The Need for a Good Drainage System

May 27, 2019 by

Of all the problems in the world, you may wonder why a person would concern themselves with something as trivial as drainage issues. However, problems with your drainage system can have detrimental effects on your house, your lawn, and your life.

In this article, I discuss those issues and implore you to consult with professionals that can assist you in installing a good drainage system:

Mold and Bacteria

As gross as it is to discuss, mold and bacteria growth is one of the most common effects of drainage issues. This is a result of the fact that the drainage system malfunctions often manifest in standing water. The standing water, from rainfall, does not drain away to a street or through a pipe but instead collects in your yard.

After standing for a few days or weeks, the water can eventually collect in crevices and crooks of your basement. Related issues can also be caused by the standing water seeping through your roof and causing leaks, rotting through exterior wood, or messing up other parts of your property.

Mosquitos Mishaps

You may spend some of your hard-earned money on a scheduled lawn care business, or on a lawnmower to do the work yourself. Either way, it is likely that you value your front and back yard enough to take care of it. One of the benefits of taking care of your lawn, of course, is the ability to relax outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Nobody likes mosquitos. Unfortunately, Midwest Lawn reports, mosquito infestations are a result of drainage system issues. Mosquitos tend to lay their eggs in stagnant water. Thus, standing water stemming from a faulty drainage system will make your front yard the best place around for those pesky pests to give birth.

Mosquitos are not just a nuisance, though. Mosquitos are also a health hazard because of the many diseases they harbor. Famously, the West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquitos. Recently, however, the incidence rate for the relatively-obscure Zika virus has increased dramatically and endangered many.

A Rant About Plants

Drainage system issues can also affect your plant growth by contributing to plant rot or preventing proper dissemination of nutrients necessary to your vegetation’s successes. Water retaining in gardening areas can lead to the roots of your plants being overwatered and rotting in response. The decay of your plants is sometimes salvageable, but the first step, almost always, is to take care of the drainage system that led to the issue in the first place.

The growth of your plants can be stymied by water retention. Curiously, it is more common for stunted plant growth to be related to not watering your plant enough, instead of watering it too much in the form of standing water. In either regard, a specific range of water is required for your plant to grow healthily and have the necessary nutrients transmitted.

Drainage system issues are, thankfully, solvable. Speak with a qualified professional about your home’s options. With a little time and resources, soon your lawn can be growing strong, not leaking into your basement, and functioning properly.

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The Economy Is Good, But We May Soon Need to Better Understand Bankruptcy Again

Sep 22, 2018 by

When economic times are good, it’s easy to get a little too confident they’ll remain that good. That leads people to make riskier economic decisions, which at times can lead to great financial gain, but it can also lead to serious setbacks. Those setbacks can then pile up and derail your finances, even in the best economy.

It’s important, then, for individuals and for the economy as a whole that people become more familiar, once again, with what bankruptcy means.

To begin with, bankruptcy shouldn’t be seen as a taboo. Many successful people have to go through bankruptcy at some point in their lives. If used correctly, it can allow the individual the breathing space to regroup and become far more successful in the near future.

There’s a reason bankruptcy exists: it’s because it’s a net good for everyone. It provides the safety net for those who want to take risks, and it helps all of us avoid those serious economic consequences when people simply walk away from debts.

With that in mind, then, we ought to spend some time familiarizing ourselves with what bankruptcy means. Erin B. Shank, Attorney at Law has a great overview of the major bankruptcy chapters. As a general overview, these chapters are designed to provide assistance for different businesses and individuals. They are divided into chapters to allow the best conclusion for those in certain situations.

For instance, an individual who has accrued a lot of debts and has no way to pay them off, even over time, can file Chapter 7, which liquidates non-essential assets (your house, car, clothes, and such things are considered essential and are for the most part not included in the liquidation). Once assets are liquidated and creditors are as satisfied as they can be by this process, the person walks away debt free.

For those with a steady regular income, Chapter 13 might be a more realistic option. This chapter allows you to pay off debts through set fees taken from your wages over a certain period, usually 2 to 5 years.

Farmers and fisheries have their own chapter, Chapter 12, which is designed to make sure they don’t lose their land or fisheries. Chapter 11 is meant to allow business owners to reorganize debt without having to close their business.

As you can probably tell with a quick scan of the numbers, these are by no means the only bankruptcy chapters. Even in the best economy, everyone should be fairly well-versed in every chapter, so they know which ones might apply to them.

No one can be sure they’ll never have to face bankruptcy. It can happen to the most financially careful and practical people, as well as the biggest risk takers. Because it can hit any of us, we all have to be prepared, for the sake of our own finances and for the economy in general.

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Delaware disability risks

Oct 15, 2017 by

Don’t assume that just because you aren’t working in a physically grueling job, you are safe from any sort of long-term disability. This is a mistake many office workers and managers make because they assume that their work is simply not strenuous enough to cause harm enough to leave them out of work.

And yet, even in this state of Delaware, the corporate capital of the world, disability is fairly common. For instance, in 2012, over 100,000 people had a disability in Delaware. That’s more than a tenth of the whole population.

Such facts would surprise no one who is aware of the startling statistics related to disability. Anyone who is 20 years old or older has a one in four chance of being disabled at some point in their lives for some significant amount of time. With that in mind, Delaware’s numbers are actually relatively low.

Not only is this significant in and of itself, but the statistics also suggest that once someone develops a disability, they are much less able to continue working. In fact, almost 72% of those with a disability are without work.

Such incredible numbers remind us that we must be vigilant in our workplace to avoid injuries to ourselves and our fellow workers. Injuries can include anything from a slip on the floor that leads to a back problem to something falling on someone’s head (say a coffee mug placed poorly). They can come from back strains from lifting something too heavy, or they can come from injuries from repetitive motion (like sitting all day and typing).

Such injuries are no laughing matter; they can affect people’s livelihoods. So, be sure to keep your workplace as safe as possible, no matter the effort required. If there is a spill on the floor, clean it immediately. Leave nothing extending out into walkways, whether boxes, plugs, or someone’s stretched out feet. Make sure liquids are kept from electrical sockets. Insist everyone use careful and safe lifting techniques.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many other important steps you can take. The most important one, though, is to be aware. Without awareness, we are all at greater risk of sustaining an injury that could lead to long-term disability and great suffering (both physical and financial).

At the same time, keep in mind not all long-term disabilities can be avoided. 9% of disabilities, for instance, are due to cancer, and 12% are from cardiovascular issues. It’s likely these could not be prevented by work. In such cases, be sure to be compassionate and as helpful as possible to those suffering from such unfortunate circumstances. A safe workplace means there will be more energy and resources available to help those with unavoidable problems because the avoidable problems have been, of course, avoided.

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The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Jun 13, 2017 by

The federal government passed the Social Security Act in 1935. This Act first served as a form of social insurance and was originally intended as retiring employees’ source of finance. Years after, it assumed the name Social Security Administration (SSA) and introduced two large federal programs aimed at providing financial assistance to Social Security members who get disabled or after they retire from work and to people with disabilities: the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which SSA introduced in 1956, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which SSA created in 1974.

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), specifically, was designed to provide cash benefits to Social Security members with total permanent disabilities and pensions to retired members aged 65 or above.

There are basic requirements that should be met in order for one to be eligible for disability or retirement benefits. These are:

  • Having worked in a job covered by Social Security or by being self-employed; and,
  • Having earned the required number of credits required by SSA. An employee can earn a maximum of four credits within a year (a table that shows the number of credits needed by an employee who gets disabled is available in the SSA website with address, This table also shows the required number of years of work needed to be able to earn certain number of credits). These credits are earned through payment of Social Security taxes (employees’ pay slips usually identify SS tax payments as “FICA,” that is, Federal Insurance Contributions Act).

Disability, as defined by the SSA (at least for SSDI purposes), means:

  • A condition that will render a person unable to to perform the work that he/she did before being disabled;
  • The disability renders a person unable to perform any other type of work; and,
  • The disability may either last for at least a year or result in death.

Once an employee starts receiving the cash benefits, payment of benefit will only stop if:

  • He/She works at a level that the SSA considers as “substantial”;
  • If the SSA decides that his/her medical condition has improved to the point that he/she is no longer disabled; or,
  • If he/she turns 65 – if this is the case, recipient of the disability benefit will continue receiving the same amount of payment, only this time, it will be called “pension,” and no longer disability benefit.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or State Supplementary Payment (SSP), on the other hand,  is designed to provide cash benefits to the aged, the blind, and the disabled who are with little or without income; this cash benefit should help provide for its recipients’ basic needs, which include food, clothing, and shelter. Specifically, SSI is designed for:

  • Disabled adults who have limited income and resources;
  • Disabled children who are younger than age 18 and who have limited income and resources; and,
  • People 65 years old or older who are without disabilities, but who meet the financial limits set under the federal benefit rate (FBR). (The FBR represents both the SSI income limit and the maximum monthly dollar amount paid by the SSI program.)

As pointed out in the Hankey Law Office, P.C. website, Social Security Disability benefits is a reliable source of income that makes a world of difference in the lives of disabled individuals and their families. People should find out if they are eligible to the financial assistance known as Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. A highly-competent SSDI/SSI lawyer may be able to help in this endeavor, as well as help prepare and file all necessary documents and forms in case of eligibility.

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Equitable Distribution and Community Property Distribution of Properties and Assets

Apr 6, 2017 by

Equitable Distribution and Community Property Distribution of Properties and Assets

Spouses not agreeing on the issue of division of properties and assets is one of the reasons why some divorce cases become contested and so end up in a divorce court. Division of properties and assets will have a direct major impact in the spouses’ lives right after divorce. Due to its effect, being assured of a substantial share of assets (and lesser marital debts) will be important, especially for those who have sacrificed their own career and professional growth to support of their spouse and care for the children.

To save couples from the stress and worry that this divorce-related issue usually brings, many financial experts, legal professionals and even marriage counselors advise those planning to get married to consider entering into a pre-marital (or pre-nuptial) agreement. Besides the fact that a pre-nuptial agreement is never aimed at spoiling marital unions, it can also really provide lots of benefits if the marriage eventually fails.

Before attempting to decide “who gets what,” a judge (if the divorce is contested) or a mediator (in mediated divorce) will first need to determine which of the couple’s properties and assets are marital assets and, therefore, subject for distribution. Properties identified as inheritance or gift to one spouse during the time of marriage, profits earned from properties which one of the spouses got to own before the marriage, a property purchased by one of the spouses using the money that he/she earned before marriage, and all other properties mentioned in the pre-marital agreement are considered personal and, therefore, cannot be divided between the spouses.

With regard to those that may be distributed, courts apply one of these two basic systems: equitable distribution or community property. In equitable distribution, marital properties and assets are divided fairly and reasonably (not necessarily equally) between the spouses. This system of distribution takes into account the following factors:

  • the income and earning potential of each spouse;
  • the age of each spouse;
  • the spouses’ emotional and physical conditions;
  • the tax consequences of the assets, properties and debts;
  • the value of the personal properties [like retirement plans, 401(k) plans, business, business interests, bonds, stocks, financial incentives] of each spouse;
  • child support (if there are children) and/or alimony requirements;
  • the future financial needs of each spouse;
  • the degree of contribution of each spouse in to the acquisition of marital properties; and,
  • length of marriage.

The community property distribution system, on the other hand, is based on equality. In this system, the spouses are considered equal owners of all the properties and assets earned and acquired during their marriage even if only one of them had been employed. This legal position is also applied with concern to debts, rendering both spouses equally liable for all unpaid balances on car loans, home mortgages, credit cards, and so forth.

The community property system or equal distribution system is currently observed in nine US states (all other states observe the equitable distribution system: Wisconsin, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Louisiana, Idaho, California and Arizona.

As explained by Raleigh divorce attorneys of Marshall & Taylor PLLC, “Throughout the course of a marriage, most couples accumulate a wide range of shared property. Additionally, most partners come into the marriage with their own individual property, while many also receive property or assets that could be considered solely theirs during the marriage. As a result of both of these issues, trying to navigate the property division process and make sure you get the property and assets you deserve when getting a divorce or separation can be difficult.

For this reason, many individuals choose to enlist the support of a legal professional in order to ensure that their rights and interests are fully protected in any property division agreement that may be reached. A skilled legal professional understands how much the outcome of a property division agreement can mean for anyone going through a divorce, and, fortunately, with his/her help, you stand a much better chance of getting the outcome you are seeking.”

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