Category Archives: Workers Compensation

How does SSDI affect my workers compensation payment?

Workers compensation and SSDI benefits

 

Workers compensation is awarded to workers who are injured on the job and who are no longer able to perform their job requirements. Workers compensation includes payments for partial injuries and injuries which are considered short-term.

English: RAIL CRANE

But what if you are injured at work and your work injury is so severe you are 100% disabled and unable to work and you cannot return to work or you will be unable to work for 12 continuous months? If this is the case you may be looking for some type of wage replacement program which is long-term such as SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance).

 

Can I get SSDI and Workers Compensation?

 

If you have been injured on the job and you are receiving workers compensation benefits, according to the SSA, this payment is not considered “earned income” because it is not generated through “work.” This means that although earned income cannot exceed a specific amount if you are receiving SSDI, the unearned income for workers’ compensation will not make you ineligible for SSDI benefits.

Will Workers Compensation affect my SSDI payments?

 

The SSA has stated on their website that if you are getting Social Security Disability Insurance that your SSDI benefit should not be affected by disability payments from private sources (private pension or insurance benefits).

Workers compensation is payment for a work injury but it is not considered “private” insurance. Workers compensation is paid from the employer of the worker, but it is insurance provided from either the state or federal workers’ compensation agency. Because it is a “public” insurance benefit it can impact your Social Security Disability Insurance payments.

The SSA states that there are certain types of “public” benefits which will not lower your SSDI payments including V.A. disability benefits, SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or other benefits offered by the states or Federal Government if the claimant has already paid their Social Security taxes from their earnings. Workers’ Compensation, however, differs from these programs.

Calculating my payments from Workers’ Compensation and SSDI

 

According to the SSA, workers who are receiving both workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits cannot receive a total compensation payment for their disabilities which exceeds more than 80 percent of their average current earnings prior to their disability. The example below is provided on the SSA website at www.ssa.gov.

Example:

 

Before you became disabled, your average current earnings were $4,000 a month. You, your spouse and your two children would be eligible to receive a total of $2,200 a month in Social Security disability benefits. However, you also receive $2,000 a month from workers’ compensation. Because the total amount of benefits you would receive ($4,200) is more than 80 percent of your average current earnings ($3,200), your family’s Social Security benefits will be reduced by $1,000.

Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer or Workers’ Compensation lawyer

 

No one wants to consult with a work comp lawyer or SSDI lawyer about their disability payments but failure to understand the potential offsets to your workers compensation payments could cost you thousands of dollars. If you do not want to talk to a work comp lawyer make sure you review the laws of your state and you understand how SSDI may lower our work compensation benefits, prior to applying for SSDI.

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Should I apply for Workers Compensation or SSDI?

Injured on the job, what are my options?

 

If you have been injured on your job performing your normal work requirements you may no longer be able to work and you may need medical assistance as well as wage replacement. Many disabled workers ask if they should apply for workers compensation or if they should go ahead and file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Benefits of Workers Compensation

 

Workers compensation has been established in all states to provide injured workers who are injured on the job lost wage compensation, death benefits to surviving beneficiaries and medical benefits.

Workers compensation is provided to the employee at no cost to the worker. It provides short term and partial disability payments while the worker recovers and rehabilitates and attempts to return to full-time work. Another benefit of workers compensation is it generally provides vocational rehabilitation benefits such as training, job evaluation, job modifications and educational assistance to either return the worker to their job with needed modifications or help them find new employment.

Unlike other personal injury cases, workers’ compensation does not require the worker to prove their employer was negligent, only that they were injured in the “normal course of employment.” This eliminates lengthy and costly court battles for both the employer and the injured employee.

Some injuries are not covered in some states. For instance, workers who intentionally injure themselves or who are injured while traveling to work may not qualify for workers’ compensation. Common work injuries which are generally covered can include bone fractures, back and neck injuries, hernias, abrasions, burns, concussions, amputations, COPD, asbestos exposure and bulging discs.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

 

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is offered to workers who have a severe, disabling injury or condition which does not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months. It is provided only to workers who have worked and paid employment taxes into the SSA system and who have sufficient work credits to be considered insured.

Not all workers will qualify for SSDI benefits. If you have been injured on the job and your condition is expected to last 12 continuous months and you are 100% injured you may apply for SSDI benefits, but before you do, you need to discuss your options with a disability lawyer, your human resources department or a workers’ compensation lawyer who is familiar with work comp laws in your state.

Can I apply for both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance?

 

Claimants who have been injured at work and who have a severe condition which is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months can file both an SSDI claim and a workers’ compensation claim, but as mentioned above, you need to talk to a lawyer. Although SSDI and workers’ compensation are two separate programs which are administered by different groups if you are getting both benefits the SSA may offset your disability payment. For example, SSDI and workers’ compensation will be limited to 80% of the income you earned before you became disabled.

As mentioned above, the benefits of workers compensation is that you may be able to get short-term and partial disability benefits, two benefits which are not offered by the SSDI program. Additionally, the wait time for a disability decision for SSDI can be up to 2 years for some SSDI applicants.

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Handling Your Own Workers’ Compensation Case, Is it too Late to Get an Attorney

You were hurt in an accident on the job. Your employer may have threatened you or tried to keep you from filing a workers’ compensation claim. Or, a workers’ compensation claim may have been filed, but your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company denied the claim.

You were not trying to fake a work-related injury or scam an insurance company, you were genuinely hurt in an accident while you were working for your employer on the job. You may or may not have been able to return to work. You may have been fired by your employer, or you may have gotten a job with another employer.

The point is you were genuinely hurt in an accident on the job. You want to receive the workers’ compensation benefits that you were entitled to.

Handling your own case

For one reason or another, you did not hire a workers’ compensation attorney. You have been handling your own workers’ compensation case. In fact, you have been handling your own workers’ compensation case for 2 years, and you have not been able to get anywhere with your employer’s insurance company.

The thing you would like to know is, “Have I waited too long? Is it too late to hire a workers’ compensation attorney?”

Although statute of limitations vary from state to state, if you have met all of the notice requirements, it is not too late to get a workers’ compensation attorney. There is something that you should understand, however.

Better to have a workers’ compensation attorney

By handling your own case, the chances are that you have damaged your case for being hurt in an accident on the job. You will probably receive far less than you would have received had you hired a workers’ compensation attorney from the beginning of your case. When you have a workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you usually are paid more and are paid faster than if you do not have an attorney.

Here is something for you to consider. Would you pay anything if you were an insurance company without facing legal action? The only way an insurance company can show a profit is by taking in more than they pay out. It is in the best interest of the insurance company to pay you as little as they can get by with. An insurance adjustor may seem to be friendly and really care about you, but the bottom line is that an insurance company cares about its own interests, first and foremost.

If you have been handling your own workers’ compensation case for 2 years and have gotten nowhere with your employer‘s insurance company, this may paint a pretty dark picture. However, it is probably not too late to acquire the services of a workers’ compensation attorney.

You may still get benefits

After all, you have not been able to get anywhere with the insurance company in 2 years. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney should be able to do a lot better than that with your employer‘s insurance company. A workers’ compensation attorney may still be able to get you the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve for being hurt in an accident on the job.

Most workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means there is no attorney fee unless your case is won.

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Changing Employers and Getting Workers’ Compensation

You were hurt in an accident on the job. The accident took place as you were doing your job for your employer. Your injuries that resulted from the accident on the job were of such a nature that you would not be able to return to work for several weeks.

Your employer is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. A claim is filed for workers’ compensation benefits because of your injuries that were brought about by the accident on the job.

Changing employers

So far, there is nothing unusual about this. This is a scenario that happens every day across the United States. However, something happens that causes you as an injured worker to have some important questions. You become employed by another employer. You have changed employers and are no longer working for the one you were working for when you were injured in the accident on the job.

Can you still get workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries, even though you have changed employers and are no longer working for the employer where the accident happened on the job? How is this going to affect the workers’ compensation benefits that you receive? What are you supposed to do?

The answers to these questions depend on several things. Some of these include:

Was your workers’ compensation claim for injuries that you received on the job denied by your employer’s insurance company? If so, you are still allowed to appeal your denial, even though you are no longer working for that employer. You still have the right to try and get workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries that you suffered on the job, even though you are now working for another employer.

Was your workers’ compensation claim approved by your employer’s insurance carrier? If it was approved and you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, the fact that you are now working for another employer will probably affect the amount of the benefits that you receive. Depending on what your salary is from your new employer, this may reduce the amount of your benefits from workers’ compensation.

What are you supposed to do? You may be required to report in writing within a given time period to your former employer where the accident occurred or to his insurance company that your employment status has changed, that you are now working for another employer.

Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state

It is important for you to understand that the laws regarding workers’ compensation are not the same in every state. Consequently, the procedure is also not the same in every state that you are required to follow in order to get workers’ compensation benefits when you are no longer employed by the employer you were working for when the accident took place in which you were hurt on the job.

You are going to need the help and expertise of a workers’ compensation attorney who is well acquainted with the specific laws in your state in regard to obtaining workers’ compensation benefits when you are no longer working for the employer where your injuries occurred. In addition, you may have other questions concerning workers’ compensation benefits. A workers’ compensation attorney is the one who has the answers.

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Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Claim in Illinois

You were injured in an accident at work in Illinois. Perhaps your injuries did not seem to be serious at the time. You may have kept right on working. You may not have missed any work time at all.

It may be that your employer did not want you to file a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer may have threatened you if you filed a claim.

Claim not filed

At any rate, for one reason or another, you did not file a workers’ compensation claim. Now, a lot of time has passed since the accident took place at work. You may be having physical problems that you believe were brought about by the accident. You may have wound up having medical bills and expenses as a result of the accident at work in Illinois. You may have missed work because of injuries you received from the accident.

Some questions you may now have are, “Have I waited too long? Can I still file a workers’ compensation claim for my accident? Is it too late? What is the law in Illinois?”

The first thing that has to be answered is, “Did you let your employer know about the accident and your injuries within 45 days from the time that the accident took place?” If you did not, you may have forfeited your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you notified your employer about the accident and your injuries within 45 days of the accident, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Statute of Limitations

The Statute of Limitations is a time deadline that you have for filing a personal injury claim. In Illinois, the Statute of Limitations is 2 years from the date of an accident. This means that you have 2 years from the date that an accident happened in which you were the injured party to file a personal injury claim in circuit court.

In regard to filing a workers’ compensation claim in Illinois, it is a little different. The Statute of Limitations in Illinois for filing a workers’ compensation claim is 3 years from the date of the accident at work or 2 years from the date that you last received workers’ compensation benefits. The determining factor is which one of these came later.

Repetitive trauma

In the instance of making a claim for a “repetitive trauma,” determining the Statute of Limitations may be much more difficult. In the case of a repetitive trauma, it is extremely important to determine the correct beginning date. Even if you continue working with a repetitive trauma injury, it is not the last day that you work that is the beginning of your Statute of Limitations. It is the day in which your injury and its involvement with your job became apparent.

Even if you think it is too late, that you have missed your deadline, you really ought to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney. You may still be able to file a claim. There may still be hope. A workers’ compensation attorney will give you the best advice on what options are available to you.

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Can My Employer Ask Me to Submit to an Independent Medical Examination

You were hurt in an accident on the job. The accident happened out of and during the course of your job for your employer. The accident resulted in you sustaining injuries that have brought about a large amount of medical expenses, and you are still not able to return to work.

Thankfully, your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. You reported your accident to your employer, and a workers’ compensation claim was made. Your claim was approved, but now your employer and/or his insurance company wants you to submit to having an independent medical examination (IME).

Important questions

Does your employer have a right to ask you to do this? Do you have to submit to an independent medical examination? Will you lose your workers’ compensation benefits if you do not submit to an independent medical examination?

Your employer and/or his workers’ compensation insurance company does have a legal right to ask you to submit to an independent medical examination. Usually, the reason why you are asked to do this is to see if you really have an injury, and is the injury as bad as you say it is. Also, they are wanting to see if your injury was really from an accident that was job-related, or was it due to some other reason.

What the insurance company is doing

You have to remember. The insurance company is paying out money for your medical expenses and lost wages. They want to see if you are really injured and unable to work. Of course, they are hoping that the independent medical examination will show that there is nothing wrong with you, and they will be able to stop paying you benefits.

Although it varies from state to state, in many states, if you want to continue receiving your workers’ compensation benefits, you are required to submit to an IME.

In most instances, you should submit to an independent medical examination. If you are not faking an injury, and you are injured like you say you are, you should not have anything to worry about.

Do not fake an injury

While it is true in many instances that it is not truly an independent, neutral medical examination because it is the insurance company’s doctor that is doing it, you should tell the truth, and do not exaggerate or fake your injuries. Be clear on your injuries, and explain why they prevent you from doing your job duties.

In some cases, the doctor who performs an IME may be what you may think of as a “hired gun” for the insurance company who is going to say what the insurance company wants to hear, “no matter what”. You cannot stop an unethical person from doing this, but, in most instances, the doctor who does an independent medical examination is a legitimate doctor who will give his honest opinion on whether you are injured and need to be treated.

Being asked to submit to an independent medical examination is one of the reasons why it is always a good idea to have a workers’ compensation attorney representing you. A workers’ compensation attorney will see that all of your rights are protected and you receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours.

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What if I Want to See Another Doctor

You have been injured in an accident at work while performing your duties as an employee for your employer. Your employer is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and a workers’ compensation claim has been filed.

Two Questions

However, there is a problem. For one reason or another you are not satisfied with the doctor who is treating you. You would like to see another doctor. Does workers’ compensation allow you to see another doctor, and if so, “Is your employer responsible for paying another doctor?”

The answer to these two questions depends on the state that you live and work in. This is because workers’ compensation and the way that it is administered is not the same in every state. Here are some examples:

In Texas – You are allowed to pick the doctor who treats you, but that doctor has to be willing to accept workers’ compensation insurance. The thing that may make this difficult is that doctors have been treated so unfairly by insurance companies in Texas that many doctors will not accept a workers’ compensation case. You are also allowed to change doctors in Texas, but you have to do so in the proper way according to workers’ compensation laws in Texas.

In Arkansas – You have to go to the doctor that your employer or your employer’s insurance provider picks out. If you are not satisfied with the doctor, you are allowed to request a change through your insurance adjuster, or you can write to the Workers Compensation Commission in Arkansas and request a change of doctor.

In Louisiana – You have the right to choose one treating physician in any specialty or field that is deemed medically necessary. After making this initial choice, you have to get prior consent from your employer’s insurer if you want to change the doctor within that same specialty or field who is treating you.

In California – You can pick your doctor if you predesignated a doctor with your employer. If not, you have to see your employer’s doctor for the first 30 days. Then, you are permitted to switch to a doctor of your choice.

In Mississippi – Your employer is allowed to determine who will treat your injury right after the accident takes place. However, you are then allowed to be treated by a doctor of your choice or one that your employer chooses. You can change doctors, but your employer or his insurer has to pre-approve the change. If your choice of doctors is denied, you have to apply to the Workers’ Compensation Commission in Mississippi for approval of a change.

You can change doctors

The important thing to notice in each of these examples is that if you follow the procedure that is approved by workers’ compensation laws in each state for changing doctors, you are allowed to change doctors, and your employer’s insurer is responsible for paying that doctor.

Because workers’ compensation laws are different in each state, it is wise to secure the services of a workers’ compensation attorney. A workers’ compensation attorney will make sure that you do everything in accordance with the workers’ compensation laws in your state.

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Hurt on the Job Because of a Fall in Wyoming

Your job may involve the risk of accidents. Have you been hurt on the job because of a fall in Wyoming?

Did your fall on the job in Wyoming produce serious injuries? Are these injuries going to keep you from working for an extended period of time? What about your lost wages and medical bills.

Your Wyoming employer

Does your Wyoming employer have workers’ compensation insurance? Is your Wyoming employer exempt from having to have workers’ compensation insurance?

In 1915, the Wyoming legislature passed the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Law. The Wyoming Workers Safety and Compensation Division is the agency that governs all workers’ compensation in Wyoming.

What you need to be aware of is that workers’ compensation insurance is required by law for all Wyoming employers whose work involves extra-hazardous occupations. All other Wyoming employers do not have to have workers’ compensation. However, the list for extra-hazardous occupations is long and complicated. It is spelled out by Wyoming state statutes.

For Wyoming employers of extra-hazardous occupations, there are no waivers or numerical exceptions in regard to workers’ compensation. However, sole proprietors, corporate officers and partners are excluded from coverage.

State fund in Wyoming

The State of Wyoming operates an exclusive state fund. Employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance from this state fund. No private insurance or self-insurance is allowed in Wyoming.

If you were hurt on the job because of a fall in Wyoming, you need to find out if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. If he does, workers’ compensation should take care of your medical bills and pay you for lost wages.

If your Wyoming employer is not required to have workers’ compensation insurance, he may still have elected to purchase this coverage to guard against a civil lawsuit in the case of accidents and injuries to his workers. If not, your Wyoming employer may still offer to pay your medical bills and compensate you for lost time at work.

Getting all of your benefits

If your Wyoming employer has workers’ compensation insurance, he may still try to test the law by giving you less benefits than you have coming to you, or he may try to keep you from filing a workers’ compensation claim. If this is the case, you will need the advice and representation of a workers’ compensation attorney in order to get the workers’ compensation benefits that you deserve in Wyoming.

If your Wyoming employer is exempt from providing workers’ compensation, you may need the help of a workers’ compensation attorney in filing a civil lawsuit. The civil lawsuit would need to prove that your Wyoming employer was at fault for you being hurt on the job because of a fall. The reason for this is because unlike workers’ compensation which is a no fault type of insurance, a civil lawsuit determines the exact cause of your accident and who was at fault. A judge then renders a verdict that is based on the evidence that is presented.

You may have several questions concerning being hurt on the job because of a fall in Wyoming. The attorneys here will fight for your rights and do all that they can to see that you are adequately compensated for your injuries.

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Injured in Colorado Due to a Fall at Work

Accidents happen in the workplace. Have you been injured in Colorado due to a fall at work?

What type of injuries did you receive when you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work? Are these injuries keeping you from working? Have you missed a lot of time at work? Are you disabled as a result of your injuries? Do you have high medical bills?

If you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work, the answers to these questions will greatly affect your future. The answers to these questions will make a big difference to you and your family.

Workers’ compensation claim

Did you file a Colorado workers’ compensation claim? Is Colorado workers’ compensation assisting you?

In 1915, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. This Act made it a mandate that Colorado employers would give wage replacement and pay for medical care for their workers who were injured on the job. Workers’ compensation would then be the exclusive remedy for an injured worker in exchange for this protection.

In Colorado, workers’ compensation comes under the heading of the Department of Labor and Employment. It is regulated by the Division of Workers Compensation within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Purpose of workers’ compensation

Workers’ compensation in Colorado is in place to assist workers who have been injured on the job. In fact, the intent of the Colorado general assembly in regard to the Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado is stated as being “to assure the quick and efficient delivery of disability and medical benefits to injured workers at a reasonable cost to employers.

In Colorado, workers’ compensation is mandatory, with no exemption for employers with a small number of employees. However, there are some waivers that are allowed.

An employer in Colorado has four options when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance. A Colorado employer may insure through the competitive state fund, use a private carrier, insure through groups of employers or be self-insured.

Benefits

If you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work, you may have several workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to. These include:

Medical treatment of your injuries without monetary or time limits
Reimbursement of mileage to and from physicians’ appointments that includes lost wages and mileage costs
Death and burial cost given to your family in the event of your death because of injuries sustained on the job
Replacement income benefits.

In many cases, it is replacement income benefits that form the major part of Colorado workers’ compensation claims. This may be true for you if you were injured in Colorado due to a fall at work.

Replacement income benefits in Colorado are available in four different ways. These are:

Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD)
Temporary total disability benefits (TTD)
Permanent partial disability benefits (PPD)
Permanent total disability benefits (PTD).

Has your Colorado employer refused to file a workers’ compensation claim for you? Are you not sure what you should do? Do you have questions concerning workers’ compensation benefits that you may be entitled to in Colorado?

A workers’ compensation attorney will work for you. They will answer your questions and work hard to see that you get all of the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours in Colorado.

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Injured in a Fall While Working in Idaho

No matter how careful you are, an accident can happen while you are working. Have you been injured in a fall while working in Idaho?

Important questions

What kind of injuries did you have in your fall while working in Idaho? Were they minor and superficial, or were they major and disabling? When will you be able to return to work? Will you be able to return to work? Have the injuries that you sustained resulted in your disability?

These are questions that are extremely important if you have been injured in a fall while working in Idaho. The answers to these questions are also greatly important to you.

Are you getting workers’ compensation benefits because of being injured in a fall while working in Idaho? Do you know about workers’ compensation in Idaho?

The Workers Compensation Act was established in Idaho in 1917. It is Title 72 of the Idaho Code.

The Idaho Industrial Commission is the state agency that has been established by the Idaho Code to enforce and carry out the workers compensation law in Idaho. This includes:

Providing information to all parties concerning their responsibilities and rights, reviewing settlements and closing documents and assisting in dispute resolution to assure Idaho workers of receiving appropriate benefits

Assisting in the rehabilitation of injured workers and enabling them to return to compatible work that is as close to their pre-injury status and wage as possible

Managing appeals that have been filed and complaints, in addition to resolving medical fee disputes that have been filed by workers compensation payors and healthcare providers

Making sure that all Idaho employers are in compliance with the workers compensation law in Idaho.

You should know that in Idaho, all employers, with few exceptions, are required by law to carry workers compensation insurance. This means that your employer should have filed a First Report of Injury (FROI) form no later than 10 days after you were injured in a fall while working in Idaho.

Did your employer do this for you? Are you receiving the workers compensation benefits that are due you in Idaho?

Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, there are several workers compensation benefits that you may qualify for in Idaho. Some of these are:

Hospitalization
Permanent physical impairment (PPI)
Surgery
Doctor visits
Partial temporary disability (TPD)
Psychological counseling
T.E.N.S. units
Permanent and total disability (PTD)
Spinal column stimulators
Total temporary disability (TTD)
Prescription medications
Diagnostic studies
Permanent disability in excess of physical impairment (PPD > PPI)
Physical therapy
Sympathetic nerve blocks
Chiropractic care
Epidural steroid injections (ESI).

As you can see, there are many Idaho workers compensation benefits that you may be entitled to. Has your Idaho employer denied you these workers compensation benefits? Did your employer refuse to file a workers compensation claim?

You can get help. The attorneys here will be in your corner. They will do their best to see that your rights are protected. They will make sure that you get all of the workers compensation benefits that you are entitled to in Idaho.

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