August 9, 2012 |
SACRAMENTO — Hopes for a last-minute agreement to overhaul the state's $11-billion workers' compensation system are growing as the end of the 2012 legislative session approaches. A small group of labor unions and large employers has been meeting quietly since April to craft legislation that would cut administrative, legal and medical costs enough to fund a significant boost in benefits paid to workers who suffer permanent disabilities from job-related injuries or illnesses. And an agreement seems imminent.
July 19, 2012 |
WASHINGTON — Ruth Moore described herself as a "vivacious" 18-year-old serving in the Navy when, she says, a superior raped her outside a club in Europe. After that, she attempted suicide and was discharged, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder — an ailment she says she did not have. Moore applied for disability benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs but was denied multiple times — despite submitting witness testimony that she had been raped and subsequently treated for chlamydia.
June 17, 2012 |
The war gave him flashbacks and nightmares. He flailed around in his sleep, bruising his arms. Memories of being bombed and rocketed seemed real, and painfully intense. Tech Sgt. Stanley Friedman was ultimately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, the signature disability from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few weeks ago, Friedman received his first 70% disability check for PTSD from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It wasn't for service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
April 25, 2012
The Social Security trustees projected this week that funding for retirement benefits will run short in 2033, three years sooner than had been estimated a year ago. After that, the program will be able to pay only about 75% of the amount now promised to retirees and the disabled. That's still a long way off, and lawmakers may not want to meddle with Social Security in an election year. But the longer Congress waits to deal with the problem, the harder it will be to solve. The last time lawmakers made significant changes to Social Security was in 1983, when they raised payroll taxes and gradually increased the retirement age. Those changes were made not just to solve a near-term funding crisis but also to gird the system for the baby boom generation's retirement.
March 28, 2012 |
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a California pilot who tried to hide that he was HIV-positive cannot sue for emotional distress after two federal agencies shared the man's medical information. In a 5-3 opinion , the court's conservative majority upheld the federal government's immunity from liability for a person who claims mental anguish or emotional distress, but who suffers no damage, such as loss of income. The decision reverses a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that had struck down a ruling by a lower court in San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 2, 2012 |
A Pasadena woman who served 12 years in theU.S. Army, including tours of duty in Iraq, filed suit Wednesday against the Department of Veterans Affairs for denying her full disability benefits because she is married to a woman. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles by Tracey Cooper-Harris seeks a ruling that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally discriminates against legally married same-sex couples. Cooper-Harris, who earned the rank of sergeant and more than 20 medals during her Army service, was honorably discharged in 2003 and married her spouse, Maggie, during the six-month period in 2008 when same-sex marriage was legal in California.