Federal Debate Over Workers' Compensation in North Carolina and the Rest of the US Heats Up

November 12, 2009, by Michael A. DeMayo

With unemployment rising across the nation, and with Congressional leaders growing ever more desperate for a solution to the healthcare mess, the political debate over workers’ compensation in North Carolina and elsewhere in the US has reached a fever pitch. Democrats have decried Republican attempts to chip into a homebuyers’ tax credit; Republicans have denounced Democratic initiatives as more “tax and spend” government meddling.

According to a recent AP article, around 7,000 Americans every day run out of workers’ comp and unemployment benefits. With North Carolina’s unemployment rate already into the double digits – 10.8% according to figures from 9/09 – lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are scrambling to deliver solutions. (The national US unemployment rate is just 0.2% shy of the 10% mark.)

What might proactive legislation mean for North Carolina workers’ compensation policy?

Analysts disagree. Some believe that increased federal involvement in extending benefits to the under or unemployed may cause problems for insurance companies and small businesses. Others counter that an infusion of federal capital could only aid the state’s teetering economy, by encouraging employers to take risks on new investments and by shoring up leaks in the North Carolina workers’ compensation benefits payment system. Insurance companies might also welcome the relief of the financial pressures on them.

Whether or not the White House’s proposed policies help or hinder the plight of unemployed workers won’t be known for some time. With so many different variables at play, it can be extraordinarily difficult to isolate the key factors ultimately driving the North Carolina economy.

On a more personal level, if you or someone you love has been struggling with NC workers’ comp benefits, it may behoove you to speak with a dedicated, experienced, and compassionate attorney about your problems before you lock into an agreement with your employer and/or the employer’s insurance company.

More Web Resources:

Jobless Benefits To Be Extended, Click on Detroit, Nov 5, 2009

Unemployment Extension Clears Senate, US News and World Report, Nov 4, 2009


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