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Legal Resources

You might be able to claim some Social Security benefits now, and more later

Although you can begin receiving Social Security benefits anytime after age 62, the longer you wait, the higher the benefit you will receive. Of course, many people need money right away and can’t afford to delay. But if you’re married, there is a strategy that might allow you to claim some benefits immediately and then claim more benefits later. First, a little background: You have three options for when to begin taking your Social Security retirement

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Can’t afford a long-term care policy? Consider cutting the length of coverage

Most people can’t afford to buy a gold-plated long-term care insurance policy that offers a large daily benefit and that will continue paying indefinitely. If premiums for this type of Cadillac plan are not in your budget, what should you cut – the daily benefit amount or the number of years of coverage? Most financial experts advise cutting the length of coverage. This is because if you don’t use the full daily benefit, you don’t lose

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How Medicare beneficiaries can fight a hospital discharge

 One of the major benefits of Medicare is its coverage of hospitalization. Medicare covers 90 days of hospitalization per illness (plus a 60-day “lifetime reserve”). However, if you’re admitted to a hospital as a Medicare patient, the hospital might try to discharge you before you are ready. While the hospital can’t force you to leave, it can begin charging you for services. Therefore, it’s important to know your rights and how to appeal. Even if you

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Retired? You might be able to save on insurance

Once you’re retired, your need for insurance changes. It is a good idea to look at your coverage options and figure out what you need (and don’t need) and where you might be able to achieve some savings. ● Life Insurance. You might no longer need life insurance. If your spouse or other dependents won’t lose any income when you die, life insurance may be unnecessary and your premiums may be better spent elsewhere.  On the

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Social networking sites are a danger in divorce cases

The popularity of Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites has created a can of worms in divorce: These sites often contain evidence of a person’s whereabouts, “friends,” employment status and other information that can be used as evidence against them. People often forget that the pictures they post and the things they write about on these sites are public information. Anyone going through a divorce should be cautious about their actions online, especially on social

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Company not liable for employee’s drunk-driving accident

A nursing home supervisor took the home’s chef out for drinks after work one night in order to discuss work-related issues. The two had a fair amount to drink. The chef left the restaurant in his car and shortly afterward struck a 70-year-old pedestrian, who suffered serious injuries. The pedestrian sued the nursing home, claiming that it was responsible for the chef’s drinking. But the state Appeals Court shot down the lawsuit in a 2-1 decision.

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Laid-off employee must be paid for unused vacation time

An employee who was laid off from his job is entitled to be paid for any earned but unused vacation time, according to the state Supreme Judicial Court. A longtime employee was laid off by Electronic Data Systems, and didn’t receive any vacation pay even though he had only used one day of vacation all year, and the company had a written policy saying that employees were entitled to a certain amount of vacation time based

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Discrimination settlement can violate union agreement

The MBTA offered a job to a man who wears a hearing aid, conditioned on his ability to pass a physical examination. During the exam, he wasn’t allowed to wear his hearing aid, and he flunked. The man sued, claiming he was discriminated against because of his disability. Five years later, the MBTA settled the case by hiring the man and giving him five years of retroactive seniority. However, the union objected. It said the MBTA

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Bankruptcies skyrocket in Massachusetts

The number of bankruptcy cases filed in Massachusetts increased by 18% in the last year, and by a stunning 72% over the past two years. The vast majority of the cases are personal bankruptcies as opposed to business bankruptcies. While some businesses are going under, the spike in cases is largely the result of people losing their jobs in the recession. Other common causes of bankruptcy include divorce, sudden large medical bills, and an inability to

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Non-compete agreement is valid even if employee leaves state

Suppose a Massachusetts employee signs a non-compete agreement, but then leaves to work for a competitor in California – a state that generally doesn’t approve of non-compete agreements. Can the agreement still be enforced against him? Yes, according to a recent decision by the Massachusetts Superior Court. The employee was a vice president at the EMC computer company in Hopkinton, Mass. After 20 years with EMC, he quit to become vice president at Hewlett-Packard in California.

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