Workers Compensation Newsletters
The issue of "dependency," with respect to the receipt of workers compensation death benefits, is generally determined either as of the date of the worker's death or the date of the accident that caused his death. Those individuals who are, therefore, "dependents" on the requisite date will be eligible to receive death benefits in an amount commensurate with the measure of dependency on the worker, i.e. total or partial dependency.
Whether employment is "hazardous" is a distinction in workers compensation that has lost much of its relevance in most states. Those states that retain the distinction are known to identify certain occupations or businesses that are statutorily considered to be "hazardous" or to define all employment as "hazardous" with specified exceptions. In these jurisdictions, workers compensation is mandated for those occupations considered "hazardous."
When an employee is injured outside the course of his employment, he is ineligible to receive workers compensation benefits. When an employee becomes voluntarily intoxicated such that he cannot function or perform the tasks of his job, courts will consider him to have departed from the course of employment. Therefore, compensation for an injury incurred while the employee is so inebriated as to be incapable of performing his work will likely be denied.
The central question of whether a given state can apply its workers compensation statute focuses on various factors including the place that the employment contract was entered into, the place of the employee's injury and the employee's usual place of employment. For example, an employee who entered into an employment contract with a construction company in California and who was subsequently injured on a construction site in Nevada may be able to seek workers compensation benefits in both California and Nevada. However, double recoveries are generally not permitted.
The Social Security Administration's work incentives program was instituted to help disabled individuals take advantage of employment opportunities and thereby gain a measure of independence. Special rules were designed to reduce the risk that a disabled or blind Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiary who chose to work would lose their SSI or Medicaid benefits.