remodeling tips, safe remodeling, asbestos and mold

Remodeling Tip of The Day: Demo Day is Fun But Full of Surprises!

DIY, safety, safe remodel, tips, decor, mold, asbestos, constructionRemodeling tip of the day: when demo-ing your house or room in your next project make sure to test walls for lead and asbestos.

You can find these kits online for almost nothing and test your walls before doing anything.

If your house is older than 1978 very likely you will find these unwanted surprises. Also check for mold in wet areas.

But don’t be surprised if you find mold a few feet away where is not wet at all! Water has the uncanny ability to travel and you just never know.

Types of Materials to avoid mold infestation

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In my bathroom remodel, I found mold in an area very far away from where the original trouble spot was. And get this, wood floors!! In the bathroom!!! It looks nice and all but wood and water don’t mix!

Remember the old nasty habit of putting carpet in the bathroom? EWWW! With the new products out there you can find tiles that look like wood boards (I used that in the bathroom redo) or you can use vinyl planking

It looks like wood but it’s laminate and waterproof! I used vinyl planking in the upstairs bathroom. And it looks great! (more on that upstairs remodel in a future post).

Seal, Seal, Seal

Be wise when choosing flooring or even counter tops for wet areas. Be sure to seal any exposed grout and gaps on counter tops, showers and tubs. There are new materials out there for sealing including silicone in colors! You can now match your grout color to the seal. No more white gunky looking seal around the tub. Another EEWW!

Safety measures when remodeling

It seems pretty obvious but always wear a mask when doing demo. You never know what you have behind your walls and even cabinets. We all love demo day but finding mold and other toxic substances can be dangerous without the proper protection.

If you come across any suspicious growth get it tested and if positive, have it handled by professionals. You can still do your remodel afterwards. 

remodeling, DIY, safety, safe remodel, tips, decor, mold, asbestos, constructionToo often I see clients who did their own remodel and now they are disabled because of lung issues, cognitive impairment, tremors, confusion and the list goes on.

We all like to save money but your health is priceless. Be careful!

I was starting my bathroom remodel and found all of the above (mold, asbestos). The sign on the picture was hanging on my laundry and bathroom entry for days! (sniff).

I was still able to do the remodel once the professionals gave me the green light. It only took a little longer than I was hoping for but I still had fun finishing the project. More on that project soon.

Have a happy and safe remodeling!


Top 13 Reasons Your Social Security Case Is Being Denied And What To Do To Improve Your Chances At Winning.

Today I will give you the short list of the top 13 reasons for denial of benefits and a very short tip on how to fix each one and in the next few posts, I will explain each one in more detail. Remember that this list is not exhaustive. There are many other reasons for a claim denial but these are the most common. So here it goes:

amigas4all, Social Security, Disability, tips, win disability, disability attorney, disabled, social media disability, top 13 reasons for denial

top 13 reasons for  DISABILITY DENIaL

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1) 90% of cases are denied in the first try. Don’t give up. Appeal it!

2) It could be your medical records. Get your doctor to describe your medical issues better.

3) You are not receiving the right treatment(s) for your condition(s). Get 1referrals. Get treatment.

4) Your records are too old and you are not seeing doctors now. You need to see new doctors or more visits during and after the adjudication of your case.

5) Diagnosis alone does not win cases. Once you are diagnosed ask your doctor if your condition is severe enough to prevent you from working. Permanently!

6) You think you are disabled but you are not. Social Security only needs to show that you can do some other job than the one you can’t do anymore and case closed. In most cases, you must prove you can’t work ANY jobs. At all!

7) Your doctor may not be supporting the notion that you are disabled. It goes back to item 6.

It gets worse:

8) Some of your treatment may be a violation of the rules. I know, it’s weird but it’s true. Eg, medical marijuana. Legal in some States, not legal in the federal system yet (Remember Social Security is a federal benefit).

9) Your case is less than sympathetic because you may be doing a lot of things to yourself. Illegal drugs if you have a mental disability, smoking when you have lung issues, drinking when you have cirrhosis. The list goes on…Get help!

10) Procedurally you don’t qualify or you need to overcome a remote onset of disability. This is a big one. It means you haven’t worked in years and you may not qualify, or you have too much money to qualify (see my next post on this one).

11) It’s too early to file. You need to show that your condition has lasted or is expected to last 12 months. The clock starts ticking from the time you stopped working. If you just quit and file a week later you are more likely to be denied.

12) Anger issues and bad attitude shown in your medical records. In mental disability cases, it’s expected. In physical cases, it a no, no! Do not throw tantrums at your doctor’s office. They will write it in your medical records and it looks bad!

13) Incarceration. You can’t get benefits while incarcerated. Simple as that.

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social media disability claims

Social Media And Disability Claims

Social media! It’s everywhere and it is the most sedentary thing one can do. Even disabled people can take a peek on a phone or a tablet. It’s light, it’s there and you barely move a muscle.

But a lot of damage can be done with social media. Most people don’t think about that when filing a disability case. It’s the last thing on their mind. It’s just there. Those little apps sitting quietly on the phone and a life saver when one is bored. Waiting for time to pass.

In the waiting room in a doctor’s office, at the dentist, in the car (hopefully while not driving) and in bed. Who doesn’t do it? You lie down and you are still trying to unwind so you check your friends on social media without even thinking what it could do to your case.

Investigators in Long Term Disability cases and even judges in Social Security cases are taking a closer look at your social media accounts. If your settings in those accounts allow for anyone to go in and take a look at your accounts it is easy for these investigators and judges to make assumptions.

Assumptions that may cost your case and with it thousands of dollars gone!

They don’t care if that photo of you having the time of your life on a cruise is 3 years old. Or that you are seen holding a golf club with a picturesque location in the background and all you did that day was to stand up from the bench to take that picture. Or all you have done that day was sit while watching others play. It doesn’t matter that the business you dreamed to have one day is just an open account on LinkedIn. Or even though you never even opened that business or have made any money with the business.

All they see in your Social media is that it looks bad. Really, really bad!

Enough that they are even salivating when they find this type of evidence against a claimant.

So, as much as people don’t think about social media when filing a disability case, it is time to take it very seriously. In a very connected world like ours you never know what people know about you or what they can see. But if you are giving free access to your virtual life, one that you could actually control a bit, please take charge. Either close your social media accounts or change your settings to a more private setting.

Also, be careful what you post even if the account is private. Be careful with your own friends posts in their own accounts. Even if you have private settings, some of your friends may not. If you are tagged in any of their open posts, you will be visible.

If that photo of you in a friend’s pool shows up in your friend’s Facebook page and his/her page is open to the public, there’s your photo, in all it’s damaging glory!

Even if all you did was go in the water because it helps with your back pain!

The issues with disability and social media are new.  But these are picking up speed. Who knows what else will be available in the near future that can reveal things we don’t wish to be seen in public?

The reality is, there is no more privacy in this world. And if you file a claim for disability (Social Security, Long or Short Term disability or any other types out there) any and every information readily available online can and will be used against you. Learn more at this new site

Please be “virtually” safe!