Workers Compensation Newsletters
When an injured employee initiates a third-party action based on the injury he received in the course of his employment, most states require the employer or its workers' compensation insurance carrier to pay part of the attorneys' fees incurred in bringing the action. They are to pay the fees out of their share of the recovery. Though the majority calls for the employee and employer to share the burden of attorneys' fees, there is still variation among the states as to who is obligated to pay the fees and in what amount.
Several states exempt farm labor from operation of the state's workers' compensation statute. Though a farm employer may be exempt from compulsory workers' compensation participation, he is not precluded from voluntarily electing to do so. Once he does, the farmer is just like any other employer who can claim tort action protection pursuant to the workers' compensation exclusivity provision.
Though it would seem to be antagonistic to the principle that an injury must arise out of the employment to be compensable, some injuries that occur post-employment are still compensable. Depending on the situation, some activities occurring post-employment are considered by the courts to be normal work activities. For example, injuries incurred while picking up a paycheck, exiting the work premises, and collecting belongings from the employer's premises have all been held to be compensable provided that such activities are undertaken within a reasonable time after the employment relationship has ended.
An employee is not limited to receiving workers' compensation benefits for an injury incurred only while he was performing his specified job duties. In most jurisdictions, he is still eligible for benefits if the injury occurred during a recreational or social activity as long as the activity took place on the employer's premises and during an established lunch or recreation break. The injury may also be considered as within the course of employment if participation in the activity was required by the employer or if the employer would directly benefit from the employee's participation.
Children who are blind or disabled are eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a "child" to be an unmarried individual who is under age 18 or, if under age 22, is a student who regularly attends school. A "child" cannot be the head of a household. There is no minimum age requirement; a child may be eligible for benefits from birth.