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The Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

What is a simple way to feel better, have more energy and perhaps live a longer life? Exercise. The many health benefits of regular exercise are hard to ignore. Read on to discover the ways regular physical activity can improve your health and life.

Exercise can help you control your weight. When you engage in physical activity your body burns calories. The higher the intensity of the activity, the more calories you burn. In addition, exercise helps you build muscle mass. Even at rest, muscle mass burns many calories and helps to increase your metabolism. So, the great thing is, the more muscle mass you build from exercise, the more calories you can burn, even at rest, which helps you control your weight. Good stuff.

In addition, exercise can help keep the symptoms of many health conditions under control including, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. In addition, it has been shown that regular exercise can combat the symptoms of stress and depression. Exercise increases blood flow, which helps your body metabolize sugars and stimulates certain brain chemicals which can help you feel better physically and mentally. In addition, exercise helps you fall asleep faster and it promotes deeper sleep which can make anybody feel better.

As little as one half hour per day of regular physical activity is all you need to begin to realize the great health effects of exercise. And, you don’t have to sign up for a marathon to begin to notice these positive benefits. Activities as simple as taking the steps instead of the elevator, parking farther away from the door at the shopping mall or taking a walk on your lunch break are all great ways to incorporate more physical activity into your life. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

The positive benefits of exercise are waiting for you to discover today so grab your shoes and get out there.

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Can My Employer Force Me Back To Work Before I’m Ready?

NO! Your employer cannot force you back to work after a work injury before you are ready though they might try to. You should follow the advice of your own treating doctor when deciding when it is best for you to return to work after an injury. If you are only treating with the company or panel doctor at the time, you should consult with your own doctor or, a doctor of your choice if you disagree with the company doctor that you can work. Another option is to try to return to work and see if your employer really has work within your restrictions, especially in a situation where you were released for light work only. If you find out that you are not able to do the work offered by your employer when you return to work or, that the work was not light work as promised, you can always stop working and go back out on workers’ compensation benefits. Whatever you decide, you should only return to work after receiving medical clearance to go back to work in some capacity. Your health is most important. You do not want to do anything that might aggravate your injury until you are healthy enough to return to work.

You might receive a Notice of Ability to Return to Work in the mail from your employer. Do not be alarmed! Your employer is obligated by law to send this Notice to you whenever they receive medical information that you can work in some capacity, whether the medical release is from their doctor or your own. The purpose of the Notice is to advise you of your legal obligation to look for work after you have been released to return to work following a work injury. But, if the Notice of Ability to Return to Work is based on the employer’s doctor and you disagree with the release, you should discuss returning to work with your doctor before actually going back to work or, before you start looking for work.

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Can My Employer Fire Or Terminate Me While I’m Out Of Work Because Of A Work Injury?

Yes. Unfortunately, your employer can fire you or lay you off even though you are out of work because of a work injury. REASON? Most employees are “at will“ employees which means that they were not hired under a specific employment contract. “At Will” employees can be fired for ANY reason short of a constitutional violation such as being fired because of your religious beliefs or, because of your gender (male or female). You cannot stop your employer from letting you go even if at the time you are out of work because of a work injury. There is nothing in the Pa WC Act that prevents this from happening. But, an employer who does this puts themselves in a worse position, should you recover enough to be able to return to work in some capacity. By firing you or by laying you off, you no longer have a job to go back to so by law your employer has to continue paying you workers’ compensation benefits until they show that there is other work available to you with a different employer within the restrictions caused by your injury.

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Employer-Provided Long Term Disability Benefits – Appealing a Denied Claim

Many employers provide long term disability insurance policies for their employees. LTD insurance policies take effect when an employee can no longer work due to any illness or injury, and they pay monthly benefits until the employee can return to work. The monthly amount is usually between 50-70% of the employee’s monthly income.

Most employer-provided LTD insurance plans are governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which favors insurance companies. Unlike most insurance policies, ERISA-governed policies are very difficult to challenge in court. If your claim for employer-provided LTD benefits is denied, you cannot file a lawsuit until you file an appeal to the LTD policy holder. You will have 180 days to file this appeal.

You should seek assistance from an experienced attorney to appeal a denial, as the appeal will need to address many issues depending on the policy, denial letter, and your disabling conditions. However, there are some things you can do to prepare your appeal:

  • Get a copy of the policy, which can be obtained from your employer’s human resources department or from the insurance company that denied the policy.
  • Get a copy of your job description, which can also be obtained from your HR department.
  • Continue treating with your doctors, and find out if they will support your appeal.
  • Educate yourself about Social Security Disability benefits, as many LTD policies will require you to file for SSD.
  • Collect any records that are relevant to your claim, such as:  letters to and from the insurance company; pay stubs; list of treating doctors; statements from your doctor(s); medical test results; medications list; etc.

The appeal needs to be carefully prepared in consideration of the policy provisions, your medical conditions, and your occupation. At Banks Law, our experienced attorneys will ensure that your appeal has the highest chance of success. Please give us a call is you have any questions regarding your long term disability benefits.

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