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The attorneys at Pisegna & Zimmerman offer the following links to resources for the benefit of individuals in Southern California seeking information on workers’ compensation, social security, automobile accidents and personal injury, nursing home abuse, and probate. We hope these resources are helpful to you. If you have a specific question or need advice and representation in a particular legal matter, please contact Pisegna & Zimmerman for immediate assistance.

Workers’ Compensation Resources

Workers’ Compensation and other labor matters, including workplace safety, are all enforced by the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).

Within the DIR, the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is responsible to administer workers’ compensation claims. This body also conducts administrative and judicial hearings when necessary to resolve disputes over claims for benefits.

Petitions for reconsideration of decisions made by DWC administrative law judges are reviewed by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

Federal standards for safe and healthful working conditions are established and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The California counterpart to this agency is Cal/OSHA, also known as the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH).

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is a federal agency conducting ongoing research into the prevention of work-related injuries.

Employees who were injured at a time when their employer was illegally uninsured may be able to access workers’ compensation benefits through the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF).

Also within the DIR, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is the office which adjudicates wage claims and enforces the California Labor Code and orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission.

Social Security Resources

From the Social Security Administration (SSA) website, you can apply online for disability benefits, SSI, survivors benefits, family benefits, Medicare, and of course retirement benefits.

If attempting to apply online for disability benefits, this checklist will let you know what information you should gather beforehand.

SSA provides a host of online calculators to help you estimate your potential benefit amounts for disability or survivor benefits.

Click this link for general information on Supplemental Security Income (SSI), including how to apply for benefits for an adult or minor child. Click here for information on applying for Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI).

SSA lists a different set of disabilities for adults and children to qualify for SSDI.

Many people who qualify for Social Security are eligible for Medicare as well. Click here to be directed to the SSA Medicare page.

Work through the Disability Planner for an idea of whether SSA would consider you disabled for the purposes of receiving SSDI benefits. But even if you are disabled, you must still have enough work credits to qualify for benefits.

Personal Injury Resources

The State Bar of California publishes a very informative and comprehensive pamphlet entitled What Should I Do If I Have An Auto Accident.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) website provides up-to-date information on planned lane closures and current high conditions.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles maintains driving records of individuals, including information on automobile accidents and driving-related convictions.

At the federal level, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration directs a number of highway safety programs.

Information on vehicle safety and car crashes can be found at the website of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an organization funded by the insurance industry. For another research organization perspective, visit the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

The National Safety Council is committed to saving lives through the prevention of injury and death in the workplace and on the road.

If you need help estimating the repair costs or replacement value of your automobile following a car accident, the Kelley Blue Book is a well-known and respected resource.

The Brain Injury Association of America provides guidance and support to individuals with traumatic brain injury and their families on living with TBI.

The American Medical Association provides a host of resources regarding medical care, medicine and public health.

Safety information on numerous consumer goods, including product recalls, can be found at the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also provides information on safety recalls, as well as black box warnings and other labeling it has recommended or required for potentially dangerous drugs.

Nursing Home Resources

A few years ago, Medicare instituted a five star rating system to evaluate nursing homes in a quick and easy to understand manner, based on staffing and other qualify factors. Use Nursing Home Compare to locate nursing homes in your area and compare their ratings.

The California Department of Aging administers a variety of programs serving older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the state. Click here to learn about the long-term care ombudsman program, the Older Americans Act, and the Older Californians Act. Click here to locate the Area Agencies on Aging serving your community.

Probate Resources

The Probate Department of the Los Angeles County Superior Court handles decedents’ estates, trusts proceedings, guardianship and conservatorship proceedings, and minor’s compromises. Find information here from court locations and hours to commonly used abbreviations and other important information when appearing before the probate court.

State laws concerning wills, intestate succession, personal representatives and more are collected in the California Probate Code.

The State Bar of California offers an informative pamphlet regarding wills.

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