Pet-Sitting by a Professional Pet-Sitter

Many pet owners who go on business travel, vacation, or work long hours hire the services of pet sitters to make sure that their pets, dogs, especially, get the proper care and exercise that they need. Pet sitting service, which is caring for a pet in the owner’s own home, usually when the owner is away, is a growing business in the US.

According to Walk! ATX, pet sitting, compared to having a pet housed in a kennel, is healthier for pets since it eliminates the stressors and boredom on a kennel environment. Furthermore, it also makes sure that dogs with special needs are given their medications and the customized care preferred by owners.

It is important, however, that one hires a professional pet sitter if owners wish to enjoy the many benefits that a professional type of service will provide them and their pets. For pet owners or pet parents, some of the benefits include:

  • Multiple pet-sitting visits per day and even an overnight stay if requested by pet parents
  • Knowledge that their pets are in caring, loving hands
  • Pet-sitters are trained to perform and deal with many other issues, such as dog walking, pet grooming and visits to the vet, if necessary

For pets, some of the benefits include:

  • Staying at home, which is a more secure environment since the smell, sight and sound are familiar, compared to those in a kennel;
  • Pets’ regular diet and exercise will be observed;
  • Pets will receive personal care and attention, especially during emergency cases; and,
  • Not being exposed to other animals’ illnesses or parasites, which is very likely in a kennel.

Besides all these, professional pet sitters also make sure that pets are fed on time, that their water bowls are changed, that they get their needed exercise and play time, their litter boxes and other mess are cleaned, administered their needed medication, and provided all the love and care that they need.

read more

Workers’ Compensation Cash Benefit, the Right of Workers Who get Injured on the Job

Part of the daily task that a large number of construction workers need to perform every day is paint, clean, maintain or restore the aesthetic appearance of old buildings. Not a very easy job considering the fact that they will have to do one or more of these tasks on board scaffolds in order to reach the front, back and side exteriors of high-rise buildings.

A scaffold is a makeshift structure that serves as a work area for workers who repair and maintain bridges, buildings and many other types of man-made structures. This structure, which is either suspended from above (with ropes) or built on the ground, also supports the materials the workers will use in their job.

In its website, the law firm Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC explains why construction work continues to be chosen by many individuals, due mainly to its good pay and benefits, thanks to years of effort of labor unions. Despite the more than satisfactory pay and benefits, however, construction workers are faced with danger every day because of their proximity to many different forms of heavy machinery, power tools, and other equipment that aid in the building process. While said law firm knows that all of these construction equipment are tremendously useful when these do what they are supposed to, any malfunction, on the other hand, can end in devastating results.

One kind of construction site accident that has severely injured and even killed a great number of workers is scaffolding collapse. When not firmly assembled or not supported well from above, this structure can collapse to the ground and send workers and materials plunging to the ground from great heights.

Physical injuries, however, are not the only daunting consequences of scaffolding collapse; there are also loss of income, due to inability to report back to work, and costly bills for medical treatment. While workers who suffer job-related injuries are lawfully entitled to seek compensation from their state-enforced and controlled Workers’ Compensation insurance program, those programs can be confusing and have hurdles associated with them. Injured workers should see some kind of help to confirm they are filling out the forms correctly.

read more

Important Things One Needs to Know about Dischargeable Debts under Chapter 7

Finding themselves with insurmountable debt became common for many Americans from 2008 to 2012 due to the financial crisis which resulted to mass lay-offs, underemployment and prolonged unemployment. It cannot be denied that millions of wage earners in the US receive just enough salary which will help see them through all their needs until their next salary date; thus, any deduction in pay, much more, losing the chance to earn, can result to devastating financial problems.

Besides loss of job and reduction in income there are also other situations that can worsen an individual’s financial situation, such as natural calamity, divorce, or an unexpected health problem. All these can lead to successive failures in paying monthly credit card bills, personal loans and even mortgages. Before long, all debts will have gone up to an amount that makes it impossible for the debtor to settle, resulting to the debtor having endless worries and getting hounded by creditors or collecting firms to force him or her to pay.

While so many debtors end up facing lawsuits, lose a part of their monthly pay due to garnishment of their wages, their properties due to foreclosure or their vehicles due to repossession, others try to find ways which can help save them from their overwhelming financial crises and which will allow them to have control over their financial lives once again.

According to the Dallas bankruptcy lawyers at Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., one such way is through the filing of bankruptcy, a legal means which will help debtors regain control of their finances. Filing bankruptcy is allowed by the Bankruptcy Code, which the US Congress passed into law in 1978. There are different Bankruptcy Chapters under this 1978 Code, namely, Chapters 7, 9, 11, 12, and 13, each designed to address a debtor’s unique financial situation.

Chapter 7, for instance, which is also called liquidation bankruptcy, involves liquidation of a debtor’s “non-exempt” properties, such as a second house, a vacation home, an expensive musical instrument (which is not necessary to a debtor’s profession or trade), and forms of investment, like cash, stocks and bonds. A court-appointed trustee will take charge of the liquidation of these non-exempt properties and use whatever amount is earned from the sale to pay all of the debtor’s non-dischargeable debts, which may include:

  • government-imposed penalties
  • child support
  • spousal support or alimony
  • federal, state, and local taxes which became due not more than 3 years ago
  • court fees
  • debts resulting from personal injury or wrongful death
  • student loan, unless paying this continuously will cause undue hardship to the debtor

Any amount left from the sale of the properties will be returned to the debtor, however, if the total amount earned is not enough to settle all debts completely, then creditors will have to accept whatever amount the court determines should be paid to them; they should also abide by the court’s decision to forgive the debtor for any balance left from the debt and to stop further collection of payment or suffer penalties under federal law.

Filers of Chapter 7 bankruptcy should know and understand, though, that their release from dischargeable debts (such as debts arising from credit card use or cash advances) and even the court’s recognition of their filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that they strictly follow court rules and bankruptcy procedures. Additionally, with regard to dischargeable debts, if a particular creditor is able to successfully object dischargeability, then debts owed to him or her will not be declared dischargeable.

Having some debts discharged is one of the best benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but to be able to enjoy this, debtors should make sure that they never hide any property to deceive creditors, are able to provide the court with all necessary tax documents, and do not commit any fraud, such as perjury, in connection with their bankruptcy case. These matters, and the so many others connected with Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be much more complicated than what anyone thinking of filing for bankruptcy may actually expect.

read more

Medicare Fraud: Saving Innocent Medical Professionals from Getting Convicted

The US Congressional Budget Office estimates that in 2010, about $528 billion was spent by the government for Medicare, a Federal health insurance program designed to benefit the elderly (at least 65 years old), certain younger Americans with disabilities, and those suffering from End-Stage Renal Disease (ERSD), which is a permanent kidney failure that requires dialysis or a transplant. About $47.9 billion of what was spent, however, is believed to have been paid to fraudulent claims, according to the US Government’s Office of Management and Budget – a belief that turned out to be erroneous as part of the amount has actually been paid to valid claims.

There are two governmental programs designed to provide medical and health-related services to particular groups of people in the US: Medicaid and Medicare. Though each program differs with regard to their beneficiaries, both fall under the management of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, one of the branches of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicare, specifically, has two parts: Part A, known as Hospital Insurance (HI); and, Part B, called the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI). Hospital Insurance (HI) pays for qualified beneficiaries’:

  • Hospital stay, which includes a semi-private room, meals, medical tests and supplies
  • Medically required home health care, which is provided on a part-time basis and which may include speech, occupational, and physical therapy
  • Care in a skilled nursing facility
  • Certain medical equipment, like a wheelchair or a walker which a disabled or an aged beneficiary may require

Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) or Medicare Part B, on the other hand, pays for the following:

  • visits to doctors and outpatient hospital visits
  • cost of home health care
  • services medically required by the aged and the disabled, like: services provided by doctors and nurses; X-rays, diagnostic and laboratory tests; renal dialysis; chemotherapy; blood transfusions; certain types of vaccinations; ambulance transportation and outpatient hospital procedures; eyeglasses and prosthetic devices; and, medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, and canes

Sources of Medicare funding include monthly premiums from those who enroll in the program, annual deductibles, and payroll taxes collected through the Self-Employment Contributions Act and the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Money collected is placed in a trust fund where the government gets the necessary amount to pay hospitals, doctors, and private insurance companies. But while the program’s intent is to help, first, the American public by paying for the cost of the medical and health-related services provided to them and, second, honest doctors who provide medical services to the needy, many medical professionals saw it as an opportunity to extract money from the government through fraudulent claims; specifically, by billing the government for services that were not actually performed, medical services and equipment that were not really provided to patients, and other acts of fraud. Despite the differences in acts, Medicare fraud is directed only on one goal: collect payments from the Medicare program illegitimately.

The billions of dollars that the government loses due to fraudulent Medicare claims has spurred the government to still intensify the fight against Medicare fraud, to the point, however, of suspecting fraud where there is actually none.

While suspicion of fraud may easily be reported to the Office of the Inspector General, those reported, but who are actually not guilty, can suffer loss of patient trust and professional credibility according to the website of Kohler Hart Powell, SC.

read more

How a No-Fault Car Insurance Liability Coverage Affect Injured Drivers

One requirement that all drivers in any part of the US are required to prove is the capability to compensate a person whose property they may damage or who they may injure in case of an accident. While this proof of capability may be shown through posted bonds or whatever state-approved means, the most basic is carrying an auto liability insurance policy.

While there are different types of automobile liability insurance coverage, three of the most common types are the limited tort, the full tort, and the no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP). In limited tort automobile liability coverage, the premium that a driver pays is lower compared to full tort coverage; however, as its name suggests, there is a limit as to what a victim in an accident can actually claim from the at-fault driver’s auto insurance provider, namely, the cost of medical treatment, but only for that which is related to the injury sustained in the accident. In full tort auto liability coverage, the parties involved in an accident have the right to file a civil suit against each other for purposes of proving fault and seeking compensation for whatever damages the victim in the accident may have, and will still, suffer. Compensation covers cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering among others.

The third type of automobile liability insurance coverage, the no-fault or personal injury protection (PIP), covers medical expenses needed by the injured driver and his/her passengers, lost wages due to days off from work, and funeral expenses if the accident is fatal (no-fault coverage, however, does not compensate a person for his or her damaged property; a separate property damage liability insurance will have to be purchased by the driver for this purpose.

No-Fault car insurance liability coverage presents drivers the following benefits:

  • faster payment of compensation since there is no more need to file a lawsuit to show who really is at fault in the accident
  • payment of lower premiums as there are no longer court fees to be paid
  • the drivers involved in the accident are paid by their own insurance provider, regardless of whose fault the accident is

Irrespective of the type of liability insurance a state requires on drivers, the Spiros Champaign Law Firm, explains that the most common problem encountered by car accident victims is having their claims paid or receiving the right amount of compensation, that is, of course, assuming that their application for claims is approved in the first place – a thing that has been a source of discouragement to many drivers because it appears that many insurance providers are more prone to denying claims rather than approving and paying these.

read more