If you are injured at work due to defective equipment, you may be able to maintain a product liability action against the manufacturer of the equipment. The claim against the manufacturer would be separate from your claim for workers compensation against your employer. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, all employers have three obligations. 1.) Employers must furnish a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees. 2.) Employers are required to comply with the safety and health standards enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 3.) Employers with eleven or more employees are required to maintain a log and summary of all occupational injuries and illnesses. Although, workers compensation is the exclusive remedy against your employer, separate claims for faulty equipment may be appropriate under certain circumstances. Contact an attorney familiar with workers compensation law for more details.
Always tell your authorized doctor everything that's wrong with you. If you hurt your neck and arm, mention both areas of injury every time you see him. If you're having stress or trouble coping with your injury, or if you are depressed, tell the doctor. This may be covered by workers' compensation benefits. You do not have to accept the company doctor as the final word on matters. You have a right to disagree and to seek additional medical advice. If you suspect that your workers' compensation claim has been jeopardized due to medical malpractice, you should seek advice from an expert on workers' compensation law. Check with the Division of Workers' Compensation or your lawyer for more information.
Social Security disability insurance provides some income for people who are unable to work because of a physical or mental disability. Like other Social Security benefits, the amount of your monthly disability check is determined by your age and earnings record. Most individuals who qualify for disability receive about $625 per month. The average monthly disability payment for a worker with a spouse and a child is about $1,050. Workers with high total incomes may have to pay federal income taxes on their Social Security disability benefits. Contact the Internal Revenue Service for more information on taxes. There is no consideration given as to the minimum amount of money needed to survive. If you receive a small Social Security disability benefit, you may also be eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits.
There are a few exceptions to the rule that workers' compensation is your exclusive remedy for a work-related injury or illness. If your injury was caused by the negligence of a third party, someone other than your employer or a coworker, you are free to sue that person for damages. For example: someone runs a red light and hits the company truck you're driving while making deliveries for the floral shop. You're injured and you are eligible for workers' compensation. You can also sue the person who caused your injury. In addition, your employer can sue this negligent driver in order to recover the workers compensation benefits he's required to pay to you. Or your employer can join in your lawsuit and seek reimbursement of his benefit obligations out of your damage award. Most states require employees to notify their employers if they intend to sue a third party.
Employment laws vary in different jurisdictions. However, if you feel you were discriminated against due to an injury sustained on the job, you should consult an attorney who is experienced in workers compensation law. It is unlawful in every state for an employee to be fired, suspended or disciplined for filing a workers compensation claim. Federal laws also prohibit the termination of injured workers. Employers are protected under state law which prohibits an increase in the employer's insurance premiums. Suspension or termination does not eliminate the employer's obligation to provide you with workers compensation benefits you are already entitled to receive. If you believe you have been discriminated against for filing a claim, contact the Worker Compensation Commission in your state. For information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, contact the local office of The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Payments for permanent disability vary greatly according to the nature and extent of your injuries. If you are unable to work at all, and you're not expected to work again, then you will have a claim for permanent total disability. Long term permanent disability payments are not paid until the employee's condition is stable. If you are able to perform some type of work, but you're not expected to fully regain your ability to earn money, you will be filing for permanent partial disability.
In general, anyone who qualifies as a part-time or full-time employee, according to the Internal Revenue Service guidelines, is covered by workers' compensation insurance. There are a few exceptions, however. Harbor workers, seafarers, railroad employees and federal employees all must file lawsuits to get disputed compensation rather than use the workers' compensation system. If you are a civil service worker, there is a workers' compensation program established by federal statute which applies specifically to you. The federal system is similar to the state system. If you have questions about your compensation, you should contact the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs in Washington, D.C.
Social Security and Workers' Compensation are equal but separate programs. The Social Security disability insurance program does not recognize degrees of wage-earning capability as the workers' compensation program does. Under the rules of Social Security, an employee is either able to work, in which case he doesn't qualify for benefits, or he can't work and will be given help. A disability does not need to be work related in order for an employee to collect benefits from Social Security. If you are trying to collect workers' compensation benefits the illness or injury you have sustained must be work-related. Employees are covered their first day on the job by workers' compensation. Social Security benefits are only paid to workers and their families when the worker has enough credits to qualify.
Weekly compensation benefits are paid to surviving children of workers who have been killed in the course of employment or as a result of a work-related injury. If a worker has died due to an occupational disease, the benefits will also be paid. The amount paid is usually equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker's weekly salary. Some states put a limit on the amount of the award; while others limit the number of weeks or years the money will be available to survivors. Death benefits for surviving children usually end when the child reaches majority. If the child is a full-time student, however, the benefits may be continued until he or she graduates.
Weekly compensation benefits are paid to the surviving spouse of a worker who has been killed in the course of employment or as a result of a work-related injury. If the worker died after suffering an occupational illness, the spouse will receive death benefits. The amount of the compensation is usually equal to two-thirds of the deceased workers weekly salary. Some states limit the total amount of the death award; while other states limit the amount of time the spouse may receive compensation. These benefits usually come to an end if the spouse remarries. However, some states offer a lump sum payment to the former spouse upon remarriage. In addition, if an employee dies due to a workplace accident, his or her estate will receive burial expenses in an amount determined by state law.
Workers' compensation and Social Security Disability are equal programs, but their eligibility requirements and benefits vary a great deal. You are permitted to collect Social Security disability payments and, at the same time, private disability payments from an insurance policy or coverage from your employer. You may also receive workers' compensations benefits at the same time as Social Security disability benefits. However, while you are receiving these benefits, your Social Security payment may be reduced. The law states that the sum of all your disability payments cannot exceed eighty percent of your earnings averaged over a period of time shortly before you became disabled. If you're still receiving Social Security disability benefits when your workers' compensation benefits run out, you can once again start receiving the full amount of your Social Security benefits.
When you and your employer pay into the Social Security Program, you're buying long-term disability insurance coverage. Once you have paid into the program for a period specified by the Social Security program, you are eligible for benefits should you be unable to work. You are eligible for workers' compensation the first day you begin working a job. Disability programs are not intended to cover temporary, short-term or partial disability. The benefits were sanctioned by Congress with the assumption that working families have other support resources during short-term disabilities. For this reason, you can file for workers' compensation and Social Security disability payments at the same time. It usually takes longer to process a Social Security claim and your benefits may be reduced if you also receive workers compensation. Contact an attorney familiar with workers' compensation law for more information.
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