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Heidi Groff Named Lawyer of the Year 2018

Best Lawyers Award Badge

We are proud to announce that Best Lawyers has selected Heidi Groff as the 2018 Lawyer of the Year for Workers’ Compensation Law (Claimants) in the Montpelier area.

A survey that evaluates the quality of each lawyer’s work awarded Heidi the highest overall ratings for all lawyers in her area of law and geographic region. Only one attorney is recognized as the “Lawyer of the Year” for each specialty and location. Best Lawyers is a national publication that lists high-ranking lawyers and law firms. Recognized lawyers evaluate other Vermont lawyers through a confidential survey process.

Volunteering at the Vermont Foodbank

The BFS team enjoyed volunteering at the Vermont Foodbank in Barre, Vermont last month. Working from 9:00 until noon, we packed 525 boxes of non-perishable food for the Community Supplemental Food Program. This is a USDA nutrition program which offers free monthly nutrition information and healthy foods to income-eligible senior citizens. This program is looking for more Vermonters who need additional food. If you or someone you know needs food assistance, contact the Foodbank at 1-800-585-2265.

Our 525 boxes translates into 17,325 pounds of food or 14,437 meals for Vermonters facing hunger. This means that 525 older Vermont adults will receive good food this month. A box contains canned vegetables, canned fruit, cereals, milk, rice, beans, juice, and a nutritious beef stew.

Do I Have to Pay Tax on my Benefit Payments or Personal Injury Settlement?

At tax time, clients often ask us if they will owe tax on their weekly benefit payments or personal injury settlement.

woman doing taxesThe short answer is no, you generally do not have to pay tax on Vermont workers’ compensation benefit payments or personal injury settlements. That’s right, in most cases these are not taxed. Great news! BUT…Social Security Disability benefits are taxed, and the amount of tax you have to pay can change depending on certain factors. Read on for more detailed information that could help you with your tax return.

In Awareness Week, Kids’ Chance Recruits Scholarship Applicants

L to R: Governor Phil Scott with Kids’ Chance scholarship recipients, Andrea Tester and Ashlyn Evans.

What happens when a child loses a parent to a work-related fatality? How do families cope with a dramatic decrease in income because a parent cannot return to work due to an injury? In many cases, paying for higher education seems impossible. Kids’ Chance of Vermont is committed to providing scholarships to help children of injured or deceased workers to pay for their education at a time when their families cannot.

The Pain Scale: Think Twice About Saying 10

“On a pain scale of 0-10, how bad is your pain?” This is a familiar question that is usually asked whenever you see a medical provider for an injury or illness. It’s important to answer accurately because it can affect how medical providers treat you and your credibility in your workers’ compensation or disability claim.

Rating pain on a 0-10 pain scale can be difficult because pain is a subjective experience: one person’s 7 can be another person’s 2. Pain can also change over time or when you engage in a different activity.

Bike Smart–Be Seen! Free Bicycle Lights Giveaway for Vermont Kids

Bicycle lights giveaway

It’s biking weather again and more kids are biking on our streets and around our neighborhoods. Using bicycle lights is an important way to help keep kids safe! On May 12 and 13, lawyers from the Vermont Association for Justice will be giving away bicycle headlights and tail lights to hundreds of Vermont kids.  

The Vermont Association for Justice is a non-profit association of Vermont trial lawyers, dedicated to promoting public safety and protecting the legal rights of Vermonters. Members of the Association will be giving away and installing bicycle lights at the following local youth centers in Addison, Chittenden, Washington, and Windham Counties.

Attorney Ron Fox helped in the planning of this event and BFS is proud to support the Vermont Association for Justice.

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Edward Shattuck, St. Johnsbury, VT

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