The minimum required rate for random alcohol testing is still just 10%.

The FMCSA's drug and alcohol clearinghouse, which was approved several years ago, finally began early this month. This is a database of all random test drug and alcohol test results that were positive as well as all instances of truckers refusing to be tested. This clearinghouse is intended to prevent drivers who've failed a test by one employer to simply move to another carrier.

Pedestrian killed in Louisville on New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve 2019 was recently celebrated throughout the world -- but the family of a Richmond woman spent the first day of the new year in mourning. The 27-year-old woman apparently exited a sports utility vehicle after an argument with its driver and was immediately struck and killed by a passing vehicle on Interstate 64.

The accident is still under investigation and both the driver of the SUV and the passenger car are cooperating with the police. It's uncertain whether or not alcohol was involved.

Many causes of nursing home falls are preventable

One of the reasons many people feel a sense of relief when an elderly loved one moves into a nursing home or other long-term care facility is that they believe that they're safer there than in their own home. One of the dangers for older people who live alone is falling. Falls can be extremely serious for older people. Sometimes, they're even fatal.

However, nursing home residents suffer from falls, too. These facilities should be designed to minimize the risk of falls, and staff should be trained to watch residents and help them move safely. Nonetheless, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 50% and 75% of nursing home residents fall every year. About 1,800 people die every year as the result of falls in nursing homes.

Your rights if you get hit in a vehicle while driving for work

Most people find motor vehicle liability insurance confusing to begin with, but when you add an additional complication to a crash, it can be difficult for the average individual to makes sense of who incurs liability and financial responsibility for the injuries and property damage that results.

What people often don't understand is that their policy doesn't cover their property damage or medical costs in a crash. Instead, the policy you pay for on your motor vehicle protects you from liability if you cause a crash. Your policy pays out to the other driver in the event that you're the one responsible for the crash.

Would the new proposed Social Security rule affect you?

If you were taking a sabbatical from the news over the holidays, you may have missed a new rule that's being proposed by the Trump administration. It would impact how recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are classified.

Opponents of the proposed change say it's designed to take away these benefits from people who need them. Currently, about 16 million people receive money from one of these two programs intended for those who are unable to work due to physical and/or emotional disabilities.

Be careful if you get a 'holiday heart syndrome' diagnosis

The holidays can be hard on the heart -- literally. Too much eating, drinking and stress can lead to what is known as "holiday heart syndrome."

That's the term people in the medical community use to explain the rise in patients they see in emergency rooms with atrial fibrillation (AFib). That's an irregular or fast heartbeat. It often feels like your heart is fluttering or racing. Patients may be short of breath, lightheaded, fatigued and/or have chest pain.

Caution is essential when driving around trucks this season

You're probably noticing more trucks on the road as Christmas gets closer, with large commercial trucks delivering products day and night to stores for the holiday season.

Beyond that, UPS, FedEx, mail trucks and Amazon Prime trucks and vans seem to be everywhere. These delivery drivers are often under enormous pressure to deliver a large number of packages each day. That's only going to increase as the 25th draws nearer.

Woman gets 10-year sentence after plea in fatal DUI crash

A Glasgow woman was sentenced last month to a decade in prison for a drunk driving crash that killed a 24-year-old nearly two years ago. The victim, who also lived in Glasgow, was stopped at a red light on Veterans Outer Loop when the 49-year-old rear-ended her with her Cadillac.

The defendant had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over .26% (more than triple the legal limit) hours after the fatal crash, according to the toxicology report from the Kentucky State Police. She was originally charged with murder. However, she reached an agreement with Barren County prosecutors in September to plead guilty to charges of second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence. Therefore, the case did not go to trial.

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