Walking for Health: Helping Seniors Stay Active and Healthy

Walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, as you age. Physical health benefits can include better bone density, less stress on your heart and joints, and an overall decrease in the risk of disease. But it also helps your mental health by keeping your brain active, improving your mood, and reducing symptoms of depression. With so many potential benefits of walking as you age, it’s important to make sure that you stay in shape and do it regularly. So what’s the best way to get started?

Improve mood

Exercise can help boost brain chemistry that helps elevate mood. When people take a daily walk, they will see positive changes in their mood very quickly. Researchers measured depression in men with mild to moderate depression who had recently taken up daily walking for at least 30-45 minutes. They discovered that as little as six weeks later, participants reported feeling less sad or blue and were better able to control negative thoughts about themselves.

Reduce Risk of Chronic Diseases

Walking is a great way for seniors to reduce their risk of disease. The CDC reports that 70% of people who suffer from chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, or depression are physically inactive. And exercise like walking can reduce the risk of these conditions and lower your mortality rate by 30%. Walking is a great low-impact exercise for everyone. Walking every day reduces the risk of chronic disease and leads to higher self-esteem and better mental health. Staying active in later life helps seniors maintain an active social life too!

​​Helps Maintain a healthy weight

As we age, our metabolisms slow down. While weight gain is a natural part of aging, seniors are more likely to become overweight or obese because of inactivity. Luckily, though, staying active can help your body maintain a healthy weight even as you get older. Physical activity helps burn calories, and muscle tissue breakdown slows down. Keeping yourself in shape is just one way that walking can make an impact on your health—it can also improve your heart health by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, and stroke.

Live a longer life

There are a lot of reasons to walk for health. A meta-analysis of almost 200 studies showed even more impressive benefits; it revealed that every half hour spent walking each day cut mortality risk by 4%. A 2014 review focused on walking as exercise among seniors found that regular physical activity can significantly reduce all-cause mortality. Other studies have shown that regular walking can improve sleep quality and minimize depression—both things we should be concerned about as we age. In short, taking walks every day could help us live longer, healthier lives.

Mary and Martha’s Personal Care is committed to improving the quality of life of their seniors. Walking is one component of helping seniors live a healthier lifestyle. For further information, please call Mary and Martha’s Personal Care at 706-866-7454 or visit maryandmarthaspersonalcare.com.

Protecting Your Child from the Damage of Divorce

Divorce often means custody battles, which can harm children and shouldn’t be taken lightly. The following tips from family law experts will help you learn how to protect your child from the harm and turmoil of custody disputes, so you can ensure your child’s emotional and mental well-being are protected during and after your divorce.

How Children Are Affected by Divorce

Children are directly affected by divorce. They are not just bystanders, as studies have shown that children of divorce can exhibit emotional, behavioral, and cognitive changes. They may also experience depression and even engage in self-harming behaviors, affecting their physical and mental health. During the custody battle, it’s hard to see past your point of view and consider how your decisions might affect children in years to come. But doing so will help make sure you’re approaching any custody dispute from a place that puts your children first.

Separating Your Child’s Life From Their Parents’ Battles

There is a huge amount of pressure on children during a divorce. It is important to acknowledge and spend time with your child during this time to keep their life as normal as possible and ensure that they are happy throughout their parents’ breakup. By doing so, your child will feel better about your divorce, less confused about it, and more involved in what happens with both you and your ex-spouse moving forward. To make sure that you are spending time with your child after a divorce, be sure to communicate openly with them while keeping discussions positive and uplifting. If you know there will be many problems with having an uninvolved or potentially harmful parent in your child’s life, then taking legal action against them can also help protect your child when you are not around. You might want to look into modifying custody orders or find ways to put supervision measures into place that help protect your kids. Another way that has proven effective in protecting kids during custody battles involves setting guidelines for visitation rights between parents and children beforehand. Hence, everyone knows what’s allowed and what isn’t whenever there’s a disagreement.

The Role of the Courts in Dealing With Disputes Between Parents Over Custody

The court will protect the child during divorce by ensuring that the child is taken care of in every aspect. There are many ways to do so, but each depends on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. If you are considering a divorce or have been through one and custody arrangements were made, there is no doubt that your child is at the forefront of your mind. By becoming involved early on with how divorce will affect your child, both parties can focus all their energy on determining what is best for them. You can work together toward common goals like ensuring that your child has access to both parents, minimizing disruptions in their life, creating consistency for them, and allowing them to maintain their daily routines as much as possible.

What Are Some Best Practices For Working Together?

It can be hard to have a civil conversation with your child’s other parent, let alone work together as parents. However, working together is necessary for the well-being of your child. When it comes to tasks like picking up your child and dropping them off, it might be best if both parents participate. Agreeing on a set day and time that works for both parents helps create an easy flow throughout the week.

No one is in their child’s corner more than you. You must remember that your child did not ask for a divorce or for their parents to split up. How you handle yourself when dealing with a custody battle will greatly impact your child—not just immediately but in future relationships as well. So, don’t let anger cloud your judgment, and be sure to think things through before saying anything you might regret later on.

If you are considering filing for divorce or have further questions regarding this issue, please contact Logan-Thompson, P.C. at 423-476-2251 or go to loganthompsonlaw.com.

The Benefits of Wearing a Wig While Going Through Chemotherapy

Wigs have the power to change your look completely. They can disguise thinning hair, add length and volume, and even help you to create a new style—all without affecting your natural hair! But did you know that they also have the power to change your outlook while you’re going through chemotherapy? A chemo wig can be an invaluable part of your cancer treatment kit, helping you feel like yourself again during this trying time in your life. Here are some benefits of wearing a wig while going through chemotherapy.

What are wigs?

A wig is made out of human or synthetic hair and can be found in various colors, lengths, and textures. They come in different price ranges—though to look realistic, they need to be on the higher end. Some women choose to wear a wig during chemotherapy because their hair doesn’t grow back well after chemo, or their chemotherapy causes extensive damage to their hair follicles. A wig can help them feel more confident while going through cancer treatment.

Why wear a wig?

If you are going through chemotherapy and have lost your hair, you may be wondering why you would want to wear a wig. There are many reasons to wear a wig if you’re going through chemotherapy, including saving your real hair to make you feel more comfortable. If you choose to wear one, there are added benefits to your appearance and health.

Where can you buy one?

Consider purchasing a wig if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to make yourself feel more confident during your chemo treatments. There are many places online to buy wigs, so finding one that fits your needs and price range is simple. If you don’t have health insurance or can’t afford to spend money on a wig upfront, ask your friends if they know of any local places you can purchase one that won’t break the bank.

What type of wig is best for you?

When it comes to wigs, you have two choices: either get them with human hair or synthetic. If you’re going through chemotherapy, it is recommended to wear a wig made out of synthetic fibers—it’s just more comfortable. There are advantages and disadvantages to each style.

What about synthetic hair?

A synthetic wig is a great option for women undergoing chemotherapy or others who want an easy, low-maintenance hairstyle. Not only are these wigs easier to wear, but they also come in different styles and lengths that can suit your personality. No matter what look you’re going for; it’s time to add another accessory to your wardrobe: synthetic hair.

What’s your wig personality type?

There are two main types of wigs; those that provide full coverage and others that just offer partial coverage. The type you choose will depend on what kind of look and level of confidence you’re trying to achieve. If you want to increase your confidence but don’t want everyone to know about your medical situation, go for partial wig coverage.

I have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Do I need to wear a wig?

If you’re worried about losing your hair during chemo, it may be helpful to think about wearing a wig. Many women simply don’t like how wigs look, but when you purchase a quality wig, it appears very natural. A wig can bring psychological comfort throughout their treatment and help them feel more like themselves. It can be beneficial to consider wearing one as you go through chemotherapy treatments for these reasons.

For further information about wearing a wig during chemotherapy treatments, please call Wig Palace at 423-894-0157 or find them online at thewigpalace.com.

Are Your Church Contributions Safe for Tax Purposes

Over the years, our Government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have stripped away our allowable deductions for income tax purposes. The supposed reasoning included streamlining the tax code and bringing more revenue into the Government coffers. However, the tax code hasn’t been streamlined or simplified. So, regardless of the revenue, the Government continues to outspend income.

One of the few deductions remaining for the average taxpayer is Charitable Contributions. Churches depend on the money donated to them on any given Sunday to offset their weekly budgets. The generosity of those who contribute is motivated by the fact that they can deduct those gifts from their annual income tax return.

We need to be aware of some issues with all of this said.

Do Not Earmark Donations for Specific Individuals

Private Insurance is a “no-no” for Churches. The Inurement clause states that Churches are not allowed to benefit private individuals. According to Eric Roberts from the IRS, if anyone earmarks a donation for a private individual, the donation will not be permitted.

The Church counting office or Treasurer should have a rubber stamp that declares, “Not for Contribution Credit,” and every donation earmarked for benefitting an individual should be clearly documented as such.

Giving donation credits to individuals who are not authorized may invoke civil and criminal penalties to the responsible parties of that particular Church. Do Not Test the Waters, or Seek to Circumvent This!

Do Not Allow Bartering

A common practice within Church circles is people, especially Church members, w buying items for the Church, donating them, and then wanting contribution credit. This practice may be costly for the Church and/or the individual. Although there are ways to recognize those non-monetary contributions, they may prove costly for the donor.

Do not allow people to purchase flower arrangements to place on the pulpit for Sunday service and then want contribution credit. Do not allow them to buy supplies, equipment, or donate time for contribution credit. Instead, have them donate the dollar amount of the item or supplies they want to give the Church, and then the Church makes the purchase. This may seem a little foolish, but it will protect all parties, and the dollar donation amount (unless earmarked for the benefit of a specific individual) will be an allowable deduction.

If they insist on giving the item, instead of cash, only write a letter describing in its entirety what was donated. Do not place a dollar amount on the letter. Leave any amounts to be determined by the individual and their tax preparer.

Ensure that all donations are classified as Tithes, Offerings, Mission Fund, or Building Fund. Do not think you can slip something by the IRS. They know what to look for on a tax return. Cheating on your donation credit will not reduce your tax liability enough to make it worth you going to prison. “Give to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar,” and you will not have any problems.

How We Can Help

These and other “hot topic” IRS issues are discussed in-depth at our Church Management and Tax Conferences across the USA. After attending one, the Pastor and Church Leaders will have clear direction on what they can and cannot do. Pastor, Church Leader, Do Not Think you can do Church books without the instruction you will receive at one of these conferences.

This is why it is vital for each Pastor and Church Leader to attend the conference nearest them, NOW! Your procrastination may be the downfall of your Church and Ministry. Contact us today to register by visiting www.cmtc.org or call us at 800-344-0076. You will be glad you did.

Remember, for others, this is a job, but for us “It is A Ministry!”

Worker’s Compensation – What You Need to Know

Have you suffered an injury while on the job and are wondering what to do? One way you can reduce your costs and get yourself back on your feet is by filing for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is a form of disability insurance that protects workers in case of an injury or illness while they are on the job. Worker’s compensation can be tricky, but if you know how to file for workers comp, you can get the medical treatment you need fast, as well as coverage for lost wages and other benefits. Here’s how it works, plus the best places to go for help with your worker’s compensation claim.

What is Worker’s Comp?

In general, worker’s compensation is a form of insurance that employers can purchase to cover medical expenses and lost wages for workers who have been injured in on-the-job accidents. In most cases, you must be employed by an employer who has purchased worker’s compensation insurance before you can file a claim. If you aren’t sure about your state laws or your employer’s policy, talk with a local lawyer for help.

Things That Might Delay a Claim

Worker’s compensation claims typically take between three and six months, but there are several factors that can affect how long it takes for your claim to be processed. If you plan on filing a claim, try to have as much paperwork ready before you file as possible. Even if your employer doesn’t give you all of what they’re required to at first, get whatever you can; it might make it more difficult for your case if something isn’t filed correctly or on time. 

Things to be Aware of When Filing

When you’re hurt at work, you may have to file for worker’s compensation. The process isn’t as simple as it seems, however, and there are some things that you should be aware of before filing. Let’s look at a few of them now.

How Much Does it Cost?

If you have a minor injury and don’t need time off work, it might not be worth your time or money to file for worker’s compensation. In general, costs start at around $2,000 but vary depending on circumstances and, in some cases, can be well over $5,000. When determining whether filing is worth it, look at what it will cost you—how much are your wages from work, and how much will you earn from disability if you take time off?

Do I Qualify for Workers’ Comp?

The first step to filing for workers’ compensation is determining whether you qualify. If you’re an employee of a company, you should know if your employer offers workers’ comp insurance—and it’s also a good idea to know what types of accidents are covered and for how much. Workers’ comp insurance will cover specific injuries and illnesses sustained on the job, but depending on your contract or agreement with your employer, it may not cover all accidents or illnesses.

Where Can I Get Help filing for workers comp?

If you have suffered a work-related injury and need help filing for worker’s compensation, there are resources out there. The first place to look is your employer or your employee benefits administrator; these professionals should be able to provide guidance in how you should proceed. If they can’t, ask them who they would recommend you see—they may even be able to refer you.

For further information about filing for worker’s compensation benefits, please call Logan-Thompson, P.C. at 423-476-2251 or find them online at loganthompsonlaw.com.

8 Things to Do On New Year’s Eve With Your Loved One In A Personal Care Facility

Have you ever wondered how to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your loved one in a personal care facility? If so, we’ve got you covered. Here are ten ideas to help you make the most of this holiday season!

1) Treat them to their favorite meal

Because of limited mobility, people in a personal care facility may miss out on getting their favorite foods or having them prepared just how they like. It’s important to show that you love them by treating them to their favorite meal. Make sure it’s something healthy and delicious! It might not be every day, but it will make an impact.

2) Involve the staff

The staff member is a critical component of celebrating NYE with your loved one. Make sure you reach out and get input from them early. They can decorate, but if there are other things they would like to contribute or plan, let them be involved! Make it memorable: Make New Year’s Eve special for your loved one. If they have lost certain senses such as sight or hearing, use their remaining senses to make it an enjoyable time for them.

3) Make it social-media worthy

Most of us avoid visiting people at long-term care facilities out of some sense of embarrassment or inconvenience. While we hope for good health and independence, circumstances happen that require us to visit now and then. The idea is not that you don’t have other things to do – but it is about being mindful about how you spend time with your loved ones at a crucial time of need. This can be both social-media-worthy and life-worthy!

4) Bring in decorations

There are no outside decorations, but you can always bring something special from home. Something they might not get otherwise. Because of their condition, likely, they don’t receive as many cards or gifts as they used to, so you can brighten their day by bringing some good cheer into their lives.

5) Get help from family members

Getting help from family members is a great way to celebrate without worrying about cleaning up after yourself. Have them set everything up before you arrive and have someone come by later that night for cleanup. Your family members will be happy you brought them into your celebration and will be appreciative of all their work! Plus, it is a chance for everyone to catch up on each other’s lives if you haven’t seen each other often!

6) Do something new and different

Change up your typical routine for NYE. Many of our activities are repetitive, and it’s easy to become stagnant when we do them over and over again. Try something new and different. Take your loved one somewhere new. Take them to a restaurant they haven’t been to before (or at least order something they usually don’t). Take public transportation instead of driving yourself.

7) Compliment them (even if they don’t notice, they still love hearing it!)

Tell your loved ones that they look nice today. There’s something really special about a compliment, even if it doesn’t go both ways. When you tell someone that they look nice, or that you like their shoes, or anything else positive, your visit will be all that much better. It might not seem like much when you think about it, but making sure someone knows how important they are to you is a huge deal.

8) Love them even more than you did before!

Spend some extra time with them, shower them with love and affection, and let them know that you’re always there for them no matter what happens. Get close and use these moments of clarity to connect emotionally. Whether they are conscious or not, it’s always important to show how much you appreciate them being in your life.

7 Tips On Celebrating The Holidays In A Personal Care Facility

For many, special times of the year means making a trip back to where they grew up and going through the Christmas season with loved ones. Suppose a parent, grandparent, or cherished one is residing in a personal care facility by chance. In that case, you might have inquiries regarding how to cause the occasion to feel as merry as could be expected for the person in question. Noticing special times of year in a personal care facility does not need to be sterile or ordinary. With the proper methodology, you can bring seasonal happiness to your loved one. Here are a few ways to praise special times of year in a personal care facility:

1. Try Not to Ignore the Holiday

If your parent or other relative has moved to a personal care facility, do not disregard that this will likely be their first occasion away from home. Talk about it, and recognize the circumstance straightforwardly and truly. Your loved one will most likely be thankful to you for not disregarding it and for showing that you comprehend that your loved one is making a significant change in their life. Your personal care facility director will probably appreciate hearing your arrangements to create special times of the year inside the facility similarly as eventful.

For a few, recognizing that they can not spend special times of the year in their own home can be hard to do. In the event that your loved one would rather not talk about the circumstance, you should respect their choice. That being said, don’t totally disregard the circumstance or pretend that special times of the year are not coming.

2. Plan Right

Many personal care facility home offices are available to the possibility of—and surprisingly thankful for—occasion parties for the occupants, as long as they are arranged ahead of time. Discuss the chance of a personal care facility holiday party with staff and other individuals. Talk with your loved one and different residents to see whether there is anything they truly want to host at the gathering. Plan games, hang up embellishments, and don’t forget about the food!

3. Bring Your Loved One Some Holiday Food

Make sure you ask permission from the personal care facility staff prior to making any plans.  As long as it’s alright, bring your loved one some holiday food you made at home; this can cause your loved one to feel that they are participating in a part of the holiday customs. The food will remind your loved ones that you consider them and remember them during the holiday season. Remember to ensure that the food meets your loved one’s dietary limitations assuming the person is on certain medications, has specific ailments, or can not eat particular nourishment for other reasons.

4. Give the Right Gift

Knowing what to get a friend or family member who is a long-term nursing home resident can be difficult. Some extraordinary gift ideas include: 

  • Stationery or note cards;
  • A new schedule with significant family dates set apart on it
  • An address book that is loaded up with companion’s and family’s contact information
  • Comfortable and comfortable clothing
  • Framed photographs of adored ones
  • Books or magazines
  • Movies or TV shows
  • A membership to a paper or magazine 
  • A new warm robe and slippers

5. Bring the Whole Family

If you have a huge family, there is no question that your older loved one could not imagine anything better than to see every single grinning face. Assuming there are new infants in the family or little youngsters who the resident has not seen as of late, bring them to the visit. The more individuals you can get together with, the more occasion-like and merry it will feel. Simply ensure you get consent from the personal care facility staff first, if there is customarily a cutoff on the number of individuals who can visit at one time.

6. Gather Holiday Cards

Displaying holiday cards at home from companions, neighbors, and family is a typical custom. Why not carry that equivalent custom to your loved one who is in a personal care facility? Gather holiday cards that are addressed to the personal care facility resident from loved ones, and afterward, surprise your old loved one by placing them in their room. The person will be stunned and appreciative to see the number of individuals who are thinking of them during the holiday season.

7. Do the Shopping for Them

Most individuals in a personal care facility can not leave the building, mainly alone. In any case, this does not imply that grandmother or grandpa would rather not buy presents for the family. Help your older loved one out and inquire whether you can buy and wrap presents for their benefit. When the family visits the personal care facility, have the gifts prepared to introduce. This will cause your older loved one to feel ready to take an interest in the special times of year regardless of being in a personal care facility.

Visiting Personal Care Facility Residents 

Before planning for special times of year in a personal care facility or seeking after any of the personal care facility’s occasion plans above, ensure you check with the facility staff. Some personal care facilities have specific rules regarding festivities, particularly having Christmas trees in rooms,  assuming many patients require serious clinical care.

For further information about celebrating the holidays in an assisted living facility, please contact Mary and Martha’s Personal Care at 

(706) 866-7454 or find them online at maryandmarthaspersonalcare.com.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Andy Williams recorded a great classic many years ago that began like this:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all.

There is no other holiday season that has the meaning as that of Christmas. As Christians, we use this time to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – the fact that God Himself would take off the cloak of divinity to cloak Himself with that of humanity, only to later die for the sins of all mankind.

As you enter this joyful sacred time of the year remember the reason for the season, but also use it as a time for reflection and prayer for those who may be less fortunate than yourself.

Not Everyone Enjoys Christmas

While Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, for many it is a time of sadness and despair. According to statistics, more people experience depression/despondency during this great holiday season, than at any other time of the year. The time that we use to celebrate the greatest birth ever on this planet, is ironically the time for more suicide attempts.

Maybe the reason for the depression is because some are alone and have no family with which to share the joyful time. I know this is true in many nursing homes across our nation. Our elderly are herded into them by kids who do not want or cannot afford the responsibility of caring for an aging parent. Unfortunately, many of these nursing home residents seldom, if ever, get a visit from those for whom they have given their lives – their families.

Some may suffer depression because their finances did not afford them the opportunity to give everyone the gift they really desired to give – causing not only a feeling of depression, but also inadequacy. If this is the reason, it really testifies and condemns that in which we have evolved this great time of year –commercialism, rather than spiritual awakening and renewal. 

Jesus’ birthday is the only birthday in the world where gifts are given to everyone else but the person whose birthday it really is.

What You Can Do to Ensure the Season Remains Joyful for All

When I have shared my thoughts about this with others, they usually say something like: “But Jesus is not here for us to give Him a gift.” My response is, “Au Contraire” (French for “On the Contrary).

Jesus may not physically walk this earth today, but His Body – His church does. Many church people spend God’s tithe and offering on “Black Friday” shopping sprees, rather than give it to the church. Why not, in addition to your tithes, this year give a sizeable offering to God’s house for use in the ministry of our Lord. Your gift to Him should exceed the amount you spent on others – after all, no one has ever given you what He has-eternal life.

Another gesture would be to find someone less fortunate than you and do something special for them. Do not consider what they can do in return for you. If your gift giving is predicated on what others are going to give you, you haven’t given anything – all you have done is swapped, or traded. It is never a gift when something in return is expected (this does not mean that something cannot be given to you – it only means you do not expect or demand it).

A real gift is giving to someone who cannot give back.

In Closing

Chitwood and Chitwood wants to take this moment to thank every church, ministry, and minister for the opportunity to take the burdensome load of bookkeeping and IRS reporting from you.

We do not take our role lightly. For us it is “A Ministry – Not A Job!”

On behalf of myself and all of our staff, let me say to each of you, Merry Christmas. We pray that it will be one of great joy for you and your families. 

Can I File for Worker’s Compensation if I Contract COVID-19?

If you have contracted COVID-19 at work, you might be contemplating whether you meet all requirements for workers’ compensation benefits. 

The short answer is that it will likely be challenging to get these advantages in many states unless you are a medical services supplier or first responder who has treated a contaminated individual. The more extended answer is that it will rely upon your type of work, the conditions for your situation, and the laws in your state. In Tennessee, legislation to make COVID-19 an illness generally covered by COVID-19 failed.  Another bill entitled SB8007b did pass, designating worker’s compensation in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis for essential workers and any infected worker if nine or more other workers at the exact location have also become infected.  

Worker’s Compensation Rules for Infectious Diseases Like COVID-19 

For the most part, worker’s compensation covers illnesses that employees contract on account of their work. While typical seasonal illnesses like the flu are not viewed as work-related ailments, COVID-19 will be dealt with distinctively, depending on the state and circumstances.   

Explicit qualification necessities for work-related infections shift from one state to another, yet, in all cases, you need to exhibit that: 

  1. Your occupation caused your disease or put you at a higher risk of infection than the overall population
  1. You contracted the ailment because of a particular behavior taking care of your business

At the point when an infection becomes far-reaching locally, on account of the COVID pandemic, it tends to be especially hard to meet both of those prerequisites. 

Missouri law states that it “doesn’t repay people since they are harmed or harmed while working. Work must be the overarching reason for why the individual contracted COVID-19.” Another expert states that “by far most of the COVID-19 cases will be ineffective because the illness is an overall danger to everybody around the world, independent of the business. People are presented to it both at work and wherever else.” 

In a couple of states, you could qualify for worker’s compensation regardless of whether your work is significantly dangerous, as long as you have solid clinical proof of work environment openness. Furthermore, as discussed below, a few states have made it simpler for specific workers to meet all requirements for benefits when they get COVID-19 during the pandemic. 

Conversely, different states like South Carolina preclude worker’s compensation inclusion when representatives contract an infectious illness from colleagues or when they would have been similarly exposed outside of work (S.C. Code § 42-11-10 (2020). 

At the point when Your Job Puts You at High Risk of Coronavirus Exposure 

First responders and medical services workers face a specific risk of being exposed to COVID-19, particularly amidst a pandemic. However, workers in different occupations—like correctional officers, transport drivers, and staple specialists—may likewise have the option to show that the idea of their work puts them at a higher risk for danger than the general population. 

A few states have decided to grant worker’s compensation benefits to individuals in other fields of employment unless the business specifically demonstrated they did not catch COVID-19 at work. 

For instance: 

A New Jersey law assumes that COVID-19 is a business-related sickness unless a worker got the illness when working away from home during the general COVID crisis. To survive (or “disprove”) the assumption, the business should show that, almost certainly, the worker was not exposed to COVID at work. The law covers an expansive scope of workers, including anybody filling fundamental roles in the general population. 

California, Minnesota, and Michigan give comparable assumptions to first responders and specific medical care workers. California likewise stretches out the premise to any representatives who get COVID-19 when their work environment has an episode of the sickness. 

In Illinois, an impermanent measure applies a comparative assumption to some medical care workers and first responders, just as essential workers who connect with the overall population or possibly 15 co-workers. Notwithstanding, the Illinois law permits managers to refute the assumption by showing that they had completely carried out legitimate wellbeing and security measures. 

Will Federal Employees Get Workers’ Comp Benefits for COVID-19? 

The Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation (DFEC), part of the U.S. Division of Labor, created a new methodology for dealing with worker’s comp claims by government representatives who say they contracted COVID-19 while playing out their work obligations. Considering that it is so hard to know precisely when or how anybody gets this illness, DFEC clarified that it would consider worker’s compensation for specific government workers. Those at higher risk of disease like law enforcement, medical specialists on call, and others whose positions require continuous face-to-face connections with the general population. These exceptional cases will have their COVID worker’s compensation claims treated in a non-traditional way. 

Assuming you document a case for COVID-19 as a high-risk government representative, DFEC will acknowledge that your occupation made you more susceptible to COVID. Even if your work is not viewed as a danger, you can also document your case. However, you will need to give proof regarding your exposure to the infection, alongside clinical evidence that business-related exercises straightforwardly caused or exacerbated your contraction of the illness. 

Notwithstanding the government’s worker’s compensation framework, another administrative program, The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, gives advantages to specific bureaucratic specialists who are forever and completely debilitated as an immediate aftereffect of a physical issue that occurred in the line of obligation. These “public wellbeing officials” incorporate firemen and cops who work for a public organization, just as individuals from approved rescue vehicle teams give crisis clinical benefits. 

A government law sanctioned in August 2020, the “Protecting America’s First Responders Act,” makes it simpler for these specialists to get disability benefits when they contract COVID-19—and for their survivors to obtain death benefits, if the workers pass on, due to the sickness. The law assumes that COVID-19 was a physical issue supported in the line of duty, in case the representative was determined to have the infection during the 45-day time frame, after the specialist’s last day of work during 2020 and 2021 (P.L. 116-157 (S. 3607); 34 U.S.C. § 10281, 10284 (2020)). 

Does Workers’ Comp Cover COVID Exposure Due to Workplace Conditions? 

Imagine a scenario where you accept that you have been exposed to COVID-19, due to risky conditions at the workplace, rather than the idea of your occupation. For example, you may work at a transportation office or a meat handling plant that has not provided facial coverings or established social separating measures for representatives. Would you be able to get laborers’ comp benefits, assuming that you contracted COVID-19, after being exposed to a tainted associate? 

Although laws have not resolved this inquiry straightforwardly, existing rules and court conclusions demonstrate that states might adopt shifting strategies. Under New Jersey law, laborers’ comp might cover work-related sicknesses that are substantially brought about by conditions specific to their work environment, notwithstanding their occupation exchange. What’s more, New Jersey courts have held that the debilitated representatives just need to show a plausible connection between the work environment conditions and the word-related sickness. (N.J. Details. § 34:15-31 (2020); Magaw v. Middletown Bd. of Educ., 731 A.2d 1196 (N.J. Sup. Ct. Application. 1999).) 

In any case, courts in different states have held that representatives should show a connection between the unmistakable idea of their positions rather than conditions at a specific work environment (see, for instance, Demers v. St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center, 271 A.D.2d 857 (N.Y. Application. Div. 2000). 

Investigating Your Options and Getting Help 

Business owners and their insurance agencies will likely fight energetically against worker’s compensation claims for COVID-19—basically, for anybody other than representatives in especially high-risk occupations with evident proof that they have been exposed to a contaminated individual at work. 

If you file a worker’s compensation case and are denied right away, it is probably a good idea to talk with an attorney.  As the pandemic continues, worker’s compensation in this area constitutes rapidly changing case law.  For further information, please call Logan-Thompson, P.C. at  423-476-2251 or check out their website at https://www.loganthompsonlaw.com.

Churches, Pastors, and Love Offerings

Pastors and ministers of religious institutions have come under increased scrutiny
relating to cash practices, and the proper accounting as well as reporting required for each.

There was a Pastor of a good Church in the mid-Atlantic region. The Church paid its
obligations promptly each month. To look at it from the outside looking in, everything
seemed fine. The un-manifested problem however was the Pastor. He felt as if the Church
failed to properly support him (though it arguably did, based on the size and income of the

He decided the best way to supplement his income encompassed receiving “Love
Offerings” each week that would be earmarked as such. This Pastor began to remove the
cash from the offerings. If any individual wrote a check for that “Love Offering” the
Pastor would simply remove that amount of cash from the collection, thereby leaving the
check to be deposited to the Church’s account.

One of the Elders approached the Pastor in love and expressed his concern for the actions
of the man of God. The Pastor defensively replied, “I bring it in. I should be able to take
it out.” Whether or not someone blew the whistle, or it was the result of other issues, the
IRS began their audit.

When the IRS showed up and indicted him on five counts, one of which included illegal love
offerings, the Judge and jury would not accept the Pastor’s arguments. The Pastor
discovered himself in a “prison ministry” of which he had no desire or anointing to fulfill.
He went to prison!

Legal versus Illegal

Every Pastor I know is elated when they receive the proverbial “Pentecostal Handshake,” i.e. money placed into their hands. Often these warriors of the Gospel received different types of cash as part of their operations and activities. These cash payments could consist of contributions, “love gifts,” honorariums, cash donations or donations of items or property. It is vital for ministers to understand the terms and what such payment may represent under IRS regulations.

For something to be a true “gift” and considered a nontaxable event, it must meet several
criteria that are outlined under the original Duberstein case. That with which God
desires to bless you, may curse you if not transacted properly. What you do not know can
hurt you!

Not all “Love Offerings” are taxable, but many of them are. It is when the Pastor,
minister, or Church does not know the difference that it creates conflict that may lead to
penalties or possible imprisonment. Just because a “Love Offering” is made as a
charitable contribution to a church or tax-exempt religious ministries does not constitute
it as a tax-free gift to ministers or Pastors.

When “Love Offerings” are formulated properly they can be tax-exempt. Herein lies the
problem – most Churches, Pastors, and ministers do not know the difference between
demarcation lines of legal or non-legal.

What Does God Say?

God wants to bless His people, especially those serving in front-line ministry. 1 Timothy
5:17-18 declares, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor,
especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, ‘Thou shall
not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. And, the laborer is worthy of his reward.’”
Since God desires for ministers and Pastors to be financially blessed, to whom does the
responsibility lies to see that they are blessed? Galatians 6:6 answers this question. “Let
him that is taught in the word communicate [become a partner] unto him that teaches
in all good things.” It is the responsibility of anyone, taught by the man and woman of
God, to bless those in ministry.
However, there is a command that is from the mouth of our Lord that we must heed. Jesus
declared in Matthew 22:21b that we are to “. . . Render [give] unto Caesar [the
government] those things which are Caesar’s [the government].”
God desires that ministers and Pastors be financially blessed by others, but we must do it
the right way (Rom. 13:1-2; Heb. 13:7).

The Last Word

As the ultimate organization in our field, Chitwood & Chitwood eighty one years of experience
has placed us at the highest echelon in protecting Churches, Pastors, and ministers.
We are number ONE in our field. Anyone who has begun a new Church or is considering forming a new Church-solve your compliance issues at the outset by starting Church right. It is easier to end right if you start right.

This is why every Pastor, Pastor’s Spouse, and Church Leader should attend the next
Church Management Conference where you can gain access to the valuable knowledge
as to which “Love Offerings” are legal and which are not. We will show you the proper
methods for establishing “Love Offerings” inside and outside of the Church setting.
Legal blessings are always better than those that are not! As the best in America, we
have only your best interest at heart. To register for the next conference please call 800-
344-0076 or visit us online at www.cmtc.org.

Every moment you delay places you in jeopardy of penalties and maybe criminality. Go
to www.cmtc.org and register for a Clergy Tax and Law Conference near you.