Blog

5 Steps to See if You Qualify for Social Security Disability

Posted by on 27 February 2015

The Social Security Administration uses a five-step process to determine if someone is eligible to receive Social Security disability. See if you qualify using our quick checklist below:

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Halloween Edition: Workers' Comp and Pirates?

Posted by on 31 October 2014

When you see pirates running around your neighborhood tonight, plundering your stashes of candy, you may be surprised to know that one of the earliest forms of workers’ compensation can be dated back to 17th century pirates. These swashbucklers were not the disorderly band of men that movies portray, but an organized group with various checks and balances in place to maintain structure. 1

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5 Workers’ Compensation Terms You Need to Know

Posted by on 10 October 2014

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Legal documents and hearings with judges can be riddled with confusing terms for many people. There are a few key terms that we want you to understand during your workers’ compensation claim.

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Test your PA workers’ comp knowledge with 5 questions

Posted by on 15 September 2014

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At Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, we believe in educating our clients as much as possible. Take our quick quiz to test your knowledge.

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Working Like a Dog and Helping Those with Disabilities

Posted by on 25 August 2014

In honor of the upcoming National Dog Day on August 26, we’d like to show our appreciation for the furry friends that hold a special place in some of our clients’ heart—service dogs.

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9/11 Responders Have Until 9/11/14 to Apply for Workers’ Comp

Posted by on 15 August 2014

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There are more than 20,000 brave men and women who assisted in the rescue, recovery and cleanup of the World Trade Center that may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, according to the New York Post. They have until September 11, 2014, to register for future benefits in case they become ill as a result of their courageous efforts nearly 13 years ago.

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The 5 Biggest Myths about PA Workers’ Comp

Posted by on 11 August 2014

Last week we mythbusted Social Security Disability, and this week we’re tackling Pennsylvania workers’ compensation. Here’s five key things you should know the truth about when it comes to a workers’ comp claim.

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Mythbusting Social Security Disability

Posted by on 1 August 2014

There are many misconceptions about Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) that have infiltrated the public’s understanding of the program. We are going bust these myths and ensure you have the correct information when it comes to SSDI.

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App May Be Just What the Doctor Ordered for MS Patients

Posted by on 22 July 2014

Soon doctors may need nothing more than their iPads to perform routine and specialized examinations. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation recently developed an app, which allows physicians to measure various tests given to MS patients. 

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Uncovering Hidden Potential in Your Existing Client Inventory

Posted by on 21 July 2014

All attorneys, regardless of their level of experience, should realize the importance of cultivating and fostering relationships with other attorneys. This holds especially true when it comes to referral relationships. Learning to understand the hidden potential which exists in your own inventory is one key to developing a flourishing network of long term referrals.

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Removing Disability Stigmas Through Fashion

Posted by on 17 July 2014

A purple cane and a petition are fueling Liz Jackson’s mission to make those with disabilities feel more comfortable. She’s started a petition to get retail giant J.Crew to sell stylish canes through its partner line In Good Company to help remove the stigma that surrounds assistive devices. 

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Shedding Light on Skin Cancer During UV Safety Month

Posted by on 9 July 2014

July is the month that invokes memories of trips to the shore, the feel of increasingly hot temperatures and the traditions for celebrating America’s birthday. It should also bring to mind the smell of sunscreen as July is UV Safety Month.

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Fourth of July Sparks Safety Concerns

Posted by on 2 July 2014

The fourth wouldn’t be complete without grills blazing, heaping servings of apple pie and Technicolor fireworks painting the sky, but these fiery holiday traditions can pose a danger to those in the pyrotechnic industry who create the celebratory displays we enjoy.

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Fourth Annual PTSD Awareness Day Provides Education About Disorder

Posted by on 27 June 2014

Today, June 27, 2014, marks the fourth annual Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, PTSD is a disorder that results from exposure to a traumatic event and includes symptoms from each of the four clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognition and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.

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OSHA Releases Game-Like Safety Training for Business Owners

Posted by on 24 June 2014

Safety isn’t taken lightly by business owners, but now it’s a game. With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new interactive training game, business owners can explore common safety hazards in manufacturing and construction industries, and learn about ways to reduce them.

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National Fall Prevention Stand-Down Aims to Lessen Work Injuries

Posted by on 5 June 2014

Tomorrow is the last day to join in a National Fall Prevention Stand-Down from June 2 -6 to help prevent falls in construction. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), in 2012 about 35 percent of fatalities were caused by falls from elevation. All of which were preventable by ensuring safety standards.

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend from Pond Lehocky!

Posted by on 23 May 2014

After a long, snowy winter, Memorial Day Weekend is finally upon us, signifying the unofficial start to the summer. This weekend, we hope that you can break out the barbecues and have some fun in the sun. While we celebrate, let us all take a minute to reflect on what Memorial Day really stands for. On this day, we recognize that because of the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country, we are able to enjoy certain liberties and advantages.

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Good News for American Workers, Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee Will Be Re-established

Posted by on 22 May 2014

 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez recently announced that the charter of the Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee (“WPAC”) will be re-established.   WPAC advises the Department of Occupational Safety & Health Administration (“OSHA”) on ways to ensure the effectiveness, transparency, and protection of whistleblowers.  By continuing to obtain advice from worker advocates, labor experts, attorneys, and workers, WPAC will be able to further improve the regulations governing whistleblowing and the cooperative activities between OSHA and other government agencies. 

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Social Security Updates Policy on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in New Social Security Ruling

Posted by on 1 May 2014

Earlier this month, the Social Security Administration released a new Social Security Ruling (“SSR”) updating its evaluation criteria for disability cases involving Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (“CFS”).  As the etiology of this debilitating illness is unclear and it is more subjective than some other physical conditions, proving CFS in disability claims was sometimes more difficult than other conditions.  The new ruling, SSR 14-1p, primarily adopts the Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) definition of CFS and specifies the medical signs, laboratory findings, and additional criteria for diagnosis.   Additionally, the ruling lays out the documentation required for a disability claim involving CFS, how CFS is considered in the five-step sequential evaluation process every disability claim goes through, and how a person with CFS is found disabled.   

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118th Boston Marathon Run Today, April 21, 2014

Posted by on 18 April 2014

On the third Monday in April, Massachusetts and Maine celebrate Patriot’s Day, a holiday commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.  The date is also traditionally the date of the Boston Marathon, causing the holiday to be called “Marathon Monday” by many Bostonians.  

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Governor’s Award for Safety Excellence

Posted by on 16 April 2014

Pond Lehocky believes that every worker should know their rights in the workplace and their workers’ compensation protections, should they ever be injured on the job.  However, it is our hope that employers do their best to ensure that every work environment is safe and secure for each of its employees.  

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OSHA issues Final Rule to Improve Safety for Workers Performing Electrical Power Generation

Posted by on 11 April 2014

The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) announced the issuance of new provisions covering the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, transmission, and distribution line and equipment.  The previous rules for transmission and distribution installations were more than forty years old, last updated in 1972. 

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Phillies Opening Day, April 8

Posted by on 11 April 2014

The Philadelphia Phillies opened the 2014 season at home on April 8, 2014.  Though the Phils fell to the Milwaukee Brewers 10-4, the park was filled with energy and excitement about the season.  To see photos from the game, please click here

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Major General Motors Recall

Posted by on 4 April 2014

General Motors informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week that it would recall more than 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. that may experience a sudden loss of electric power steering assist. GM says drivers will know if the electric power steering system fails because a chime and dashboard message will appear. The car can be steered without power assist, but it can require a lot more muscle to turn the wheel, especially at low speeds. Because of the difficulty, the car could be more susceptible to a crash.  

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Social Security’s Customer Service Issues

Posted by on 4 April 2014

It's no secret to many of our clients that the Social Security Administration has been suffering from serious deficiencies in customer service for quite some time. Over the past several years, the Administration's total staff has shrunk dramatically, leading to significant cutbacks in customer service. Budget shortages have prevented replacing lost staff as well as taking steps to repair many of these issues.

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Stand With Pond Lehocky in Setting the Record Straight on SSDI

Posted by on 20 March 2014

Despite the fact that the Social Security Disability Insurance ("SSDI") program is an insurance policy purchased by every working American with 6.2% deduction of each paycheck, Congress and the mainstream media have been attacking it as an "entitlement program." Pieces on 60 Minutes and NPR have declared SSDI "a secret welfare system...ravaged by waste and fraud." At Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, we take particular offense to these reports, not only because they are based on anecdotal evidence rather than fact, but also because they are extremely damaging to our clients and to the integrity of the system.

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Obamacare Deadline

Posted by on 19 March 2014

As was discussed on our blog previously in December (“Understanding the Affordable Care Act”), Obamacare can provide our clients and the estimated 48 million Americans without health coverage with a critical option for medical insurance.  With the March 31, 2014 deadline to enroll or face possible tax penalties fast approaching, Pond Lehocky wanted to provide you with some additional information, news articles, and resources about Obamacare. 

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Support an Increase in the Minimum Wage

Posted by on 5 March 2014

Our economy is still recovering from the recession of 2008, and people everywhere are struggling to pay their bills and provide for themselves and their families. Worst of all, salaries have remained stagnant while the cost of nearly everything continues to be driven up by inflation. For the many workers depending upon full-time minimum wage jobs for their livelihood, the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour simply does not provide a livable wage.

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Social Security Announces New Expedited Disability Process for Veterans

Posted by on 25 February 2014

Last week, Social Security revealed a new initiative to expedite disability claims by veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100% Permanent & Total. Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans' applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way the agency currently handles disability claims from Wounded Warriors. Social Security plans to launch the expedited process in mid-March.

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Tips to Help Your Social Security Disability Claim

Posted by on 19 February 2014

If you are unable to work due to a medical condition, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). While you may meet the eligibility requirements, the process of filing for benefits and obtaining approval from the SSA can be very long and complex, so it is important to avoid certain pitfalls that can derail your claim. Here are four tips to follow to ensure that your disability claim stays on the right track:

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What Should I Do After Getting Injured on the Job?

Posted by on 11 February 2014

Question: I've just been injured on the job. What should I do now?

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Denied on Your Social Security Disability Application?

Posted by on 7 February 2014

It can certainly be frustrating if you are injured and unable to work, and it can be even more discouraging if you have applied for Social Security disability benefits and have been denied despite the fact that your condition or conditions are preventing you from working. If this does happen, however, don't give up.

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Thomas J. Giordano Jr. to Speak on Social Security Benefits and Epilepsy

Posted by on 6 February 2014

On Thursday, February 6th, Pond Lehocky Partner Thomas J. Giordano Jr. will deliver a presentation to the Epilepsy Foundation Eastern PA Bucks County Support Group. Mr. Giordano will speak about Social Security disability and how epilepsy sufferers can benefit from the program. The event will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the St. Mary Medical Center Outpatient Facility Medical Conference Room on the 1st Floor, located at 1201 Langhorne-Newtown Road in Langhorne, PA.

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Pond Lehocky Supports Judge Learned Hand Award Dinner

Posted by on 5 February 2014

Today, February 5th, the Judge Learned Hand Award Dinner will be presented by the AJC Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey. Pond Lehocky is supporting this event, during which the AJC will present the Community Leadership Award, given to outstanding members of the Philadelphia business, legal, and philanthropic community who have distinguished themselves through professional achievement and dedicated community leadership. Tonight's honoree will be Albert Momjian.

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Pond Lehocky Expands with New Offices in Scranton and Chester County, PA

Posted by on 30 January 2014

Since our founding in 2010, our firm has more than quadrupled in size, adding office locations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. And now, for the convenience of our clients and referral sources, we have opened a new office location in Scranton, Pennsylvania. This new location enables us to better serve our clients and referral sources in the northeastern Pennsylvania area.

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PA Gubernatorial Forum Presented by the Pennsylvania Association for Justice

Posted by on 27 January 2014

On Friday, January 24th, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice’s Future Leaders Section presented “Meet the Candidates,” a Pennsylvania gubernatorial forum.

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Surveillance and Workers’ Compensation

Posted by on 24 January 2014

The details of workers’ compensation claims vary from case to case, but one common thread among them is that injuries sustained by workers are severe enough to keep them from performing their routine job duties. To ensure that each claimant is being completely truthful with his or her claim, insurance companies will often send investigators to observe the daily behavior of the injured worker. If the investigator finds that a construction worker who has injured his hand on the job is operating machinery on a job site after filing a claim, for example, some serious consequences could result.

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Associate Alexis C. Ouseley Appointed Legislative Liaison for Philadelphia Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee

Posted by on 23 January 2014

Pond Lehocky Associate Alexis C. Ouseley has been appointed as Legislative Liaison for the Philadelphia Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee. Alexis will be responsible for keeping the Workers’ Compensation Executive Committee up to date on all proposed changes to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.

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OSHA’s Tips to Protect Workers in Cold Environments

Posted by on 22 January 2014

With the often brutal winter conditions that come with this time of year, everyone knows the importance of keeping warm. This is especially crucial for those who work outside and are exposed to the brunt of the cold weather.

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Can You Receive Social Security Disability and Workers’ Compensation Benefits at the Same Time?

Posted by on 21 January 2014

It is possible to receive Social Security disability and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. However, workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits may reduce Social Security disability benefits.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Posted by on 20 January 2014

Today, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy endures on this federal holiday to remember the iconic champion of civil rights. Special events around the nation from parades to tributes to service projects will be held to commemorate the dream of the civil rights leader. Dr. King dedicated his life to improving the world in which he lived, and he challenged the rest of us to do the same. He not only championed equal rights but also equal access to economic opportunity for all Americans.

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Social Security Adds New Compassionate Allowances Conditions

Posted by on 17 January 2014

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This week, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced 25 new conditions that will be included in its Compassionate Allowances Program. Among the new conditions are a dozen cancers, as well as disorders that affect the digestive, neurological, immune, and multiple body systems. The additions bring the total number of Compassionate Allowances Conditions to 225.

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Most Common Workplace Injuries

Posted by on 16 January 2014

Workplace injuries can take many forms. A recent study by findlaw.com reveals that as many as one in five adults say that they have been injured on the job.

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What is the Earliest Age That I Can Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

Posted by on 15 January 2014

There is no minimum age to begin receiving Social Security disability benefits. As long as you meet the strict Social Security definition of disability and you have worked long and recently enough under Social Security to earn the required number of work credits, you can receive benefits.

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Disabled? Three Ways an Attorney Can Help You with Your Disability Claim

Posted by on 10 January 2014

Filing a Social Security disability claim can be frustrating and confusing. Many disability applicants could greatly benefit from hiring a Social Security disability attorney to answer their questions, help them with paperwork, and provide legal representation at hearings. Here are three ways that a Social Security disability lawyer can help you throughout your claim:

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Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky Named Among Philadelphia's Top Rated Lawyers of 2013

Posted by on 10 January 2014

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Partners Samuel Pond and Jerry Lehocky have both achieved the peer-reviewed rating of AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell®, a distinguished leader in legal rankings. The AV Preeminent® rating is a significant accomplishment and demonstrates that a lawyer's peers have ranked them at the highest level of professional excellence. As a result, both Pond and Lehocky have been named among "Philadelphia's Top Rated Lawyers of 2013" by Legal Leaders, a publication featuring local legal talent from the metropolitan area.

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Three Important Things to Know if You are Injured at Work

Posted by on 8 January 2014

If you’ve been injured at work, it can be a stressful experience. Not only do you have to deal with the injury itself, but the prospect of missing time from work and suffering a wage loss for an extended period can put your financial security in doubt. Fortunately, workers’ compensation benefits can provide a much needed recourse during this straining time. Here are three things to know if you are injured on the job:

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Understanding The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Posted by on 26 December 2013

What does the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) do?

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Happy Holidays!

Posted by on 27 November 2013

All of us at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday! We’d also like to wish all of our Jewish clients and friends a happy Hanukkah as well!

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November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month

Posted by on 22 November 2013

November marks National Epilepsy Awareness Month, an opportunity to both raise awareness about the devastating effects of epilepsy and reaffirm the commitment to ending the disease’s grip on sufferers everywhere. Purple is the color of epilepsy awareness, and many prominent local buildings and landmarks are “lighting up” to show support for the fight against epilepsy, including One Liberty Place and Two Liberty Place, The National Constitution Center, and the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (pictured on the right).

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Veterans Day 2013

Posted by on 11 November 2013

This Veterans Day, Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano joins America in honoring all of our nation’s uniformed service members, and our firm expresses our sincerest appreciation for their incredible sacrifices. On this day, it is essential to reflect on the reasons for this national day of observance and remember the men and women who have sacrificed courageously to safeguard the freedoms we all enjoy.

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Epileptic Seizure Sidelines Minnesota Head Coach During Halftime

Posted by on 17 September 2013

This past Saturday, Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill suffered a seizure mid-game while his football team was playing Western Illinois. Luckily, Kill was said to be "resting comfortably" after the incident, suffering no serious injuries, and the Gophers even went on to win the game.

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Preventing Workplace Violence

Posted by on 27 August 2013

Almost two million American workers report being victimized by workplace violence every year, and workplace homicides are the fourth leading cause of occupation-related death in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). Women are even more at risk, as homicide causes more on-the-job deaths among female workers than any other factor. These eye-opening statistics may even belie the true extent of workplace violence in America, as many cases of violence at work go unreported.

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The Dangers of Transvaginal Mesh

Posted by on 19 August 2013

Since their introduction over a decade ago, transvaginal mesh implants have been linked to injuries in thousands of women. In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a report finding that vaginal mesh products pose a high risk to patients, cautioning doctors to warn women of problems associated with these devices. Around 30,000 lawsuits have been filed by women claiming injuries suffered as a result of defective transvaginal mesh products, and manufacturers have paid out millions of dollars in damages to victims of malfunctioned implants.

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Pennsylvania Ranked Fifth Among Most Dangerous States for Workers

Posted by on 15 August 2013

Pennsylvania may be the fifth most dangerous state for workers in the country, according to a new study. Based on 2011 data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the study highlights both the most dangerous states in which to work and the most hazardous industries for workers in the U.S.

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Social Security Halts Usage of the Term “Mental Retardation”

Posted by on 7 August 2013

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced on Thursday that it will no longer use the term "mental retardation," instead replacing it with "intellectual disability" in its official Listing of Impairments and other regulations. The SSA cites the widespread adoption of the term “intellectual disability” by Congress, government agencies, and various public and private organizations as impetus of the change, along with the negative and often offensive nature of the term "mental retardation" in modern language as well. The SSA's voluntary change comes less than three years after President Obama signed Rosa's Law, which updated language in federal health, education, and labor policy statutes with the terms "intellectual disability" or “individual with an intellectual disability."

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Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation: An Overview

Posted by on 29 July 2013

Workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is a benefit system intended to help workers who've suffered illness or injury on the job. In accordance with the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, those hurt at work are entitled to appropriate compensation for their injuries.

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Healthcare Workers at High Risk for Musculoskeletal Injuries

Posted by on 22 July 2013

Musculoskeletal disorders, conditions that affect the nerves, tendons, muscles, and supporting structures, account for a significant number of work injuries. Often caused by overexertion and heavy lifting, these injuries affect thousands of workers a year in various industries. Surprisingly, the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders (or MSDs) occur not among such workers as construction laborers or freight, stock, and material movers, but among nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants.

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Could Your Facebook Account be Used to Derail Your Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Posted by on 18 July 2013

For many of us, online social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Vacations, fancy dinners, and everyday activities are all chronicled for our friends and followers to enjoy. Sharing pictures and personal details has become a hallmark of the social media experience. Yet despite customizable settings on popular social networking sites like Facebook, concerns about the privacy of posted material have continued to persist, with users wary of third-party advertisers, admissions officers, and employers alike having access to their profile’s information. Now, recent rulings in Pennsylvania workers' compensation cases could add forensic computer experts to that list.

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Reducing the Impact of Chronic Illness in the Workplace

Posted by on 9 July 2013

Chronic health conditions are on the rise among all age groups and continue to increase health care costs while decreasing productivity nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 25 percent of the U.S. population is considered obese, a number which could grow to as much as 40 percent by 2020 if current trends continue. Obesity is a contributing cause of serious chronic health conditions like diabetes, which cost employers an estimated 138 million days of productivity in 2012. Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S., is often caused or exacerbated by obesity as well.

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NFL's Tom Brady and Drew Brees Voice Opposition to Workers' Compensation Bill

Posted by on 27 June 2013

Tom Brady and Drew Brees are best known for being two of the greatest quarterbacks in the National Football League today. But while they play for opposing organizations, the two superstars have recently teamed up to write a guest column in the San Francisco Chronicle voicing opposition to AB1309, a proposed California bill that would change the workers' compensation rules particular to professional athletes in that state.

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Jerry Lehocky to be Appointed President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice

Posted by on 26 June 2013

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is pleased to announce partner Jerry Lehocky's appointment as President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ), effective July 1, 2013. Mr. Lehocky is a founding partner of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, which has become the area's leading workers's compensation and Social Security Disability law firm since its inception in 2010.

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Lack of Sleep Raises Risk of Work Injuries

Posted by on 19 June 2013

It's long been known that poor or insufficient sleep can have negative health effects and contribute to conditions like obesity and diabetes. Now a new study shows that (not surprisingly) lack of sleep is a significant contributing factor to workplace injuries.

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Managing the Threat of Heat-Related Illness at Work

Posted by on 10 June 2013

As summer approaches, the rising temperatures are a welcome respite from the bitter cold of the winter months. But for workers exposed to excessively hot conditions on the job, high temperatures can be dangerous, even deadly.

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Famed Actor Sued for Not Providing Workers' Compensation Insurance

Posted by on 5 June 2013

Well-known comedic actor Jim Carrey has made headlines recently not for an upcoming movie, but for a failure to purchase workers' compensation insurance for employees at his art studio in New York. The workers’ compensation board in that state has fined him $72,000 for a failure to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for all of 2012. Mr. Carrey has denied any wrongdoing and is blaming the issue on a clerical error, but the case will likely go to court if the fine is left unpaid.

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Diesel Exhaust Exposure and Lung Cancer

Posted by on 31 May 2013

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. - about 27% of all deaths from cancer can be attributed to this form of the disease, and more people die of lung cancer each year than of breast, prostate, and colon cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society, men have a 1 in 13 chance of developing lung cancer in their lifetimes, while women have a 1 in 16 probability. And, unfortunately, the last several decades have seen little significant progress in lung cancer treatment.

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Training and Education for Workplace Accident Prevention

Posted by on 20 May 2013

No matter the industry, it’s clear that educating employees about accident prevention is a cornerstone of ensuring on-the-job safety. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a grant program designed to help nonprofit organizations with funding for programs that facilitate these critical objectives.

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Workers Compensation and Occupational Overuse Syndrome

Posted by on 9 May 2013

It's clear that a small amount of discomfort may be an unavoidable aspect of many jobs. Whether it’s lifting heavy objects, typing for long periods of time, or just standing on your feet for hours on end, job-related exertion is, for many of us, simply a part of life. But if performing the same repeated movements at work has lead you to experience such symptoms as muscle spasms, strength loss, numbness, or moderate to severe aches and pains, you may have developed a condition known as occupational overuse syndrome.

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Intoxication on the Job May Prevent You from Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Posted by on 2 May 2013

It's pretty clear that using drugs or alcohol while working is a bad idea. Not only is it unprofessional, but depending on your job, being intoxicated could bring up some serious safety issues that could put you and your coworkers in danger. But it’s also vital to note that if you suffer an injury on the job while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your intoxication can significantly lower your chances of collecting workers' compensation for your injury.

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Avoidable Tragedies: Workplace Falling Injuries

Posted by on 26 April 2013

The regrettable truth about accidents in the workplace is that far too many of these tragedies are preventable. Perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the construction industry, where falls are the leading cause of fatalities. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), over a third of work-related deaths in construction in 2010 were due to preventable falls.

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Should NFL Athletes be Collecting Workers’ Compensation From Out of State?

Posted by on 18 April 2013

A bill introduced in California would largely prevent professional athletes like those in the NFL from filing cumulative trauma workers’ compensation claims in California if they had not retired from a team based in that state. Spokespeople representing several professional sports associations contend that athletes from teams outside of California are cashing in on workers’ compensation benefits from the state, raising team costs as well as costs of workers’ compensation for all employers in California.

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Asbestos: Still a Serious Health Threat

Posted by on 11 April 2013

Last week was National Asbestos Awareness Week, a relatively new occasion intended to increase awareness about the serious dangers of asbestos exposure. Although the use of asbestos has greatly declined, exposure still remains a major threat to the health of workers who repair old buildings and indeed anyone who comes into contact with the material. It’s long been known that asbestos can cause fatal conditions like lung cancer and mesothelioma, yet asbestos still isn’t banned in the U.S.

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Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Posted by on 5 April 2013

According to a recent article on cnn.com, professional fishermen have the most dangerous job in America. The article compared the fatality rate per 100,000 workers of dozens of jobs, and fishermen topped the list at 121.2. Loggers and airplane pilots took second and third places with 102.4 and 57 fatalities per 100,000, respectively.

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Workers' Compensation and Surveillance

Posted by on 1 April 2013

Workers' Compensation matters vary from case to case, but one common thread is that injuries sustained by workers are severe enough to keep them from performing their routine job duties. To ensure each claimant is being completely truthful with his or her claim, insurance companies will send investigators to observe the daily behavior of the injured worker. For example, if the investigator finds that a construction worker who has injured his hand on the job is operating machinery on a job site after filing a claim, some hefty consequences could result.

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The Senate Opposes Cuts in Social Security Benefits for Disabled Veterans

Posted by on 29 March 2013

Last Friday, the United States Senate voted to block changes that would cut Social Security benefits for disabled veterans. Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, proposed an amendment that helped put the Senate on the record as not supporting these cuts. He noted that he did not want disabled veterans, who have already made significant sacrifices by fighting for our country, to be considered as a factor in the budget discussion.

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Partner Tom Giordano, Jr. and Team Members to Teach Seminar

Posted by on 26 March 2013

Tom Giordano, Jr., Partner and head of the Social Security Disability Department at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, along with Social Security Disability Training Supervisor Christina Marrero and Social Security Disability Specialist Eve Papadopoulos, will be guest speakers at myLawCLE’s continued learning educational (CLE) seminar entitled “Social Security Disability 101: "Boot Camp."

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Partner Jerry Lehocky Interviewed on Executive Leaders Radio

Posted by on 22 March 2013

Partner Jerry Lehocky will be interviewed on Executive Leaders Radio this weekend about his upcoming role as President of The Pennsylvania Association for Justice. Lehocky will also discuss his blue-collar upbringing and what sparked his interest in the field of law and, in particular, Workers' Compensation.

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Pond Lehocky Named One of the Top Workplaces 2013

Posted by on 21 March 2013

We are excited and proud to announce that Pond Lehocky has been chosen as one of the Top Workplaces for 2013. The announcement came out on Sunday, March 17th in the Jobs section of The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Daily News, and was published as a special online section on Philly.com.

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Workers’ Compensation and Surveillance

Posted by on 20 March 2013

Workers’ Compensation matters vary from case to case, but one common thread is that injuries sustained by workers are severe enough to keep them from performing their routine job duties. To ensure each claimant is being completely truthful with his or her claim, insurance companies will send investigators to observe the daily behavior of the injured worker. For example, if the investigator finds that a construction worker who has injured his hand on the job is operating machinery on a job site after filing a claim, some hefty consequences could result.

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Associate Melissa Chandy Featured as Contributing Writer for PAJ News March 2013

Posted by on 20 March 2013

Pond Lehocky Associate Melissa Chandy is being featured as the March 2013 Contributing Writer for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice’s publication PAJ News.  Ms. Chandy has been a contributing writer for PAJ News in the past and will continue to write on a regular basis for the ‘Case Notes’ section, where she informs PAJ members on new Case Law.  Please click here to read her last contribution.

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Pond Lehocky Attorneys Named to 2013 Best Lawyers List

Posted by on 15 March 2013

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Partners Sam Pond, Jerry Lehocky and David Stern were named to the 2013 Best Lawyers® list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. Additionally, the Firm was named to the Best Law Firms list 2012-2013 in the 'Tier 1' group for Workers' Compensation, the top classification. Based entirely on peer review, the Best Lawyers® list reflects the opinions of leading attorneys regarding the professional abilities of their colleagues. This is Pond's seventh consecutive year on the list, Lehocky's second and Stern's first.

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Social Security Disability Back Pay

Posted by on 15 March 2013

When applying for Social Security Disability, an applicant unfortunately may have to wait up to 18 months from the time of their application to go before an Administrative Law Judge.  During this time, those disabled will undoubtedly have a difficult time without any income. Many applicants question if they will recoup any of the their potential lost wages once their case is awarded. The short answer is yes. When finally approved, a social security disability claimant may be eligible to receive retroactive money, or back pay, to make up for the time spent waiting for Social Security to issue a decision in the case. We’ve highlighted some of the factors that go into deciding whether an applicant will be eligible for this back pay, and also how much could be awarded below.

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5 Month Waiting Period: What's the Wait?

Posted by on 14 March 2013

By: Alexander Sioutis | Social Security Disability Attorney

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OSHA Cites Company in PA Worker Death

Posted by on 7 March 2013

Back in August of 2012, a worker was killed after being run over by a pavement roller at an Export Fuel Co. facility. Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the company with 18 safety violations as a subsequent result in this matter.

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Sequestration: Will it Affect Social Security Disability?

Posted by on 28 February 2013

By: Alexander Sioutis | Social Security Disability Attorney

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Emotional Trauma and Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Posted by on 25 February 2013

In the state of Connecticut it used to be the case that the suffering of emotional trauma would qualify a worker for workers’ compensation benefits if the trauma’s onset happened in the workplace. In the 1990’s, these benefits faced limitations due to concern of high workers’ comp insurance premiums for companies.

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Associate Allison Eberle-Lindemuth's Article Published in PA Law Weekly

Posted by on 25 February 2013

Associate Allison Eberle-Lindemuth's article "How the American Work Ethic Affects Disability, Workers' Comp Cases" was published on February 19th in PA Law Weekly, a weekly insert in The Legal Intelligencer.  To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

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Watch Jerry Lehocky and Tom Giordano, Jr., on CBS 3's Talk Philly

Posted by on 19 February 2013

On February 20th,  Jerry Lehocky and Tom Giordano, Jr., Partners at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, appeared on CBS 3’s Talk Philly, an Emmy Award-winning news and lifestyle show.

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Compassionate Allowances Open Doors for Those Seeking Social Security Disability

Posted by on 14 February 2013

Social Security Disability benefits are a lifesaver for some. Sometimes, and depending on the matter, the amount of time that passes from the initial application to the decision can be over a year. Thankfully, the Social Security Administration recognizes that a year is too long in some cases, and has taken steps to mitigate the process. The SSA recently adopted a large number of conditions to be included under the “Compassionate Allowances” umbrella, allowing applicants to receive benefits much sooner than usual.

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Supports the AFL-CIO

Posted by on 8 February 2013

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Partners Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky will be speaking in front of members of the AFL-CIO labor organization on Monday, February 11th. They will discuss proposed changes to workers’ compensation legislation and how these changes could potentially have a negative impact on workers.  Both Pond and Lehocky are heavily involved in protecting and improving the rights of workers. As such, they are active in educating members of labor organizations about their rights - and about the state legislation that is needed to continue to protect them in the workplace. This discussion is one of many that the Firm’s attorneys participate in throughout the year.

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Beware of Carbon Monoxide Exposure in Your Work Environment

Posted by on 5 February 2013

A New England warehouse worker recently was found unconscious and suffering from convulsions while on the job. After realizing other workers at the same site had become sick, it was determined that high levels of carbon monoxide had caused the problem. Most people are aware of the potential dangers that carbon monoxide presents, but are unaware of how much these dangers are heightened during the winter months. Employees who work in the field for their jobs often use different types of fuel-burning equipment while inside to keep warm, and often this equipment is running in small or enclosed spaces, just like the workers in the situation above. They were trying to conserve heat while working, in turn allowing no ventilation in the room.

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Partner Sam Pond to Present at The Philadelphia Bar Association

Posted by on 31 January 2013

Sam Pond, Managing Partner at Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano, will present alongside Honorable Rochelle S. Friedman, Senior Judge of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, and Honorable Todd B. Seelig, Workers' Compensation Office of Adjudication, on Friday, February 1st, 2013, at The Philadelphia Bar Association. As part of a Workers' Compensation CLE program, they will be presenting Hot Topic in Workers' Compensation: A Discussion of the AMA's Guide to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

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Protecting Yourself From the Flu at Work

Posted by on 24 January 2013

The early start and fast spread of influenza this season has quickly reached epidemic proportions. Since you can’t always rely on flu shots, or your coworkers to take precautions, it is important to take extra safety measures to protect yourself during flu season at work. Here are a few steps you can take to safeguard yourself:

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Pond Lehocky Supports the Winter Warmer Clothing Drive

Posted by on 24 January 2013

Employees of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano gathered up their gently used winter clothing items last week for donation to the Gibson Temple Baptist Church in North Philadelphia. Pond Lehocky partnered with Gibson Temple Baptist Church for their annual Turkey Drive this past Thanksgiving and was excited to partner with them again this winter for an equally important service project, The Winter Warmer Clothing Drive. The clothing drive is another one of Gibson Temple’s continuing efforts to improve the lives of those surrounding them in the community, and Pond Lehocky was proud to partner with them on this initiative and to help keep others warm this cold winter season.

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New PA Workers’ Compensation Maximum Rates

Posted by on 16 January 2013

Under the Workers' Compensation Act, injured workers are entitled to indemnity (wage-loss) benefits equal to two-thirds of their weekly wage for a work-related injury. However, there are minimum and maximum adjustments to the benefits provided based on the worker’s income at the time of his or her injury. Every year, the PA Department of Labor and Industry decides what the statewide maximum weekly wage will be by calculating the average weekly wage of all workers throughout the state. This year, the PA Department of Labor and Industry decided thatthe statewide, maximum weekly wage for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013 will be $917.00 per week, which is an increase of 3.3 percent from last year.

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Important Information: Northeast Hearing Office Closed

Posted by on 3 January 2013

As many of you may know, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation has made the decision to close the Northeast Philadelphia Hearing Office at 2901 Grant Avenue effective January 1, 2013. Consequently, all Judges from the Northeast Hearing Office have been relocated to the 8th Street Hearing Office at 110 North 8th Street in Center City Philadelphia. Most of your cases have already been reassigned to the 8th Street Hearing Office.

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Pond Lehocky is in the Holiday Spirit

Posted by on 21 December 2012

Pond Lehocky hosted its annual Santa Day on December 19, 2012. Current clients were invited to bring the children in their lives to meet Santa, pick out an early Christmas present and enjoy some holiday treats. The turnout was great, with nearly 300 people in attendance, and you could feel the cheer in the air.

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Associate Melissa Chandy Featured as Contributing Writer for PAJ News

Posted by on 13 December 2012

Associate Melissa Chandy will once again be featured as a contributing writer for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice’s publication PAJ News.  Ms.Chandy has been a contributing writer to PAJ News in the past and will continue to write for the ‘Case Notes’ section on a regular basis in the future. Click here to read her last contribution.

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Several Workers Sent to Hospital Following Paulsboro Train Derailment

Posted by on 3 December 2012

Several workers from the Paulsboro Marine Terminal were sent to a local Paulsboro hospital to be treated for the inhalation of vinyl chloride when 25,000 gallons of the chemical were released during a train derailment last Friday. 84 cars and four tankers fell into Mantua Creek as the train attempted to cross a bridge after deliberating with dispatchers over continuing against a red signal. Though the workers, in addition to more than 70 residents who were sent to the hospital to be treated for chemical inhalation, were released early Saturday, they are still in a position to consider this a work injury if they face complications. According to authorities, the train was facing a red signal in a spot where there was usually a green signal and after several attempts to correct the signal with no luck, the train decided to pursue its route nonetheless.  Had the conductor and dispatcher heeded the warnings, they would have stopped the derailment. No situation is worth the risk of a potential work injury!

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Partners Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky to Speak to Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association

Posted by on 29 November 2012

Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky, together with PA State Rep. William Keller, will be guest speakers at the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association (PCA) meeting on Thursday, November 29th. They will be addressing the proposed changes to Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act, which will negatively affect injured workers and the health care workers that treat them as well as what the chiropractic community can do to support the defeat of such legislation.

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Pond Lehocky Associate Allison Wheeler to Speak to UPenn Law Students

Posted by on 28 November 2012

Pond Lehocky Associate Allison Wheeler will be a guest speaker on the “Women in Law” panel discussion tonight, November 28th, to the University of Pennsylvania’s Pre-Law Women organization.  Ms. Wheeler will have the opportunity to speak to young women who are interested in a career in law and will share details about why she chose a career in law, what it is like to practice law as a woman, and what obstacles and opportunities she faces as a female lawyer. Pre-Law Women at Penn, an organization focused on educating and encouraging women on the pursuit of legal careers, holds this yearly event and invites area women who practice law to share their experiences with students.

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Pond Lehocky Partners with Local Church for Thanksgiving Food Drive

Posted by on 19 November 2012

The law firm of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano partnered with Gibson Temple Baptist Church in North Philly on Saturday, November 17th for the church’s annual local Thanksgiving food drive. Each year, Gibson Temple Baptist Church hands out frozen turkeys and other Thanksgiving food items to members of the community, and this year Pond Lehocky partnered with the church with a donation to purchase over 300 turkeys for the community.  Pond Lehocky staff members were also on-site to hand out food bags, register new community members, and had a table set up to answer questions about social security disability and workers’ compensation matters.  Pond Lehocky is grateful for the opportunity to be able to give back to our community, especially during the holiday season, and for the opportunity to partner with The Gibson Temple Baptist church who shares those same values.

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November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Posted by on 12 November 2012

The month of November is Epilepsy Awareness Month, which is why we’d like to take this opportunity to discuss how Epilepsy affects the 2.2 million Americans in their daily lives. In particular, how does Epilepsy affect those that are suffering from it while also employed?

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Important Legislation Recently Passed for Fire Fighters

Posted by on 8 November 2012

After years of struggle to pass a law to protect those who protect us, fire fighters can finally breathe easy in Pennsylvania.

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Pond Lehocky Makes Pledge to Community Legal Services

Posted by on 5 November 2012

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano recently made a contribution to Community Legal Services in support of the upcoming North Philadelphia Law Center. The North Philadelphia Law Center, operated by Community Legal Services, will be the home for CLS attorneys, paralegals and support staff that will provide free legal services and is set to open its doors January 31st of next year. It will serve as a central location in a community where the services of experienced and dedicated legal professionals are needed. Community Legal Services provides low-income Philadelphia residents with advice and representation in civil legal matters, as well as advocating for their legal rights.

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Pond Lehocky Makes Contribution to Scholarship Program

Posted by on 5 November 2012

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano recently made a contribution to the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Bench-Bar Scholarship Program. The Bench-Bar Scholarship Program allows recipients to attend the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Bench-Bar & Annual Conference. For the 2012 conference, Pond Lehocky’s contribution allowed 19 recipients to attend the conference and participate in CLE and networking events. The Bench-Bar Conference is the premier event for getting to know members of the judiciary.

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Pond Lehocky Attends IBEW Local 98 Health Fair

Posted by on 2 November 2012

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano attended IBEW Local 98’s health fair on Saturday, October 27. The Local 98 Health Fair is a yearly tradition where members and their dependents are encouraged to attend and to take advantage of free health screenings and other various wellness services.  Pond Lehocky is a proud supporter of local unions and was on hand to offer members information and answer questions about Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability benefits.

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Pond Lehocky Welcomes Three New Attorneys

Posted by on 1 November 2012

We are proud to announce the addition of three new attorneys to our continuously growing Firm. The three new additions secure Pond Lehocky as the largest Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability Law Firm in the area with over 100 employees, nearly tripling in size in just over two years.

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Pond Lehocky's Fall 2012 Newsletter "Quarterly Counsel" is now available

Posted by on 24 October 2012

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano's Fall 2012 Newsletter, "Quarterly Counsel" is now available on the homepage of our website and here.  Read about the new attorney that has joined our Firm, recent settlement highlights, how we are making an impact in the communities in which we practice, what to do if you or a family member has suffered from nursing home neglect, as well as the recent accomplishments of our attorneys.

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5 Facts to Know About Social Security Disability

Posted by on 22 October 2012

1. You can receive Social Security Disability at any age

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Pond Lehocky Participates in Local Union Health Fair

Posted by on 22 October 2012

Pond Lehocky participated in the IATSE (Stagehands) Local Union 8 Health Fair last Thursday, October 18, 2012. The health fair was the first held by the Stagehands, who, like other union members in the area, have made health and safety a top priority for their members. Attendees could receive complimentary flu shots, vision and skin tests, massages and information regarding chiropractic and physical therapy services. Pond Lehocky showed support for the Stagehands by sponsoring the event and offering materials to union members regarding legal services they may need for workers’ compensation and social security disability instances. Social Security Disability and Workers' Compensation attorneys were also on hand to answer questions. Pond Lehocky supports the Stagehands and their effort to maintain a healthy union!

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Partner Dave Stern to be Honored by Philadelphia VIP

Posted by on 15 October 2012

Pond Lehocky Partner Dave Stern will be honored by the Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (Philadelphia VIP) at the organization’s 2012 Pro Bono Publico Award Ceremony and Roll of Honor on October 24th. As a member of Philadelphia VIP, Stern is being recognized for his outstanding pro bono work in the community by providing legal service to the underprivileged. This is Stern’s fourth recognition on the Roll of Honor. Since 1981, Philadelphia has been ensuring attorneys have the opportunity to provide legal assistance to individuals and families who could not otherwise afford to do so.

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Pond Lehocky Participates in DC 21 Sporting Clay Shoot

Posted by on 11 October 2012

Pond Lehocky participated in District Council 21’s annual “Member Benefit Sporting Clay Shoot” on October 10, 2012. Associate Melissa Chandy and Chief Financial Officer Bryan Reilly attended the event and supported the International Union of Painters & Allied trades by shooting a round of clays. As a sponsor of the event, Pond Lehocky continues to show its ongoing support for area unions and labor organizations.

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Partner Jerry Lehocky Inducted as President-Elect for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice

Posted by on 11 October 2012

Partner Jerry Lehocky was recently inducted as the President-Elect for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice at the Annual Update of the Law Seminar at PAJ’s 2012 Retreat in Hershey, PA.  This was the 43rd annual PAJ retreat.  In 2013, Mr. Lehocky will become President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. He will be the first Workers’ Compensation attorney in the history of this organization to hold that position.  The Pennsylvania Association for Justice promotes a fair and effective justice system and supports attorneys who work to ensure that any person who is injured by the misconduct or negligence of others can obtain justice in Pennsylvania’s courtrooms, even when taking on the most powerful interests.

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Pond Lehocky Partner Jerry Lehocky Speaks at Workers' Compensation Conference

Posted by on 10 October 2012

Partner Jerry Lehocky was a speaker at the 2012 Workers’ Compensation Bureau Conference in Hershey, PA where he spoke on the topic of the misuse of Bureau Documents. Lehocky participated on a panel titled, “WC Forms & Procedures” that offered attendees a unique look into employer and defense perspectives on proper completion of forms and difficulties that may occur due to improper completion.

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Pond Lehocky Associate Frank Ciprero Speaks at Law Seminar

Posted by on 10 October 2012

Frank N. Ciprero, an Associate with Pond Lehocky, spoke at the Pennsylvania Association for Justice’s Annual Update of the Law Seminar for Civil Litigators on October 5th in Philadelphia. Ciprero’s address was on the topic of Workers’ Compensation and was co-authored with Pond Lehocky Associate Melissa Chandy. For this seminar, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice invited experienced trial lawyers from the area to highlight the most important updates in their respective practice areas.

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Importance of Fully Obeying Company Rules

Posted by on 3 October 2012

A truck driver, who fractured his ankle after he fell exiting a company truck, was subsequently discharged for violation of the company’s weapons policy after his employer found a loaded handgun in his company truck. The employer’s reason for termination was fully based on the policy violation as he claimed the worker was recovered from his injury, and he tried to terminate his employee’s benefits that resulted due to the work injury. A Workers’ Compensation Judge denied this request for termination of benefits and allowed them to continue. Later, the board determined an error in this judgment and decided to reverse the decision and to stop the benefits.

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Pond Lehocky Shows Support at Puerto Rican Day Parade

Posted by on 2 October 2012

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano attended the 50th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade in Philadelphia last Sunday, September 30. Each year, the Puerto Rican Day Parade is held to celebrate the customs and heritage of citizens who come from a Puerto Rican and Latino heritage.  Pond Lehocky prides itself on the strong relationship it has with the Hispanic community and are always excited to support them and their culture.

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Northeast Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Hearing Office Closing

Posted by on 25 September 2012

The Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will be closing the Northeast Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Hearing Office (currently located on Grant Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia). This is an unexpected decision, as this is one of the busiest hearing offices in the entire state. It was discussed in the past that only some of the hearings would be moved to the Center City Hearing office, but not that the office would be closing entirely.

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Sam Pond Addresses Advisory Council on Health & Safety

Posted by on 20 September 2012

Pond Lehocky Partner Sam Pond will speak to the attendees of the Advisory Council on Health and Safety meeting tonight, September 20, 2012. Mr. Pond will give a short address on workers’ compensation matters as they relate to health and safety issues in the workplace.  New Jersey COSH, the Advisory Council on Health and Safety is a coalition of Labor Unions, Workers' Lawyers and Workers' Doctors.  New Jersey COSH fights for pro-worker legislation and writes friend of the court briefs to the New Jersey Supreme Court on issues that impact workers. New Jersey COSH has grown over two decades to be the leading legal voice for injured workers in New Jersey.

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New, Easy Way to Access Social Security Benefits Statements

Posted by on 17 September 2012

Many aspects of the Social Security process can be confusing, especially when there are so  many things to keep track of regarding your benefits. If you are looking for an easy and proficient way to view your statement, the Social Security Administration has a solution for you. This accessible, year-round answer to the demand for up-to-date Social Security estimates is available for retirement, disability and survivors benefits and also allows people to determine whether their earnings are accurately posted to their records. For more information or to create an account, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/mystatement/

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How does ObamaCare Affect YOU

Posted by on 10 September 2012

The recent health care plan put in place by the Obama Administration, The Affordable Care Act, puts into place strong consumer protections, provides new coverage options and gives you the tools you need to make informed choices about your health. General information about the plan is available from the government at www.healthcare.gov/law/, but it can be hard to sift through all the information to know exactly how this new plan will affect you. Those currently or previously involved in Workers’ Compensation instances should be aware of certain aspects of the new plan that will have a direct impact on some of the procedures and policies that may change when the new plan is fully adopted. We’ve highlighted a few main points from the new plan and expanded on how they will affect you.

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Pond Lehocky Participates in 9/11 Heroes Run

Posted by on 10 September 2012

Pond Lehocky staff members participated in the Travis Manion Foundation 9/11 Heroes Run this past Sunday in Fairmount Park. The run was held in support of the Travis Manion Foundation and first responders in the local community

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Pond Lehocky Attends Labor Day Parade and AFL-CIO Family Festival

Posted by on 4 September 2012

An estimated 5,000 union members and their families marched in Philadelphia's Tri-State Labor Day parade yesterday and attended the AFL-CIO Family Festival at Penn's Landing. Pond Lehocky was proud to be in attendance in support of our Union Brothers and Sisters.

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Pond Lehocky Participates in The Legal Intelligencer's 'Cooking Up Justice'

Posted by on 29 August 2012

On July 19th, Pond Lehocky participated in the Legal Intelligencer’s Cooking up Justice Cooking Contest.  Sid Palatianos, Case Manager from our Social Security Department, won the in-office cook off to represent the Firm.  Sid prepared her family recipe for Greek Meatballs.  For Sid’s Greek Meatballs recipe, please see below.  Proceeds from Cooking Up Justice went towards Philabundance, a non-profit food bank that serves the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley.

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Social Security Disability Benefit Recipients Exceeds Jobs Created

Posted by on 17 August 2012

Job creation has been at the forefront of America’s problem-solving strategy for a few years now. The more jobs that can be created, the more people that can work and therefore more money will be flowing through our system. It seems reliable, until we look at the number of people applying for social security disability benefits. In June 2012, the 85,000 people enrolled in the Social Security Disability Insurance program surpassed the 80,000 jobs that were created. One explanation for this is that the baby boomer generation is now reaching the age where health problems are keeping some of them from being able to work. Since that generation is so large and workforce demographics are certainly changing, it is important to be aware of current social security disability legislation. With an election upcoming, be sure your representatives protect the Social Security Disability Insurance that helps so many people.

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Pond Lehocky Becomes 2012 Philadelphia Lawyers Softball League Division Champs!

Posted by on 16 August 2012

We are proud to announce that Team Pond Lehocky won the 2012 Philadelphia Lawyers Softball League Ben Franklin Division Championship. Pond Lehocky’s team was 8-1 this season and after defeating another area law firm on August 15th, became the Division Champs. Despite the damp conditions, Pond Lehocky clinched the title in a close game that ended in a score of 4-3 after falling behind in the first inning. The team has a mix of staff members and attorneys.  Their hard work in the courtroom translates into their hard work on the field.  Congrats to Team Pond Lehocky on their victory!

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Random Workplace Inspections May Lead to a Decrease in Workplace Injury

Posted by on 15 August 2012

Workplace safety is the most important factor when discussing prevention of work-related injury. Government regulations are in place to protect employees from harm and employers from violating the right people have of safe working conditions. A recent study completed by economists and environmental experts from known universities proves that randomized inspections of workplaces improve safety by forcing companies to keep up with the latest regulations and prevent problems before they have a chance to occur.

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Is Your Fibromyalgia Severe Enough to Qualify you for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Posted by on 13 August 2012

Social Security Disability benefits are reserved for those who have medical conditions serious enough that working is not an option. In some cases, like those concerning people with Fibromyalgia, the condition may not be severe enough sometimes to qualify them for benefits. Fibromyalgia is a special case because some days the symptoms may be mild and other days they may be severe- leaving the decision of whether or not to include Fibromyalgia in limbo. A recent ruling released July 25th, 2012 by the Social Security Administration details how Fibromyalgia cases will be evaluated to help the decision on whether to include the condition for benefits. A physician’s opinion alone will no longer be enough to be the factor determining benefits; evidence in addition to diagnosis is now required. Fibromyalgia qualifies if the following factors exist:

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First Ever “Workers Stand for America Rally” Planned for August 11th in Philadelphia

Posted by on 9 August 2012

The first-ever “Workers Stand for America Rally” is being planned for August 11th in Philadelphia.

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Pond Lehocky Launches Client "What to Expect" Videos and New Branding

Posted by on 30 July 2012

These videos will serve as a guide for what to expect during your Workers' Compensation or Social Security Disability case, and are being released in conjunction with the reveal of our new branding.

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Overqualified Immigrants at Greater Risk of Workplace Injuries?

Posted by on 27 July 2012

The Injury Prevention journal published a Canadian study which found that recent immigrants, who are also overqualified for their jobs, are three times more likely to be injured at work than their less educated, native-born peers. The researchers cited a lack of skills and knowledge about common workplace safety, along with language barriers, to account for these findings in overqualified recent immigrants.  They also noted that having a higher education could isolate immigrants from other co-workers and even supervisors, leaving overqualified immigrants on their own when it comes to understanding workplace safety and getting help on the job.

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Six Tips for Eye Safety in the Workplace

Posted by on 26 July 2012

In recognition of Eye Injury Prevention Month, here are some tips to ensure eye safety while you’re on the job:

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Associate Melissa Chandy is a Contributing Writer for PAJustice News

Posted by on 25 July 2012

Melissa Chandy-an Associatewith Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano was recently featured as a contributing author for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice's PAJustice News.  Ms. Chandy will be a contributing author on a recurring basis for the "Case Notes" section of PAJustice News.  Click here to read the latest issue of PAJustice News.

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Article PA Law Weekly: Supreme Court Continues Trend Set by Misclassification Act

Posted by on 24 July 2012

Sam Pond and Allison Wheeler are featured as contributing writers in today's Pennsylvania Law Weekly. In this article, they take a look at the case of Six L's Packing Company and the issues surrounding Workers' Compensation insurance for contractors under the Misclassification Act.

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Attention Young Workers

Posted by on 20 July 2012

Are you under the age of 18 and working? As a young worker, you could be prone to injury or sickness on the job due to unsafe equipment, lack of training, poor supervision, illegal or inappropriate work assignments, unrealistic work expectations and stressful work conditions.

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Three Ways to Prevent Heat Illness: Water. Rest. Shade.

Posted by on 19 July 2012

While your body normally sweats in order to cool off, extreme conditions can cause your body temperature to rise to dangerous levels. This means that sweating alone is not enough to help keep you cool in the heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks.

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Important Information About Termination of PA's Cash Assistance Program

Posted by on 17 July 2012

Pennsylvania's Cash Assistance program will be ending July 31, 2012 due to the new state budget. General Assistance has been in place to help single people on welfare. If this affects you, please read the following information. Almost everyone will lose their cash assistance aside from the following:

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Chronic Pain and Brain Activity

Posted by on 11 July 2012

Ever wonder why one person may suffer from a chronic pain condition while another, who suffered the same type of injury, does not? A recent study tracked the brain activity of 40 people with new back injuries for one year. After one year, the group was divided into two smaller groups: (1) those whose pain was resolving and (2) those whose pain persisted. Interestingly, at the start of the study, both the persistent pain group and the recovering group reported similar levels of pain. However, the persistent group differed from the recovery group in terms of their emotional feelings about the pain.

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Three Ways to Avoid Workplace Falls: Plan. Provide. Train.

Posted by on 10 July 2012

Did you know that workplace falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry? Tragically, these deaths are preventable. Construction workers and employers can save lives by planning ahead to ensure that jobs are being performed safely. This means thinking about how the job will be done, what sort of tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment will be necessary to perform those tasks. The second step to prevention is toprovide the right equipment. Any worker who is working six feet or more above lower level risks severe injury or death with a fall. Employers should provide these workers with the right equipment, such as different kinds of ladders, scaffolds and safety gear. Finally, training workers to use equipment in a safe way is another way to prevent falls. Employers should provide training that allows workers to understand how to safely use equipment.

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Tune in tonight! Pond Lehocky to appear on Berks County TV's "Injured Workers of PA" Monday, July 2nd

Posted by on 2 July 2012

Workers' Compensation Attorney, Alexis Ouseley, will be appearing on the Berks County live call-in cable television show Injured Workers of PA tonight, Monday, July 2nd, from 8 to 9pm.  The show will focus on Workers' Compensation issues. 

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Disturbing Trend of Anti-Union Legislation

Posted by on 26 June 2012

The ability of Scott Walker to hold his seat after ushering in cuts to public-worker bargaining rights, health-care benefits, and pensions signals yet again the triumph of corporate greed over protection of individual worker rights.  Walker insists that the cuts are necessary because of the $3.6 billion debt he inherited as governor.  Yet, his policies continuously undercut the potential for job-growth and chip away at the progress union workers have made over the past 50 years in securing safe and decent livelihoods.  He rejected federal money for a high-speed rail line, repealed Wisconsin’s equal pay law, and cut its health-care program.  In campaigning against the bail-out, he raised $30.5 million, eight times as much as his opponents.  Over the course of the recall, spending reached nearly $100 million.  Voters struggle in an economy that has been hard-hit by the recession, and middle class Americans are made to pay out of their pockets for government debt while Walker spends exorbitant amounts to ensure he can buy his way into staying in office.

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PA State Legislature to Take One of Largest Loans in State History to Pay Off Unemployment Compensation Fund Debt

Posted by on 14 June 2012

This month, Pennsylvania House lawmakers approved a bill that will allow the state to borrow money to pay off the $3.9 billion it owes the federal government in jobless benefits. The state has been in debt since 2008 when businesses borrowed money to compensate laid-off workers during the recession. The bill authorizes one of the largest single-debt issuances in Pennsylvania history, but supporters hope that saving employers’ money will lead to the creation of more jobs. Part of the problem is due to structural inefficiencies-the tax structure that underwrites employee compensation trust fund has not been increased by state lawmakers since the 1980s, even though the workers’ salaries that determine the amount of benefits have risen steadily. Rather than addressing these issues, however, the administration has chosen to focus on saving money at the expense of workers. Packaged in this bill are “money-saving” provisions that predictably shave away at workers’ rights while serving big businesses. One such provision limits eligibility for jobless benefits by eliminating eligibility altogether for people, such as seasonal workers, who make a majority of their annual income over several months. As is, an employee must earn 20% of their base-year wages outside their highest-earning quarter. The Corbett administration is lobbying to dictate that 49.5% of base-year wages must be earned outside of one’s highest-earning quarter. Why? Because the change would mean that over the course of one year, 48,000 fewer people would be eligible to receive benefits. Every day, political decisions are being made that affect all of us. It is our responsibility to get educated and get involved!

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A Win for Williamson & Workers!

Posted by on 13 June 2012

This month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed down a decision that clarifies “ambiguity” regarding statutory employer status in Pennsylvania’s Worker’s Compensation Act. Keith Williamson was hurt in a car accident while transporting tomatoes between a PA warehouse and a Maryland processing facility. Six L’s (the tomato growing company) employed F. Garcia & Sons to transport the tomatoes. Williamson was a truck-driver employed by Garcia. Garcia does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, so Williamson argued that Six L’s was his statutory employer, secondarily liable to cover the costs of his injury-related expenses. Williamson successfully argued that the PA Workers’ Compensation Act created a “class of statutory employers,” who are liable for their employees even if the relationship is not as direct as say premises-based employment. In what is being referred to as a “game-changing decision,” the Court ruled that any person contracting out work that is a “regular or recurrent part of their businesses” must guarantee the benefit of workers’ compensation insurance.

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Turns Out to Hit the Pavement on Behalf of Stroke Prevention

Posted by on 12 June 2012

This past Sunday, June 10th, Team PLSG was spotted supporting the Delaware Valley Stroke Council in their annual 5k race. Strides for Stroke is a memorial benefit held in honor of Dr. Howard Mazer. The proceeds go towards stroke survivors and their caregivers, as well as stroke prevention education and medical screenings.

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Dave Stern and Tom Giordano, Jr. to Lead Educational Seminar

Posted by on 24 May 2012

On May 31st, Dave Stern and Tom Giordano, Jr. will lead an educational seminar on Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability at Atlantic Physical Therapy.  The seminar will focus on educating staff members on how to identify patients that may have been injured at work or who may qualify for Social Security Disability.  If you would like to schedule a free seminar with your office, please contact us at 215-568-7500.

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Jerry Lehocky to speak at Pennsylvania Association of Justice Retreat

Posted by on 24 May 2012

Vice President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, Jerry Lehocky, will be speaking on the topic of Workers' Compensation at the Annual Update of the Law Seminar at PAJ’s 2012 Retreat in Hershey, PA on June 29th.  This is the 43rd annual PAJ retreat and a great opportunity for members to improve their skills and expand their knowledge.

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Attorneys named to 2012 Super Lawyers List!

Posted by on 24 May 2012

We are honored to announce that Partners Sam Pond, Jerry Lehocky, and Dave Stern have all been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers 2012 list. This is Dave Stern's first year being named to the Super Lawyer's list. He was previously named to the Rising Stars list. Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky have also been named to the Super Lawyers Top 100 of Pennsylvania and the Top 100 of Philadelphia lists. Partner Tom Giordano Jr. has been named to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2012 list.

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Workers’ Memorial Day marks the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)

Posted by on 9 May 2012

Workers’ Memorial Day, April 28, 2012, marked the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) over four decades ago.  Ceremonies were held across the Commonwealth to honor the memory of workers who were killed or injured while at work.  From 2009 to 2010, workplace deaths rose in Pennsylvania from 168 to 219.  Nationwide, 3.1 million workplace injuries and illnesses were reported to private sector employers.  Much focus was placed on exposing recent attempts to roll back job safety protections by big business and conservatives in Congress.

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Injured at an employer-sponsored event?

Posted by on 4 May 2012

At times, you may take part in activities with your employer that don’t fall between the normal “9-to-5″ work hours, such as a work softball league or a charitable event out in the community. What if you get injured? 

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NFL Team Not Liable for Attorney Fees in Player’s Workers’ Compensation Case

Posted by on 1 May 2012

A Pennsylvania appellate court recently ruled that the Pittsburgh Steelers do not have to pay the attorney fees for a former player who sought Workers’ Compensation Benefits.

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Pond Lehocky Participates in the American Heart Association's Home Runs for the Heart

Posted by on 1 May 2012

Check out Team Pond Lehocky being all-stars at the American Heart Association's Home Runs for Heart event!

 

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Surveillance

Posted by on 26 April 2012

If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits chances are that the insurance company has hired a private investigator to conduct surveillance (sit outside your home in a car or van with tinted windows and take movies of you once you leave your front door).  Although this is a form of harassment, it is legal.  Any thing you do in public and this now includes anything you post to a social media network (words, photos or videos) is fair game for you to be cross examined at some point in the litigation process.  Being on workers’ compensation benefits does not mean however, that you have to sit in your home and stop living.  It is perfectly advisable that you continue to live your life and act within your restrictions as set forth by your doctor.  That may include taking walks, running household errands, etc.  What the carriers are primarily interested in is whether you are working and collecting total disability benefits at the same time.  This is fraud.  This kind activity could potentially result in you going to jail.

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Educational/Vocational Training

Posted by on 25 April 2012

One question we are often asked is whether the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or the employer is required to provide re-training once an injured worker can no longer perform the job he or she was doing when injured.  The simple answer to that question is no.  Nowhere in the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act does it state that the employer is to provide re-training or educational services to any injured worker.  What this means is that it is your responsibility to find some form of light duty job that you can perform with your current level of experience or enroll in an educational or vocational institution to be trained at something that is within your current physical capabilities.

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Trial Lawyers and Labor Leaders Gather Together to Advocate for Common Goals

Posted by on 20 April 2012

Today, the Philadelphia Business Journal featured an article about a local coalition of trial lawyers and labor leaders. Every month, members of the coalition, including Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky, gather to discuss issues facing their communities and to pursue common goals. This powerful alliance works to protect and advance the rights of working men and women.

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Sam Pond Guest Lectured at Villanova Law School

Posted by on 18 April 2012

Sam Pond was a guest lecturer at Villanova Law School on Tuesday, April 17th 2012.  Mr. Pond addressed Villanova law students in a Workers’ Compensation class.  He was asked to use his 27 years of experience and knowledge of the law to educate the students on what factors are important to look for when settling a Workers’ compensation case.

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The Truth Behind the Proposed Extended Panel Period of 180 Days

Posted by on 17 April 2012

This article was originally published in PA Law Weekly

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Diamond Club Ticket Giveaway

Posted by on 10 April 2012

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is excited to announce that we have chosen the winners of our Diamond Club Giveaway! They will be notified by the end of today.

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Commonly Asked Workers' Compensation Questions

Posted by on 9 April 2012

Can my employer try to terminate my workers’ compensation benefits?

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Two Recent Favorable Decisions

Posted by on 4 April 2012

Attorney David Stern received a favorable decision from a Philadelphia area Workers’ Compensation Judge, which denied a Termination Petition filed by an employer. Mr. Stern has been representing the client since 2006, and has successfully defended against numerous petitions filed by the employer, including two prior termination petitions.

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Thomas J. Giordano Jr. was a guest speaker at the "Epilepsy Education Exchange: Lehigh Valley 2012"

Posted by on 3 April 2012

Thomas J. Giordano Jr. was a guest speaker at the "Epilepsy Education Exchange: Lehigh Valley" on Saturday, April 28th. The conference addressed issues relating to Epilepsy such as: The Cognitive Effects of Epilepsy, Epilepsy and Your Child, Epilepsy and the Adult Life. Mr. Giordano's workshop will focus on Social Security Disability. He will educated members on their rights to benefits under the Social Security System, and how to navigate the complicated application process. The "Epilepsy Education Exchange" took place at the Kasych Family Pavilion Cedar Crest & I-78, Allentown, PA 18105.

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Pond Lehocky named to Top Workplaces list for 2012

Posted by on 20 March 2012

We are excited and proud to announce that Pond Lehocky has been chosen as one of the Top Workplaces for 2012. This special section comes out today, Sunday March 18th in The Inquirer as well as on Philly.com, and on Monday, March 19th in the Daily News.

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Proposed Utilization Review Changes Will Prove Unfair to Injured Workers

Posted by on 28 February 2012

As I discussed in my January 31 column, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Workers' Compensation Executive Committee has submitted its latest proposal to further limit the rights of injured workers.  The proposal outlines five areas where it believes it will "improve the quality of care while curtailing waste and abuse."  The five areas are prescription drugs, the utilization review process, fee scheduling of medical bills, longer periods of managed care and administrative issues.   This week, we will look at the changes the Chamber would like to make to the Utilization Review Process.

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Pond Lehocky featured in Best Lawyers 2012 Legal Guide distributed in the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal

Posted by on 28 February 2012

Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky have been selected by their peers for inclusion to the Best Lawyers in America 2012 list in the field of Workers' Compensation.

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Pond Lehocky Obtains Exceptional Decision on Claim for Work-Related Stroke

Posted by on 21 February 2012

Dave Stern of Pond Lehocky Proves Stroke to be a Work Injury

 

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Benefits Reinstated One Day After Penalty Petition Filed

Posted by on 17 February 2012

Samuel H. Pond met with a client whose benefits were stopped without warning. Mr. Pond looked through the Bureau documents and discovered a Notice of Compensation Payable, which had been overlooked by his client’s prior counsel. Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, once an employer accepts liability for a work-related injury it cannot stop paying benefits without an executed agreement or court order. The day after filing a Penalty Petition, the employer voluntarily reinstated workers’ compensation benefits.

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Claim Petition Granted

Posted by on 15 February 2012

Francis N. Ciprero recently won a Claim Petition filed on behalf of an injured worker who had suffered a burn injury while working part-time as a roofer in the Philadelphia area. The Workers’ Compensation Judge awarded temporary total disability benefits dating back to July of 2010 and ongoing, plus interest.

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Wage and Medical Benefits Awarded in Claim Petition

Posted by on 14 February 2012

David Stern filed a Claim Petition on behalf of a laborer who worked in the Philadelphia area. Mr. Stern’s client worked as a carpet cleaner and sustained injuries to his neck and lower back while reaching into his vehicle to retrieve his equipment. In winning the Claim Petition, the injured worker was awarded medical benefits for both his neck and back injuries, which included an aggravation of underlying degenerative changes in his cervical spine. The injured worker was also awarded wage loss benefits dating back to his last day of work with the employer.

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Employers Must Comply with the Act or Face Strict Penalties

Posted by on 14 February 2012

Jerry Lehocky filed a number of Penalty Petitions after an employer failed to issue proper documentation following his client’s return to work in June of 2010. The employer had also failed to pay partial disability benefits between June of 2010 and August of 2010, although his client had been earning less than her pre-injury wages.

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Union Sprinkler-Fitter Wins Benefits for 2008 and 2010 Work Injuries

Posted by on 10 February 2012

A Phladelphia union worker injured his shoulder while performing his job duties as a sprinkler-fitter in 2008. He continued to work his regular job, but never regained full use of his shoulder. He sustained a second work injury later that same year, but continued to work up through November of 2008. But for brief returns to work to keep his union benefits current, the injured worker has remained out of work since November or 2008 because of injury. Although the employer accepted the injuries, the employer used a medical-only Notice of Compensation payable (NCP). By issuing a medical-only NCP, the employer basically agreed to only pay for medical expenses and not for any non-medical losses, such as lost wages. Samuel H. Pond filed Petitions for both injuries. Mr. Pond also requested penalties based on the employer’s use of a medical-only NCP in light of the injured worker’s ongoing wage loss. Both Claim Petitions were granted by a Philadelphia area Workers’ Compensation Judge. Mr. Pond established that the injured worker was forced to stop working because of the second work incident, and obtained wage loss benefits dating back to November of 2008. The Workers’ Compensation Judge also awarded penalties after finding that the employer had no factual or medical justification to deny wage loss benefits to the injured worker when he stopped working.

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Workers’ Compensation Judge Finds Stroke Work-Related

Posted by on 7 February 2012

A 48 year old laborer was required to work in extremely hot conditions while performing strenuous work for his employer. He suffered a stroke while performing his job duties and required emergency brain surgery to save his life.

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Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky Selected for Inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America

Posted by on 3 February 2012

Congratulations to Sam Pond and Jerry Lehocky for being selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012

 

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Proposed Workers’ Compensation Reforms Could Harm Claimants

Posted by on 31 January 2012

 

The Pennsylvania Chamber workers' compensation executive committee has submitted its latest proposal to further limit the rights of injured workers. The proposal outlines five areas where it believes it will "improve the quality of care while curtailing waste and abuse." The five areas are prescription drugs, the utilization review process, fee scheduling of medical bills, longer periods of managed care and administrative issues. To start, we'll look at the prescription drug changes the Chamber has proposed.

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Wage Loss and Medical Benefits Won After Post Injury Lay-Off

Posted by on 20 January 2012

A laborer was injured while on the job. He treated with the employer’s in-house medical facility and was released to work with restrictions. Days after releasing the injured worker to full duty, he was laid off. At the time, he had been referred to a specialist by the employer’s doctors and was scheduled to undergo surgery. Sam Pond filed multiple petitions and succeeded in getting ongoing wage loss benefits for the injured worker, as of the day he was laid off, with interest. Mr. Pond also ensured that the injured worker could continue treating for his work-related injury at the expense of the employer.

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Frank Ciprero Defeats Intoxication Defense to a Claim Petition

Posted by on 19 January 2012

A 39 year old Philadelphia roofer suffered horrific injuries while working after falling through a roof and landing on cement flooring. Francis N. Ciprero filed a claim petition on the injured worker’s behalf. The employer defended against the Petition by arguing that the injured worker had been intoxicated at the time of the injury. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer can avoid liability for a work-related injury if the employer can prove the accident would not have happened if it were not for the worker’s intoxication. The Claim Petition was ultimately granted and the injured worker was awarded ongoing medical and wage loss benefits from the date of the incident.

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David Stern Defeats Termination Petition and Expands Work Injury Description

Posted by on 17 January 2012

A 46 year old grocery store employee from the Philadelphia area suffered a laceration to her middle finger which resulted in nerve damage. She underwent multiple surgical procedures and a skin graft, yet the work injury was only recognized as being a cut. Although the injured worker was unable to return to work and remained under medical care, her employer filed a petition to terminate her wage loss and medical benefits. David Stern not only prevented the empoyer from terminating his client’s Workers’ Compensation benefits, but he also succeeded in having the description of the work related injury expanded to include all of the injuries she had sustained as a result of her work incident. Now the injured worker’s employer must not only continue to pay wage loss benefits, but is also responsible for the payment of all medical expenses related to the expanded work injury.

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The Utilization Review Process

Posted by on 13 January 2012

Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, a carrier may file a Uilization Review Request to determine whether medical treatment is reasonable or necessary for a work-related injury. If any party, such as the medical provider, injured worker, or insurance carrier, is unsatisfied with the outcome of the unitization review, an appeal may be filed to a Workers’ Compensation Judge, by filing, by filing a petition to review utilization review determination (UR Petition). Jerry M. Lehocky filed a UR Petition on behalf of an injured worker following an unfavorable Utilization Review. The carrier had requested a Utilization Review to determine the reasonableness and neceddity of all the treatment being provided to the injured worker by his treating physician. The Utilization Review Determination concluded that none of the treatment was both reasonable and necessary. The Emploer was ordered to make payment for the medical services which had been subject to review.

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Are You Entitled to an Increase in Your Wage Loss Benefits?

Posted by on 8 January 2012

In a recent commonwealth Court Decision, Bucceri v WCAB (Freightcar America Corp.), No. 2021 C.D. 2010 (Filed, November 22, 2011), the Court found that an employer’s payment of supplemental unemployment compensation benefits should be included in the calculation of an injured worker’s average weekly wage where the payments are an accrued entitlement that have been built up over time as a result of services performed by the injured worker for the employer.

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Did your Work Injury Occur Within Course and Scope of Employment?

Posted by on 13 December 2011

In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Pennsylvania, the Workers’ Compensation Act places the burden on the worker to prove certain elements of his case. One element is proving that the injury occurred while in the course and scope of employment. In order to show that an injury occurred while in the course and scope of employment, the injured worker must prove that the injury was sustained while in the furtherance of the employer’s business. Once the injured worker meets his burden on a claim petition, the employer then has the opportunity to raise a defense. For example, an employer can argue that the injured worker violated a positive work order when the injury occurred. If the employer can establish a positive work order violation, the injured worker is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

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Undocumented Workers Can File for Workers’ Compensation

Posted by on 9 December 2011

Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an injured worker can receive disability benefits even if he is not working legally in this country at the time of the injury. While undocumented workers are free to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits, an employer may have those benefits suspended if the employer can prove that the injured work is capable of performing some type of work. While an employer would normally have to go through certain steps to obtain a suspension of benefits, these additional steps are not necessary when it comes to undocumented workers.

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Tune into Law Talk on December 13th!

Posted by on 3 December 2011

Jerry M. Lehocky and Thomas J. Giordano, Jr. will be appearing on the Cable television show Law Talk Monday, December 13th for a segment entitled Compensation for the Disabled: Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability.

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Pond Lehocky Settles $3 Million Dollar Workers' Compensation Case

Posted by on 3 December 2011

A $3,000,000.00 settlement was obtained for a union construction worker who was catastrophically injured at the young age of 31 while he was working as a construction flag man for Liberty Construction directing traffic on the highway. The work injury caused him to be a C4 quadriplegic. The Claimant was married with a 6 month old child at the time of his injury.

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Injured Workers Able to Return to Work, Affected by Ailing Economy

Posted by on 1 December 2011

The workers’ compensation procedures and outcomes in Pennsylvania were recently analyzed as part of a study performed by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. Pennsylvania was included in the study because it is known to have faster and higher return to work stats in comparison to other states. The study found that recent economic conditions have made it more difficult for injured workers to return to the workforce. For example, employers are less likely to offer modified work to injured workers at the cost of having to lay off able-bodied workers to make a position available. Employers are also less likely to hire workers with permanent restrictions, creating fewer jobs for injured workers who are looking for work. While employers may be making it more difficult for injured workers to return to work, injured workers have a strong financial motivation to return to work, if faced with the possibility of losing their temporary disability benefits. If you have suffered a work injury and have been contacted by your employer to return to work, it is important to speak with an attorney to ensure that you are being offered appropriate and available work and to understand what your rights are under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. Samuel H. Pond recently prevented an employer from reducing his client’s workers’ compensation benefits when the injured worker did not return to work following a vocational assessment. The vocational expert had identified non-union jobs for the union worker. The Workers’ Compensation Judge agreed with Mr. Pond that the non-union positions were not considered “available” under the Act and could not support the employer’s request for a modification of benefits.

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Securing Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Posted by on 17 November 2011

Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, an employer must render payment of any benefits awarded by judicial order within 30 days of the judicial decision. An employer who refuses to make such payments, without filing a petition and being granted relief from making payment, can be subject to penalties, under the Act.

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Impairment Rating Evaluations

Posted by on 9 November 2011

While you are receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, your employer may require you to attend an examination with a doctor of its own choosing. One type of examination is known as an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE). This examination may be requested up to two times within a 12 month period. If the insurance company physician determines that you are less than 50% whole body impaired, you will automatically convert to partial disability status and your benefits will be limited thereafter to a total of 500 weeks. Both the insurance carrier and the injured worker have the right to appeal the findings of an IRE.

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Jerry Lehocky to Appear on Berks County TV's Injured Workers of PA on Monday November 7th at 8pm

Posted by on 3 November 2011

Jerry Lehocky will be appearing on the Berks County television show, Injured Workers' of Pennsylvania, on Monday, November 7th, from 8-9 PM. Mr. Lehocky will be discussing various matters regarding Workers' Compensation Law and will be answering questions from live calls. To be a part of the conversation, call into their LIVE show at 610-378-0426. The show will air in Berks County, on Comcast Channel 13, Comcast-Oley Channel 4, and Service Electric Channel 19. Not in Berks County? You can watch the program live streamed here on BCTV's Web Site.

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Thomas J. Giordano Jr. will be a guest speaker at the "Epilepsy Education & Information Exchange"

Posted by on 3 November 2011

Thomas J. Giordano Jr. will be a guest speaker at the "Epilepsy Education & Information Exchange" on Saturday, November 12th. The conference will address issues relating to Epilepsy such as: Clinical Research and Trials, the Impact of Epilepsy on the Family, and Employment Discrimination. Mr. Giordano's workshop will focus on Social Security Disability and educate members on their rights to benefits under the Social Security System. The "Epilepsy Education & Information Exchange" is scheduled from 8:30am until 1:00pm at the Ace Conference Center at 309 Manor Road in Lafayette Hill, PA 19444. For more information, please contact the Epilepsy Foundation at 215-629-5003.

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Supreme Court to Review Statutory Employer Case

Posted by on 21 October 2011

In the underlying case, Six L’s Packing Co. V. WCAB (Williamson), 2 A.3d. 1268 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2010), the Commonwealth Court upheld a determination that Six L was a statutory employer under Section 302(a) of the Act. The determination was made without applying the test articulated in the seminal case of MacDonald v. Levinson Steel Co., 302 Pa. 287, 153 A. 424 (1930).

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Recent Decisions

Posted by on 17 October 2011

A Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier may request a “utilization review” of medical bills submitted by a medical provider to determine if the treatment is reasonable, necessary and related to the work injury. When a utilization review is requested, the insurance carrier does not have to pay for the bills at issue unless the utilization review is decided in the doctor’s favor.

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SSDI vs SSI – What’s the difference

Posted by on 11 October 2011

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are two Social Security Administration (SSA) programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. Only individuals who meet certain medical criteria are eligible to receive benefits from the SSI or SSDI program.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Posted by on 6 October 2011

Congress has designated that the month of October be recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) each year. The Office of Disability Employment Policy is responsible for planning NDEAM activities and materials with the intent to increase the public’s awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities. The theme for NDEAM 2011 is Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities, which promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America’s workplaces and economy.

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Guest Speakers at Bucks County Bar Association

Posted by on 3 October 2011

Sam Pond and Tom Giordano, Jr. were invited by the Bucks County Bar Association to speak at their Civil Litigation Section meeting on October 12th, 2011. The attorneys will explore complex Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability matters. Their discussion will include issues pertaining to third party cases and settlements, medical and legal malpractice, offsets, and subrogation. We will explore these topics through several case studies, as well as provide an understanding of the interplay between Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability.

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The Law Firm of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is Proud to Support the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association

Posted by on 3 October 2011

The Law Firm of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is a proud supporter of the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association, which held their Annual Convention October 1-2, at the Mount Airy Casino Resort. Pond Lehocky sponsored the President's Dinner on Saturday evening, and attended Saturday's convention. We had the opportunity to provide essential information on Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability to our valued providers.

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano welcomes Attorney Christopher M. Fox

Posted by on 15 September 2011

Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is excited to welcome Attorney Christopher M. Fox to the Firm. A seasoned litigator, Mr. Fox has 9 years of experience in Workers' Compensation Law.

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Social Security Not Going Bankrupt

Posted by on 14 September 2011

Lately, several factors affecting our country today have stirred much talk about the health and well being of the Social Security Retirement, Survivors and Disability programs. Particularly, the concern that Social Security is "running out of money" has arisen quite frequently. Although the economic downturn has seen a rise in applications for disability benefits, this rise will have a minimal impact on the programs, and here is why.

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Sam Pond featured in the Northeast Times

Posted by on 3 September 2011

"Northeast Native Sam Pond developed his work ethic in a variety of jobs. But he settled into law and, these days, likes to bang heads with insurance companies that turn balky when it comes time to satisfy claims."

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Honors the Heroes of 9/11

Posted by on 2 September 2011

The attorneys and staff of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano honored the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by partnering with the Travis Manion Foundation's 9/11 Heroes Run. The goal of the foundation's 9/11 Heroes Run is to never forget the sacrifices of all the Heroes of September 11th- veteran, first responder, and civilian. The proceeds from the charity run go towards supporting the communities that keep us safe. To read more about the Travis Manion Foundation, please visit them online at www.travismanion.com.

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As an injured worker, are you sure that you’re receiving everything you’re entitled to under the Workers’ Compensation Act?

Posted by on 24 August 2011

In a recent decision, David F. Stern, Esquire not only expanded the description of an injured worker’s injury, but he also increased her weekly compensation rate. The injured worker’s employer is now responsible for the payment of all reasonable, necessary, and related medical expenses for the additional injuries and the injured worker will receive all back due compensation benefits owed to her for the past two years, plus interest.

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The Fabric of America

Posted by on 18 August 2011

By Daniel Morson
Of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano

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Workers’ Compensation Benefits Obtained for Nurse Injured on the Job

Posted by on 17 August 2011

David F. Stern, Esquire successfully obtained Workers’ Compensation benefits for a certified nurse who sustained a devastating knee injury while at work. Prior to meeting with Mr. Stern, the injured worker had treated with the employer’s own panel doctors for her injury. Although she was initially released to return to work light duty, the employer did not offer any work within the panel’s restrictions, and the injured worker was left with no choice but to stop working.

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Philadelphia VIP recognizes David F. Stern, Esq. September 2011 Volunteer of the Month!

Posted by on 3 August 2011

Philadelphia VIP has recognized David F. Stern, Esq., for his outstanding volunteer assistance to VIP clients. Congratulations David! Please see below for the full write up that will appear on the Philadelphia VIP website at www.phillyvip.org.

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Union Workers Are Different When It Comes to Workers’ Comp

Posted by on 29 July 2011

You go to work each day, and hope for the best – that you will be able to keep your job and avoid injuries that could make doing your job impossible. In the meantime, you pay your union dues faithfully, without necessarily knowing how participation in a union will enable you to maintain your livelihood. You may be surprised to learn that a union worker has a greater likelihood of collecting workers’ compensation following an on-the-job injury, compared to a non-union worker’s chances of receiving those benefits.

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Jerry M. Lehocky, Esquire recently succeeded in securing Workers’ Compensation

Posted by on 28 July 2011

Jerry M. Lehocky, Esquire recently succeeded in securing Workers’ Compensation benefits for an injured worker, who had suffered a severe cervical injury while working as a home health aid worker on February 21, 2010. In response to the injury, the injured worker’s employer issued a Notice of Compensation Denial, through which it downplayed the extent of the injuries and declined to pay Workers’ Compensation benefits, although the injured worker had been unable to return to work since the date of the incident. The employer also failed to adhere to the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act by failing to issue the Denial within 21 days of the reported work injury.

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The Marie Pond Scholarship Has Been Awarded To Sean Patrick O'Connell

Posted by on 23 July 2011

The Marie Pond scholarship has been awarded to Sean Patrick O'Connell, a senior at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia. This year marks the 20th year that the Marie Pond Scholarship has been given out to a student athlete for college assistance.

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New Law Recognizes Cancer as Occupational Disease for Volunteer and Paid Firefighters

Posted by on 21 July 2011

A new bill that recognizes cancer as an occupational disease for firefighters, was signed into law on July 7, 2011. House Bill 797 allows volunteer and paid firefighters in Pennsylvania to file for Workers Compensation if they are diagnosed with cancer. The law designates cancer as an occupational disease and allows firefighters to receive Workers’ Compensation if they are diagnosed with cancer related to direct exposure to certain known carcinogens encountered while responding to an emergency. There are multiple guidelines for applicants, which state that firefighters must be on active duty for at least four years and are required to pass a cancer screening before battling fires to file a claim.

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Social Security won’t mail annual statements – Workers will have to use online tools to review annual tax and earnings records

Posted by on 14 July 2011

In April, the Social Security Administration began suspending the mailing of annual Social Security benefits estimates. A general movement of information from printed to digital format and a continued struggle to agree on a federal budget are to blame for the change.

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Pennsylvania Association for Justice’s 43rd Annual Summer Retreat

Posted by on 9 July 2011

The Law Firm of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is a proud supporter of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, which is holding its 43rd Annual Summer Retreat, June 23-26, at the Westin Philadelphia. PAJ’s mission is to promote a fair and effective justice system for Pennsylvania consumers and injured workers. Call PAJ at 215.546.6451 or call toll free 866 Injury Law (866-465-8795).

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House Bill 440 signed into Law, a measure that expands the availability of Workers’ Compensation coverage to small businesses

Posted by on 30 June 2011

The new law authorizes insurers, including the State Workers’ Insurance Fund, or SWIF, to voluntarily provide workers’ compensation coverage to sole proprietors, partners in partnerships and members of limited liability companies.

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The 2011 Summer Stroll for Epilepsy

Posted by on 3 June 2011

On June 18th, Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano took part in the Summer Stroll for Epilepsy in Fairmount Park. The event is the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern Pennsylvanias largest awareness and fundraising event of the year. The Firm sponsored the event that rose over $80,000 and had over 750 participants. Members of the Firm attended the Summer Stroll to show support and provide information for those in need. The Firm was grateful to be able to participate in such an outstanding event.

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Celebrates First Anniversary of New Firm!

Posted by on 3 June 2011

The Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability Law Firm of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano celebrates its first anniversary. Our Firm was founded on July 1, 2010, by Sam Pond, Jerry Lehocky, David Stern, and Thomas Giordano, Jr. The Firm began modestly with 22 staff members and six attorneys. In one year, we have grown to 55 staff members and nine attorneys, and have welcomed the former Workers' Compensation Managing Judge of Southeastern Pennsylvania, who acts as Of Counsel, to the Firm. We want to thank our clients, our staff, the labor unions, and the entire legal community for their trust and support this year. Poised for further growth, the Firm has opened satellite offices in Northeast Philadelphia and Pennsauken, NJ, as part of our efforts to enhance our service to clients throughout the region. The interplay between Social Security Disability and Workers' Compensation is an important focus of the Firm. We are especially excited about the tremendous growth of our Social Security Disability Department, headed by Thomas J. Giordano Jr.

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LEGISLATIVE ALERT HOUSE BILL 808- Extends Panel Medical From 90 to 180 Days

Posted by on 18 May 2011

We have gotten calls from many of our medical providers about House Bill 808, which would extend care of a panel doctor from 90 days to 180 days. This is obviously the insurance companies’ version of rationed medical care and a way to control injured workers’ lives.

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Ambassadors Of Humanity Gala Dinner

Posted by on 12 May 2011

On Monday May 9th, Steven Spielberg chaired the Ambassadors of Humanity Gala Dinner in Philadelphia, PA. The event was in honor of Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast, for his dedication to the USC Shoah Foundation Institute. 
 
The foundation was established by Spielberg after he was inspired by his 1993 film, Schindler’s List. The foundation gathers video testimonials from Holocaust survivors and eyewitnesses to use as educational tools for current and future generations. Spielberg’s mission is to “overcome prejudice, intolerance and bigotry as well as the suffering they cause.”
 
Our Firm sponsored the event with a donation for the ad book.  Sam and Jerry also made personal contributions to the cause and attended the event on behalf of the Firm. “Spielberg was inspired and changed forever by his filming of Schindler’s List.  Both Jerry and I found the entire evening to be inspiring,” Pond said.
 

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Names Attorneys to Super Lawyers List

Posted by on 3 May 2011

We are proud to announce that Partners Samuel H. Pond and Jerry M. Lehocky of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano have been named to the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers lists by Super Lawyers magazine for 2011. Only five percent of the attorneys in the state are named to the Super Lawyers list. Additionally, both attorneys have been named to the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Top 100 Super Lawyers lists.

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Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano Announces Alexander Sioutis, Esq.

Posted by on 3 May 2011

The Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability Law Firm of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is excited to announce that Alexander Sioutis, Esq., who joined Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano in September 2010, has passed the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar and will begin practicing as an Attorney with the Social Security Disability department of the Firm.

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May is National Stroke Awareness Month

Posted by on 1 May 2011

There are approximately 7 million stroke survivors in the United States living with the after-effects of a stroke, which often include increased healthcare costs and loss of employment income, according to the National Stroke Association.

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The 2011 Eastern Regional Tournament

Posted by on 3 April 2011

Saturday, April 2 at 7pm, the Joe Hand Boxing Gym is once again hosting the Pennsylvania Eastern Regional Golden Gloves Championship at the Asylum Arena, (formerly known as the Alhambra).

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Jobless woes trickle down to workers' comp law firms

Posted by on 3 March 2011

Jobless woes trickle down to workers' compensation law firms Premium content from Philadelphia Business Journal - by Jeff Blumenthal, Staff Writer Date: Friday, March 4, 2011

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Former Workers' Compensation Judge Joins Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano

Posted by on 3 February 2011

The Workers' Compensation and Social Security Disability Law Firm of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano is honored and pleased to announce that Peter E. Perry, Jr. the Former Managing Judge of the Workers' Compensation system for Southeastern Pennsylvania has joined our firm as Of Counsel. With the addition of Mr. Perry, we look forward to representing you and your clients in regard to your Workers' Compensation matters at the highest level of service and professionalism.

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Astonishing Growth for Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano

Posted by on 3 November 2010

We are pleased to announce that in our first 100 days we have seen astonishing growth. The Firm has already grown by a third! We wish to thank each of you for your support and loyalty.

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