Thursday, March 27, 2008

Improving Benefits for Injured Workers in Connecticut

The Hartford Courant does a good job of explaining why workers’ compensation reforms that would increase and extend payments are necessary.

Present law is arbitrary and unfair. It places a restrictive cap on wage-loss awards, regardless of the severity of the injuries or long-range economic impact upon workers and their families. Current law also unduly prevents scarring awards for most work injuries unless they occur to the head, face or neck.

To read the entire opinion piece, written by the former president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, click here.

Tax rebates for Social Security Disability Recipients

As part of an economic stimulus package, American taxpayers are set to get tax rebate checks this year.

People who receive Social Security Disability are also eligible for rebates, if they meet certain requirements.

According to the IRS:

To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of income and file a 2007 federal tax return. IRS will take care of the rest.

But it’s a little more complicated than that for people who aren’t working and collecting a paycheck.

To qualify, people must have at least $3,000 in any combination of qualifying income from retirement, disability or survivors’ benefits from the Social Security Administration; disability compensation, disability pension or survivors’ benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs; Tier 1 benefits from Railroad Retirement, certain combat pay and earned income from wages, salaries, tips or net earnings from self-employment that are includible in taxable income.

Individual taxpayers will receive up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples), and parents will receive an additional $300 for each eligible child younger than 17.

Retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers who usually are exempt from filing a tax return must do so this year in order to receive a stimulus payment.

For more details on the tax rebates, visit the IRS online.