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May 2015 Archives

What rights do grandparents have?

When you think about child visitation rights, you normally think of married couples and divorcing parents. While that was primarily the case, today, that is not necessarily true. As more grandparents have become involved in the raising of their grandchildren, they are increasingly becoming a bigger part of visitation and custody disputes.

Simple truths about a Pennsylvania divorce

Despite a veritable avalanche of information about divorce across the Internet, the process remains confusing and chaotic for those who are contemplating such an action. In stressful times like a divorce's beginning, too much information can have an undesired effect -- it can worsen the confusion divorcing parties already feel.

Pennsylvania workers' comp disputes don't have to be adversarial

Sometimes, employers and workers' compensation insurers don't agree with an employee's claim. They may believe an injury didn't actually take place at work, or that an illness wasn't caused by a workplace hazard. They may try to blame the sick or injured employee. They may even deny the worker was actually an employee and claim he or she is a contractor. Or, they may simply dispute the amount of benefits the worker deserves.

Parents who cannot pay child support need help, states NCSL

As a matter of policy, the National Conference of State Legislatures notes that it is in a child's best interest to stay connected with both parents, even when these parents are divorced or separated. When parents are unable to make their child support payments, it can cause a rift in their relationships with their children. Because of this, the organization recommends the implementation of assistance programs to help low-income parents rectify their delinquent child support payments.

Can my workers' comp benefits be cut if I get SSDI benefits, too?

Sometimes, a workplace injury or illness is so serious that it causes a permanent disability. If it meets the Social Security Administration's definition of disability, the injured person may well qualify for benefits through Social Security disability, usually through Social Security Disability Insurance. Yet injuries and illnesses caused by workplace activities are covered by the Pennsylvania workers' compensation system, too.

Can I get workers' compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder?

Generally, in Pennsylvania, the Workers' Compensation Act does not allow for mental injuries stemming from the workplace. In other words, the legislature has been very hesitant to allow injured workers in Pennsylvania to claim a psychological injury related to work unless very specific factors are met. This makes sense that because it appears that the legislature did not want the common employee to be able to bring a claim for mental stress related to a "mean boss", or a very stressful job. If that were the case, the courts would be flooded with thousands of disgruntled employees who simply hate either their job or their immediate supervisor. Thus, the law requires a heightened standard for mental injuries stemming from mental stimuli at work. In other words, we are talking about injuries that are psychological in nature, and caused by some type of psychological stimulus. That heightened standard, which must be proved by an employee claiming this type of so-called mental-mental injury, is an "abnormal working condition."

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