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Author: Jon Montagna

Applying for Social Security Disability

How to Apply Correctly for Social Security Disability

Apply for Disability and SSI the right way.

Social Security disability benefits can be a lifesaver. After experiencing the trauma of a serious medical diagnosis or life-altering accident that forces you out of the workplace, regular income can provide peace of mind. However, applying for government benefits can be intimidating. Read on to find out how to apply for Social Security Disability the right way.

When to Apply

Start the Social Security disability benefits application process as quickly as possible. There is a six-month waiting period before you can receive benefits, starting during the first full month after the Social Security Administration determines your disability began. SSI applicants receive benefits in the first full month after your filing date or the date of your eligibility determination. The application processing period is three to five months long.

Apply for Benefits Online

Read and print the Adult Disability Application Checklist; you must be at least 18 years old and not currently receiving benefits under your name to apply. Gather all info needed from the list, then fill out the online application and the Medical Release Form.

Other Ways to Apply for Social Security Disability

You can make an appointment to complete your application by phone or in person by calling 1-800-772-1213. You will need the same information from the Application Checklist above before calling the toll-free number; find your nearest SSA office here.

If you’re deaf or otherwise hearing-impaired, please call the toll-free TTY line at 1-800-325-0778. This number is available from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

More SSA Disability Resources

The Social Security Administration has created an online Disability Planner to help you throughout the application process. For additional guidance, reference the department’s Disability Benefits Publication. These resources include eligibility guidelines, information about receiving benefits, your next steps after being approved, and other essential guidance.

Whether you’ve been severely injured in an accident or have received a medical diagnosis of a long-term or life-threatening health condition, you’re probably concerned about how you’ll survive without steady income from a job. Social Security Disability and SSI are designed to help you and your family live as comfortably as possible with help from the SSA. Follow our suggestions and use our additional resources to stay informed throughout the application process. Need more help? Contact the law firm of Montagna Klein Camden, LLP. Our helpful, compassionate staff will provide the answers you need to start receiving benefits.


Frye v. Hampton Roads Transit; Work Injury

Frye v. Hampton Roads Transit; work injury

Defense Base Act InjuryGreat news for Virginia Workers’ Compensation injured workers! Do you ever wonder if you are partaking in an “expected and accepted activity” that’s within your employment? Do you ever worry about “tripping and falling” at work? If you answer yes to either one of these questions, you should read Frye v. Hampton Roads Transit, JCN: VA000001215372 (June 19, 2017).

In Frye, the Deputy Commissioner denied benefits finding that Claimant’s injury did not arise out of employment. The Claimant appealed arguing that her injury occurred during the course of her employment and that she tripped on a stump which constituted a risk or hazard arising out of that employment. The Full Commission agreed and reversed the Deputy Commissioner’s finding. The Full Commission reasoned that despite Claimant walking around a parking lot, she was partaking in an expected and accepted activity that was within her employment. The Employer’s witness testified that Claimant was allowed to walk in the parking lot and that it was reasonable for her to stretch her legs by walking around. The Commission stated that “while the Claimant may have ventured further afield than Ms. Patrick deemed reasonable, there is no evidence from which we could conclude that the claimant removed herself for her employment.”

The Commission further considered whether tripping on several inches of a pole protruding from the lot where Claimant was walking constituted a risk of her employment. The Commission agreed with the Claimant that she was in a reasonable proximity to her assigned bus within an area she was permitted, and not prohibited, by the Employer, and that the pole represented an actual risk of her employment.

Therefore, she suffered an injury arising out of and in the course of her employment. So workers, if you do venture within a reasonable proximity of your assigned area, be careful where you step!

MKC Annual Firm Party 2017

MKC Annual Firm Party 2017

It is important to us to not only work hard and take care of our clients, but also to celebrate and come together as a firm family.

*Thank you Taliah Morring for capturing these unforgettable moments!

Automobile Accident

Somebody Take the Wheel

Life takes unexpected twists and turns. When one of those unforeseen changes of direction leads you into danger on the roads, it’s more important than you think to ask for help. Whether you subscribe to the philosophy from the popular song or place your faith elsewhere, we still recommend a lawyer if you’ve been involved in an automobile accident.

Blurred Road View from Inside a Car

A Montagna Klein Camden personal injury attorney can help you navigate the difficult legal waters of automobile accident lawsuits. Our experienced and determined lawyers are available now for free consultations – all you have to do is contact us.

There are lots of reasons to call an attorney when you’ve been injured in a car, truck, or motorcycle crash. The biggest hassle involved in a lawsuit is actually the paperwork – and by hiring a lawyer you reduce the weight of that burden on yourself. Trust us – when you’re injured and in pain, the last thing you’ll want to do is fill out a bunch of forms. Let us handle the boring red tape, so you can focus on getting better.

Deadlines are another important (and tricky) aspect of filing for compensation. It can be tough to manage medical appointments and legal obligations, not to mention those pesky everyday tasks that still need to get done, particularly when you’re hindered by your injury. Call on Montagna when you need help juggling all the moving pieces of life after an auto accident.

Of course, the most important reason to hire a lawyer is a combination of both of the above reasons, as well as the undeniable truth that you will likely walk away with more substantial financial compensation if you hire an attorney. That’s because we’ve been there, done this before, and we know all the little tricks that make a difference. For example, if you fail to take the correct steps at the correct time in the process of filing your personal injury lawsuit, your case may be thrown out. It’s called “Failure to Mitigate,” and we want to help you avoid it.

Call us today for your free legal consultation. Don’t suffer another minute in silence.

Workplace Romance Concerns

Love Gone Wrong

We all know that business and pleasure should be kept separate, but we also know they don’t always stay separate. When the two mix and an office romance ensues, trouble is never far behind. Check out our list of workplace romance concerns, and be sure to call Montagna Klein Camden if you ever find yourself in a workplace legal predicament.

Get a Room.

montagna-love-gone-wrongThe co-workers in question may be caught making googly eyes or in the act of romantic physical contact. For other co-workers, this can cause extreme discomfort, anger, and even jealousy. While the majority of employees are working hard, the lovebirds in the corner are giggling and flirting. Gossip, rumors, and decreased productivity are soon to follow.

To avoid complaints to HR (which could mutate into lawsuits in court) any workplace romances should be conducted quietly and respectfully, outside of office hours.

Protect your Rep.

While it is understandable to seek & find companionship in the workplace (common interests, already spend 40 hours a week together) it is also perceived as unprofessional. If word gets out, you and your partner may be seen as less serious, and as a result, could be passed over for promotions or special projects.

If your company has a policy in place to mitigate the risks of an office romance, disclose the relationship to HR and go about business as usual. Make it clear that your personal life is personal, and will not interfere with work.

Break Up, don’t Break Down.

It’s an unfortunate fact of life: not all love lasts forever. If the romance has run its course, fights are an inevitable symptom. When both parties work at the same place, this is a recipe for disaster.

The best thing you can do is try to keep the drama from surfacing. If that’s not possible, consider asking for a transfer, a different cubicle, or even searching for a new job.

Love Bites.

Best case scenario: you find a partner for life. Bad case: you lose your job. Worst case: you fear for your life.

Not all office romances are consensual. Sometimes, an employee may receive unwanted or inappropriate attention, gifts, or advances from a co-worker, or worse, an employer. Hopefully, a simple “no” would be enough to deter any additional attempts. If it isn’t, you need to seek professional backup.

Call the workers’ compensation attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden if your workplace has become a hostile environment, or if you’ve been injured on the job. Schedule your free legal consultation and let us get to work for you. 

Personal Injury

Make it Personal

Retro 1940s business man in suit and tie on the phone.

The New Year is meant to be a new beginning, but sometimes life throws unpredictable obstacles into our paths. If you’re starting the new year grappling with the aftermath of an accident or injury, don’t try to do it alone.

Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden in downtown Norfolk, Virginia and Newport News when you need a friend with legal know-how.

Personal injury covers a wide range of accidents, including those caused by reckless, ignorant or negligent behavior. Car, truck, and most vehicular accidents or collisions are often considered personal injury, as well as slanderous speech, physical assault, injuries or issues caused by defective products, and medical/dental malpractice.

If you believe your injury is the result of one of these causes, contact Montagna Klein Camden today for your free legal consultation.

If you or a loved one have recently sustained an injury due to the negligence of another party, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure that your case is protected. Do not admit to any fault, always obtain the contact information of all other parties, and call the police and your Montagna Klein Camden personal injury lawyer immediately. We can take it from there.

We’ll make sure that the necessary and pertinent information gets documented; that witnesses of your accident are contacted and that you meet all deadlines and make all scheduled court appearances. We’ll make sure you’re not in this alone.

Your health is an important consideration as well. Your Montagna Klein Camden attorney can see to it that you make all the right appointments, get in to see all the right doctors, and make copies of all the right papers for court. We’ll see to it that you receive the compensation you’re owed, including payment of medical bills and funding to cover expenses while you or your loved one are unable to work.

The First Steps

When you realize you have been hurt, it’s important to first assess the nature of your injury and those of others involved. Have a trusted physician examine all wounds and determine whether or not you are capable of returning to your regular routine.

Although it may be tempting, although we live in the social media era, DO NOT POST PHOTOS of your incident online. Gather official records from medical and law enforcement professionals, make copies of everything and do not discuss your case with anyone, on or off the computer.

Your lawyer will help you determine how much you should be compensated for your loss of income and/or personal mobility while you recover. A wound that may seem superficial or temporary to you may actually turn out to have long-term effects on your health, which is why it’s important to have the expertise of an attorney in your corner. Contact an insurance company on your own, and you run the risk of receiving less money to which you could be entitled, forcing you to return to work when you may not be fully recovered.

Resolve to Live Healthy in 2017

Don’t let the results of an accident change the way you live in the new year for the worse. Call the lawyers of Montagna Klein Camden to get the money you deserve so you can return to work and feeling back to normal.

Woman and her Child in santa hats opening gift

Holiday Happenings

montagna-norfolk-lawMerry Montagna, Hampton Roads!holiday-hampton-roads

Each year, our law firm sponsors a family for Christmas, and this year is no different. Our Hampton Roads family-in-need has sent their wish lists on to the elves at Montagna Klein Camden, and we can’t wait to send them a sleigh full of joy this season. We’re currently running a food drive for our needy family and we invite you to head to our office downtown to help out!

That’s not all the good news we have, either! Mr. John Klein, Partner attorney, will be featured as a Top Lawyer of 2016 in the January issue of the Coastal Virginia Magazine. Keep an eye out at the checkout counter, and check back with us for the link!

Have a Happy Holiday Hampton Roads!

Holiday Travel Tips

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

‘Tis the season for holiday travel and Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm is here to help you get home safe & sound. We know from experience that some roads in Virginia involve paying greater attention to surrounding drivers. Higher traffic volume in addition to major trucking routes make some highways such as I-81 and I-64 through Staunton and Charlottesville especially notorious for auto accidents. Take a look at our tips for safe holiday travel, and remember: should the worst happen and you or a loved one is injured – or worse – you’ll need a legal professional on your side. Trust the experienced and compassionate attorneys at Montagna Law serving all of Virginia.

santa-holiday-travelSafe Travel Tips:

Know the Risks: For Thanksgiving alone, 48.7 million Americans planned to travel. Of those, 89% (3.5 million) planned to drive. With that many people on the road, safety is a definite concern. If you’re one of them, be sure to get plenty of rest before a long road trip, and stop often for breaks. It’s important to be alert and aware of your surroundings, particularly when you’re carrying precious cargo (like your family).

Know Who to Call: AAA expected to rescue over 370,000 motorists on the roads over Thanksgiving. If you’re not a AAA member, check the details of your auto insurance or cell phone plan. Some include roadside assistance (often at a small additional charge). Look into specials or promotions going on in the areas you’ll be passing through; some companies may be offering no-strings-attached assistance due to the holiday rush.

Be Prepared. The most common roadside issues include dead batteries and flat tires. Pick up a set of jumper cables (some don’t even need another car to get you going again) or have your battery tested before departure by your preferred mechanic. Snag a flat tire repair kit and a first aid kit while you’re at it – just in case. Should a minor incident occur, you’re well equipped to deal with it and be on your way with minimal time lost.

Be Smart. The best advice we can offer is to stay sober, buckle up and don’t text while driving. Nominate a tried-and-true copilot to handle any drama inside the vehicle, and keep your eyes firmly on the road ahead, especially on roads with a lot of big rig trucks who may not see be able to see you. Keep your distance behind them, and stay clear of their blind spots. Remember, if you can’t see the truck driver in their mirrors, they can’t see you either!

If the worst should happen and you run into holiday travel trouble, keep calm and call Montagna. Our experienced Virginia attorneys are ready and able to take on your personal injury, vehicular accident case. Whether plane, train, or automobile, Montagna Klein Camden is here to help.

Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers

We Put the ‘Personal’ in Personal Injury

Driver Suffering From Whiplash After Traffic Collision, holding his neck

When you’re injured, whether physical, mental or emotional, it may feel like everyone is conspiring against you. First, you’re hurt. Next, the insurance company refuses to take care of you. Finally, the fees or medical bills associated with your injury start piling up.

What to do, when it seems like the whole world is out to get you?

Contact the compassionate personal injury attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk and Newport News, VA.

Our personal injury lawyers are smart, skilled and experienced. But more than that, we care. We truly care that you’ve been hurt, and we genuinely want to help right the wrongs done to you. It’s just who we are, and it’s just what we do.

Personal injury is not always easy to spot. It comes in many forms, including slander, auto accidents, assault, product defects, medical and dental malpractice. You may not be sure that your case is personal injury, so give us a call. We offer free legal consultations to all, in the hopes that we can provide some assistance, even if you decide not to pursue a case with us.

At the Law Offices of Montagna Klein Camden in Hampton Roads, YOU are our priority. We care about the outcome of your case because we care about YOU. We know the law, and we know how to make it work for YOU.

You’re already hurt. Don’t wait around for things to get worse. Make a change for the better, and call us today.

Common Workers Compensation Cases

Common Workers Compensation Cases

Workplace injuries are a serious issue, and it can feel like you against the world. Your employer, their insurer and their attorneys may try to compensate you with insufficient funds or refuse to admit responsibility at all, leaving you hurt, out of work and feeling helpless.

Don’t let those in power push you around. You’ve been wronged, and you have every right to seek medical care and financial compensation. Call the aggressive and persistent attorneys at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk and Newport News, VA when you need a fighter in your corner.

Although a workplace injury can happen to anyone at anytime, and no two cases are exactly alike, there are a few workers compensation claims that are more frequent than others. Take a look at our list of common workers compensation cases, and call us at 757-622-8100 for a free legal consultation if you’ve been hurt while at work.

I Work Too Hard.Injured on the job

Overexertion is the number one cause of workplace injury. Pulled muscles and strained joints are frequently experienced while on the job at factories and construction sites, as well as other workplaces requiring physical labor.

You were hurt working hard, but now your boss won’t pay for your medical expenses. Don’t let them take advantage of your hard work, then leave you high and dry. Contact Montagna Klein Camden to schedule your free legal consultation today to make them pay.

That Was Close!

Bodily Reaction can be bittersweet. Slipping or tripping while managing not to fall down can still result in an injury, with serious consequences. Twisted ankles, sprained joints and other painful injuries can become a real problem. These are truly unavoidable, and can strike at any time, in any profession.

You thought you’d avoided the worst, but then the aftershock hit. If you’ve experienced bodily reaction while at work, don’t wait another day. Call a Montagna Klein Camden attorney today and we’ll discuss your case and how to get justice.

What Was That?

Being Struck by an object can happen at any occupation, and can vary in severity. Whether you work in an office, restaurant, retail store or on a construction site, you’re nearly always at risk of something falling from a shelf or being dropped from above.

There was no way to see it coming, but now you’re hurt and nobody will help. Contact the workers compensation attorneys at Montagna Law to stand up for what’s right, and get the financial rewards that you deserve.

On The Road Again.

Vehicular Collisions while on the clock are a frequent workers compensation case. Truck drivers, police officers and traveling businessmen & women are at a high risk for car accidents while working.

You went to the ends of the earth, but they won’t go to the bank. Don’t let your employer take you for a ride. Contact the Virginia workers compensation lawyers at Montagna Law Firm to take back the wheel and get what’s yours.

Man & Machine.

Technology has changed a lot of things in our world, including the ways in which workers are injured while on the job. Factories and construction sites often employ the use of complex, heavy duty machinery, which can crush, mutilate or paralyze those working nearby. Such equipment is often neglected when it comes to maintenance, and training for employees is usually minimal. We’ve seen it before. You were doing your job but the equipment wasn’t up to snuff, or nobody took the time to properly coach you through the controls. You put your trust in them, and they broke it. Trust our Norfolk workers compensation lawyers to fight for your case and get you the compensation you deserve.

As the most common workplace injuries, there are of course many more. If you’ve been injured on the job in any way, call the workers compensation attorneys at the Montagna Klein Camden Law Firm in Norfolk or Newport News, Virginia.

We’ll stand for you, with you, and by your side every step of the way.

The National Trial Lawyers
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