In the aftermath of changes made to state workers’ compensation laws,
the Labor Department is asking for a deeper look into federal oversight
and minimum benefits. Nationwide, states have implemented new workers’
compensation laws that have allegedly limited benefits, reduced the chances
of successfully applying for benefits, and discourages injured workers
from applying for the very benefits they are entitled to.
According to NPR, a report released by the Labor Department states that “working
people are at great risk of falling into poverty.”
The Labor Department is also asking that the 1972 Nixon administration
commission be reestablished, which recommends minimum benefits and urges
Congress to take action in the event that states fail to comply to basic
workers’ compensation laws. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says that,
without these minimum standards, the system will be putting injured employees
at risk of sinking below the poverty line.
“More Federal Oversight is Necessary”
With proper federal minimum benefits in place, employees who have been
injured on the job are guaranteed to not receive lesser benefits than
what is needed solely because they are residing in a state where lawmakers
dramatically slashed workers’ compensation costs for employers.
“Clearly, more federal oversight is necessary to assure that this
system works for those most in need of assistance,” said Deborah
Berkowitz, a senior fellow at the National Employment Law Project.
At its core, the report offers the foundation for a federal intervention
to take place by outlining details pertaining to the government’s
extensive history of encouraging national benefit standards, which spans
back to 1939. In light of this new information, however, individuals in
the workers’ comp industry expect that any chance of controlling
a federal roll will be met with a fair amount of pushback.
Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys have secured millions of dollars in successful settlements.
We have more than 30 years of combined experience and can offer you the
compassion you deserve and the advocacy you need.
Contact Cummings & Middlebrooks, LLP at (404) 990-4432 to
schedule a free consultation.