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Most of us know or have heard of someone who is “on disability.” This means that the person in question is collecting benefits from the federal and state governments to help them pay bills and meet their monthly expenses after suffering an injury, illness or other condition that renders them unable to hold down a regular job. Often, people wonder what makes one able to collect these benefits. Learn who is eligible for social security/disability benefits through SSI and SSDI, and what circumstances allow you to collect before age 65.

Types of Social Security Disability

There are two types of federal social security/disability programs for which you can apply if you are unable to work and need assistance. These are SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance, and SSI, or Supplemental Security Income. The qualifications for each of these vary based on several factors.

Social Security Disability Insurance

SSDI is available to those people who have suffered a disability and have already been in the workforce for a set amount of time. As you work, you build up “credits” with the Social Security agency. The number of credits you need to accrue in order to qualify depends on your age and exactly when you suffered your disability. At minimum, you have to have worked at least half of the last decade. Payments for SSDI are usually in the neighborhood of $1,000 per month, sometimes up to $1,200. The higher your original salary and the higher your original FICA taxes, the more you will be eligible to receive. After two years of benefits, you are eligible for Medicare.

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a cooperative federal/state program and eligibility depends on the individual state. Every state, however, has to abide by federal standards as follows:

  • Age 65, is blind or has suffered a disability
  • Citizen of the United States
  • Permanent resident, military veteran, political asylee or refugee who meets strict standards
  • Low monthly income; your current income will offset the amount you can receive
  • Own less than $2,000 in property ($3,000 for couples). This doesn’t include large-ticket items like cars and homes.

SSI benefits cap at $733 per month ($1,100 for couples). Most states offer a supplemental payment that augments these benefits. In Illinois, if you are eligible for state supplemental benefits, you are also eligible for Medicare.

Proving Disability

In order to collect SSI or SSDI before retirement age, you must prove disability. That means you must have a physical or mental condition that prevents you from holding down gainful employment for at least a year. This can be difficult to argue; therefore, it’s very helpful for many to have a qualified attorney in your corner.

Contact Us if You Are Eligible for Social Security/Disability

If you are facing a disability and need federal aid, don’t wait. Read about how SSI in Illinois works, and get in touch with our office for a free, no-obligation consultation today!

Many people are under the false impression that filing for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is as easy as filling out a few simple forms—unfortunately, this is not the case. Just the preliminary application process alone requires you to disclose extensive personal information and medical records. Because such a large amount of materials are necessary to submit your application, it is easy to make mistakes that can compromise your ability to receive benefits. Although you are not required to hire an attorney to help fill out your SSDI application, retaining the services of a professional could help you avoid these potential errors and maximize your Social Security benefits.

Why It Is Important to Work With an Attorney

Hiring an experienced attorney before submitting an initial application is crucial to making sure it will be accepted. 60 percent of applications are initially denied by the Social Security Administration and are forced to go through an appeals process. A skilled SSDI lawyer will be familiar with the application process, common mistakes, and the rules that determine eligibility and can help avoid an unnecessary rejection. Because any misrepresentations or errors may follow an application throughout the process, it is crucial to enlist the help of an attorney early on.

If an application is forced to go through an appeals process, an attorney can help navigate the process. The process can be intimidating, but a lawyer can also help recruit expert witnesses to advocate on the applicant’s behalf during your appeals. They can prepare the person for the questions they may be asked at an appeal hearing and make sure the applicant has enough evidence for a successful case.

Affording an SSDI Lawyer

Although the cost of hiring an attorney is a common reason people avoid seeking legal help, the Social Security Administration mandates that an SSDI attorney can only be paid if an applicant wins their case and receives benefits. No more than $6,000 or 25 percent of a person’s back pay can be charged, and these fees will be withdrawn directly from the award and distributed to a lawyer by the court to avoid complications or additional charges.

The skilled SSDI lawyers at Disparti Law Group work tirelessly to secure benefits for our clients. An attorney can help those applying for SSDI. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

For the second year in a row, Disparti Law Group founder and owner, Larry Disparti, will take on the No Shave November Initiative. We invite you once again to join Larry as he forgoes facial hair maintenance to raise funds for juvenile cancer.

No-Shave November’s mission is to not only raise funds for cancer research and treatment but to educate the population about preventative measures.  By working with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Larry hopes to raise awareness of the hardships that children with cancer face every day. These children exhibit enormous strength and courage while undergoing treatments and fighting for survival. If you would like to participate with Larry in No Shave November, you can donate by joining his team. Additionally, don’t forget to send your before and after photos to so we can see your progress!

No Shave November is an initiative through St. Jude that aims to encourage critical conversations around cancer. This campaign has successfully raised over $3.5 million dollars to combat this disease.  Through participation and philanthropic engagement in No Shave November, St. Jude and Disparti Law Group hope to push the cancer survival rate higher each year.

In August 2015, an automobile accident occurred at the intersection of Congress and California between a civilian and a law enforcement officer. The civilian was severely injured and is now suing both the officer and the City of Chicago with help from Disparti Law Group.

As this case illustrates, suing government workers or entities can be exceptionally complex due to the unique rules and procedures involved. While litigation against the government is difficult, the attorneys at Disparti Law Group are up to the challenge.

The Illinois Tort Immunity Act

Suing a police officer or another public employee may be difficult because government workers are often protected under a legal concept known as sovereign immunity. In Chicago, the Illinois Tort Immunity Act prevents government entities from being sued for negligence related to government operations.

The defendants in this automobile accident case argue that because the officer was on duty at the time of the crash, he cannot be sued. The defendants formalized this argument in a Motion for Summary Judgment, which asked the judge to dismiss the case. In a response to this motion, the attorneys at Disparti Law Group describe the disputed facts of the case and persuasively argue that the defendant should not be immune.

Refuting Arguments of Tort Immunity

Under 745 ILCS 10/2-202, government employees are not liable for their actions “in the execution or enforcement of any law” unless their behavior is “willful and wanton.” The plaintiff’s attorneys call both of these provisions into question based on the defendant’s and another witness’ testimony.

First, it is not clear that the officer was actually executing or enforcing a law at the time of the crash. The defendant testified that he and his partner received a call regarding an emergency, but the two have conflicting stories on what the emergency was. They also disagree about the events just before and during the accident. The plaintiff’s attorneys argue that the contradictory testimonies should be inadmissible as hearsay. Without evidence of an actual emergency call, the defendant’s argument that he was executing or enforcing the law fails, along with his tort immunity claim.

Additionally, the defendant does not remember if his light was red when he entered the intersection. Speeding through a red light comes with serious risks, and officers should take appropriate steps to ensure the coast is clear before proceeding. Failing to use caution may constitute “willful and wanton” conduct, even in the event of an emergency call.

When the City of Chicago was asked to provide “any and all evidence” related to the accident, it responded, “not known at this time.” The city has failed to amend its response despite months of discovery in which to do so.

Let Disparti Law Group Help with your Accident Case

When suing a police officer or government entity, it is critical to comply with notification requirements, meet all applicable deadlines, and clearly explain why the agency should not be immune. Taking on the government can be challenging, but accident victims can increase their chance of success with help from an experienced lawyer.

If you were hurt in an accident with a government vehicle, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. All negligent drivers should be held accountable for their actions, even those who work for the government. At Disparti Law Group, our attorneys have extensive experience helping car, bike, and pedestrian accident victims fight for justice. To find out how an attorney can help in your situation, call now.

Disparti Law Group is representing a bicycle accident victim in a case against a Chicago policeman and the City of Chicago. The defendants asked the judge to dismiss the case, claiming tort immunity because the officer was “executing and enforcing the law” at the time of the accident. However, the plaintiff and his attorneys allege that the facts of the case counter the defendant’s immunity argument.

Background of the Bike Accident Case Against a Chicago Police Officer

On the day of the accident, the defendant and his partner were working an unusual shift as part of the Voluntary Violence Reduction Initiative. The officers were driving uncommon vehicles with limited computer and communications systems. That evening, the defendant received a call over the radio that another officer in the area had embarked on a foot pursuit.

Without communicating his intentions to the other officers, the defendant proceeded to the location of the foot pursuit. While following his supervising officer’s vehicle into a left turn, the defendant struck the plaintiff and his bicycle.

The plaintiff and his attorneys allege that the defendant’s view of the left turn was obstructed by his close proximity to the officer’s vehicle. Additionally, it was raining at the time, and the defendant does not recall if the windshield wipers were on nor if the left-hand turn signal was used. Neither his emergency lights nor sirens were enabled at the time of the accident.

Defendant Claims Immunity Under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act

Under §2-202 of the Tort Immunity Act, public employees are not liable for injuries they cause “in the execution or enforcement of any law” unless their behavior is “willful and wanton.” Because the defendant was a police officer on duty at the time of the accident, he claimed immunity and filed a Motion for Summary Judgement.

The plaintiff and his attorneys dispute this immunity claim based on the circumstances of the pursuit. Firstly, the defendant was not acting as a regular patrol officer at the time and therefore had no requirement to respond to the call. In fact, his supervising officer had no explanation as to why the defendant had followed him.

The plaintiff furthermore claims that the defendant was operating the vehicle in a willful and wanton manner by failing to use the emergency lights or sirens. This behavior not only violated Chicago Police Department written policy but was negligent with regards to conventional traffic laws.

Discuss Your Case with the Accident Attorneys at Disparti Law Group

In cases involving the negligence of governmental entities or employees, it can be critical to seek the advice and counsel of a qualified lawyer. Personal injury cases against the government can quickly become complex, as they are often subject to strict deadlines, unique procedures, and immunity claims.

Accident victims deserve fair compensation even when taking on the government. If you were hurt in a car, bicycle, or pedestrian accident caused by another’s negligence, call Disparti Law Group for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Over the past few years, the Juul, a type of e-cigarette, has rapidly gained popularity among the youth, namely college students and young adults. The founders of Juul got their start from a Stanford University design thesis. After finishing the design thesis, they started Ploom Inc and a popular marijuana vaporizer called Pax. Ploom Inc’s rights were later sold to Japan Tabaco international. Ploom Inc then became known as Pax Labs and in 2015, released the Juul, a modern designed e-cigarette. A couple years later, Juul becomes its own company and takes off.

The History of Juuls

Since April of 2018, Juul has been under a close watch by parents, lawmakers, and health officials.  Marketed as a cigarette alternative, Juul is often perceived to be “healthier” than traditional tobacco cigarettes. The product itself is sold in attractive colors and comes with many flavored nicotine pods that sparked a wave of teen nicotine addiction that has been called an “epidemic” by then-FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

One of the most notable events that sparked media attention was the FDA’s crackdown on e-cigarette makers, requesting they submit plans on how they will reduce the number of youths that use their product. They had 60 days to submit this plan and, in the end, proposed taking most flavors off of retail shelves. The FDA has announced that this will be a regulation for all e-cigarettes.

Issues with E-Cigarettes

The Juul e-cigarette has been known to cause potentially fatal health problems, including severe respiratory illnesses, coughs, chest pain, fatigue, vomiting, and fevers among other cases. Not only are Juul users inhaling nicotine, but they are breathing in toxic chemicals that are found in the “e-juice” or “pods”. While this product initially began as a way to allegedly decrease cigarette addiction, no evidence has been shown to support this goal. Even worse, since this product has existed, there are increased risks that teens will turn to regular cigarettes later in life.

The vaping epidemic and rising nicotine addictions will only cause more health problems in the very near future. It is important to hold e-cigarette companies, especially Juul, accountable for marketing their products to young users, causing potentially lifelong addictions.

If you or your loved one has suffered from a Juul related medical case, such as a lung injury or other respiratory condition, you may be eligible to pursue your case to seek damages for personal injury. To get informative legal guidance to know how to proceed with your situation, reach out to the attorneys of Disparti Law Group.

As of late April, there have been 751 reported cases of Hepatitis A in the Tampa Bay area, with some of the highest infection rates coming from Pinellas County, Pasco County, and Hillsborough County.

Last October, health department officials discovered that a server at Hamburger Mary’s in Hillsborough County tested positive for the virus. The county’s health department came across four more restaurants with servers who tested positive, but they covered up the outbreak and failed to alert the public of these other cases.

Recently, the outbreak has spread to more counties in the Tampa Bay area, including Pinellas County, where there have been over 200 new cases. A server at Hellas Restaurant and Bakery tested positive for Hepatitis A, but the public was initially not informed. Officials from the Pinellas County Health Department have not made any comments about their decision to keep the outbreak a secret. In Hernando County, the Grill at Silverhorn is under investigation, and officials advise that customers could have been exposed from April 12-30.

With more than 1,200 reported cases of Hepatitis A in the entire state of Florida since January of last year, officials have formally declared a health advisory for the infectious virus. Health department directors in Pinellas County, as well as the directors in some other counties, continue to remain tight-lipped about the situations in their jurisdictions.

How Does Someone Contract Hepatitis A?

A person can get Hepatitis A by ingesting food or drink that has been in contact with someone who is infected. Usually, the disease is transmitted by trace amounts of fecal matter in the food or drink; however, the virus can live on surfaces and it is extremely hard to kill without bleach and high temperatures. This means that you could potentially be exposed to Hepatitis A from an infected server who touches your plate of food.

Hepatitis A can be life-threatening, as it affects your liver’s ability to function. However, if you receive a vaccine within two weeks of exposure to the virus, it might protect you from infection.

What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?

The symptoms of Hepatitis A include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dark urine
  • Joint pain
  • Jaundice

Contact a Pinellas County Hepatitis A Outbreak Lawyer Today

If you or someone you know tested positive for Hepatitis A after eating at a contaminated restaurant, please reach out to Disparti Law Firm as soon as possible for a screening and consultation on your case. We may be able to help you take legal action and seek proper compensation.

Accidents involving commercial trucks are among the most serious in personal injury law. It is important for people to be aware of how these accidents occur and what steps they can take to protect themselves. While these accidents may be the truck driver’s fault, recognizing the ten most common sources of these collisions can create awareness and increase safety for everyone on the road.

  1. Driver Distraction

Truckers often haul their loads over long distances for many hundreds of miles at a time. As a result, they look for ways to keep themselves occupied, often at the expense of their attention to the road. The use of CB radios or cell phones is a leading cause of distracted driving and resulting accidents.

  1. Driver Fatigue

Many truckers’ schedules require them to be on the road for upwards of twelve hours a day. Driving these vehicles is difficult at the best of times, but driving while tired reduces reaction times and the ability to adjust to emergencies.

  1. Overloaded Trucks

Federal law places a maximum weight on tractor trailers based on their number of axles. Trucks that violate this law are slower to come to a full stop and are more liable to tip over in sharp turns.

  1. Improper Lane Changes

Trucks must follow the same rules of the road as everyone else. This includes the proper use of side view mirrors and turn signals prior to changing lanes.

  1. Speed

Especially due to their massive size, commercial trucks must take care not to speed. Sadly, the pressures of deadlines can cause many drivers to violate this law and subsequently endanger other drivers.

  1. Wet Roads

Heavy or snowy roads can jeopardize the ability of all drivers to control their vehicles, and this effect is magnified for commercial trucks. Their added weight makes it more difficult to come to a stop on wet roads in case of an emergency.

  1. Failing to Follow Traffic Signals

Commercial truck drivers must follow traffic signals just like everyone else. Truckers who ignore stop signs or red lights place other drivers on the road in significant danger. In fact, this is one of the most common sources of truck accidents in Chicago.

  1. Heavy Winds

Given how much larger commercial trucks are than other vehicles, the side of the truck’s trailer can act like a sail that catches wind, especially during storms. This wind can push the truck into other lanes or even tip it entirely during sharp turns on highways.

  1. Improperly Secured Cargo

Along with rules that govern how heavy a truck can be, there are also rules that state how that weight should be distributed. If a truck’s trailer is off balance, a sharp turn could cause the entire vehicle to flip. In some cases, a sudden stop with an unbalanced load could cause the truck to jackknife, leaving other drivers with no way to escape involvement in a crash.

  1. Driving with Faulty Equipment

Every part on a commercial truck plays a vital role in safety. From brakes and suspension to turn signals and headlights, a failure in any one of these systems can cause driver confusion or an inability to properly respond to changing road conditions.

Contact a Chicago Truck Accident Attorney Today

These top ten causes of Chicago truck accidents are only the most visible ways that a truck driver may be liable for an accident. In truth, though, even simple poor driving can lead to a devastating accident.

People injured in these accidents should act swiftly, as 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-202 gives people only two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Contact an attorney to learn more about your legal options.

This year, Disparti Law Group founder and owner, Larry Disparti, will take on the No Shave November Initiative. We invite you to join Larry as he forgoes facial hair maintenance to raise funds for juvenile cancer.

By working with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Larry hopes to raise awareness of the hardships that children with cancer face every day. These children exhibit enormous strength and courage while undergoing treatments and fighting for survival. If you would like to participate with Larry in No Shave November, you can donate by joining his team. Additionally, don’t forget to send your before and after photos to so we can see your progress!

No Shave November is an initiative through St. Jude that aims to encourage critical conversations around cancer. Through participation and philanthropic engagement in No Shave November, St. Jude and Disparti Law Group hope to push the cancer survival rate higher each year.

A recent report from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry states that the levels of ethylene oxide emissions from two Sterigenics International Inc. facilities in Willowbrook may present an elevated cancer risk to residents. Community leaders in Willowbrook have ordered Sterigenics to stop operating their local sterilization facilities until a further study can be conducted.

Sterigenics International Inc. is a global contract sterilization company and provides services for sanitizing medical devices, pharmaceuticals, food, and packaged materials. The company uses ethylene oxide to sterilize medical equipment. Ethylene oxide is known to cause irritation to the eyes and skin as well as nausea and vomiting. Long-term exposure to ethylene oxide has the potential to cause leukemia, stomach cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and pancreatic cancer.

Willowbrook residents have hired a law firm to investigate whether the company possessed knowledge that past or current ethylene oxide emissions pose a danger to residents. Residents, several of which have cancer or have relatives who died of cancer, suspect 34 years of exposure to the harmful substance. Attorneys will bring a lawsuit based on the company’s negligence towards residents if the investigation yields such evidence.

Those who believe a company has acted in a negligent manner and caused them severe injuries should not hesitate to reach out to the lawyers at Disparti Law Group. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help you aggressively pursue proper compensation for any damages caused by a company’s irresponsible behavior.

On Saturday, August 18, 2018, the Disparti Law Group took to the streets of Chicago to participate in the Englewood Back to School Parade. The parade is the second oldest African-American parade in the city of Chicago and takes place every year in the Englewood neighborhood to help make education attainable for all of Englewood’s youth.

The Disparti Law Group was a proud sponsor of the parade with a $1,500 donation. They also gave away over 500 backpacks to help equip children with the necessary supplies as they head back to school this year. While attorneys handed out backpacks, hundreds of youths of all ages marched, danced, and flipped past them in a celebration of the progress and vitality of the Englewood community.

The Disparti Law Group is proud to have participated in the Englewood Back to School Parade with its long history of combating youth crises. Willie Pittman conceptualized the idea for the parade in 1962 when he saw increasing numbers of Englewood youth succumbing to pressures to join gangs and other unlawful groups. In response to the growing issue, Pittman established the Englewood Back to School Parade, a non-profit corporation that aims to keep all of Englewood’s Youth in school as a way to reduce crime.

With over 30 years of helping Chicago residents through legal issues, attorneys at the Disparti Law Group hope to continue giving back to the community in meaningful ways. Any Chicago residents who need legal counsel in a personal injury case should not hesitate to contact our compassionate attorneys.

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