Full text: The Department of Labor and Industry

Decisions, on compensation cases, published by the Department of 
Labor and Industry. 
Surveys made to determine whether commutations granted have 
proved beneficial, show, in most cases, that the judgment of the Board 
that the commutation would be to the best interest of the employe or 
dependents, has been justified. The Board has had excellent cooper- 
ation from employers and representatives of insuring companies, both 
in furnishing the results of their investigations and in safeguarding 
the use of the funds when commuted. While the hearings of the Board 
on commutation petitions are formal, they are not in reality contests 
between petitioners and respondents but rather the meeting of the em- 
ployer, the employe and the Board in a combined effort to obtain all the 
information possible which might have a bearing on the application. 
The Board also considers whether a commutation might work a 
hardship on the employer. In this connection, the health of the em- 
ploye has some bearing and in ease of a widow, the probability of 
remarriage. The Board may, under a ruling of the Supreme Court, 
require that a widow give bond to indemnify the employer against loss 
in the event of her remarriage during the period covered by any com- 
mutation granted to her 
Until the workmen’s compensation act was amended in 1919, eom- 
pensation for children, after the widow’s portion was satisfied, could be 
paid only to a guardian appointed by the orphans’ court, and in some 
cases, the result was that such eompensation was held for the dependent 
child, under jurisdiction of such guardian, until the child reached the 
age of twenty-one years. By the amendment of 1919, the Workmen’s 
Compensation Board, upon petition, may authorize the mother or any 
other fit person, having the custody of the child, to collect the compen- 
sation payments and expend them in behalf of the child without the 
necessity of appointment of a guardian by the orphans’ court. Such 
petitions are investigated by representatives of the Department who 
report on home conditions for determination by the Board of its action 
on the petition filed. 
The workmen’s compensation act provides that no claim or agree- 
ment for legal services on a compensation case is valid or binding unless 
it has first been approved by the Board. The rules of the Board require 
that such matters come before it by petition in which is set forth an 
itemized statement of the attorney’s services. 
Other petitions which do not come within the foregoing classifications 
filed with the Board, are listed as miscellaneous petitions such as peti- 
tions for rehearing, petitions for extension of time to appeal from the 
decision of a referee. 
Physicians and associate counsel definitely attached to the Depart- 
ment of Labor and Industry assist the Board and referces as requested 
in the adjudication of cases. Services of these physicians may be re- 
quested by a referee, either before or after the proceedings are insti- 
tuted, primarily for the purpose of determining from an impartial 
standpoint so far as possible. the exact physical condition of the compen- 
sation elaimant

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