The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case involving the state’s long-ailing Second Injury Fund. The case centers on the children of a deceased worker and whether they should receive money from the fund for the rest of their lives.
David Spradling was injured on the job in 1998 and died from unrelated circumstances in 2005. He had filed a Second Injury Fund claim, which his three children pursued after his death, and in 2011 were awarded disability payments from the Fund for life.
Missouri businesses could face significantly higher costs for workers' compensation insurance next year.
The National Council on Compensation Insurance projects Missouri insurers will see an 11.6 percent increase in their claim costs in 2014.
This increase is driven partly by a new Missouri law that seeks to shore up the Second Injury Fund, which is for disabled workers who suffer additional on-the-job injuries. The law shifts some types of claims out of that fund and into traditional workers' compensation insurance.
Legislation that would revive Missouri's ailing Second Injury Fund and seek to reduce the number of occupational disease lawsuits was passed Thursday by the Missouri House. It had already passed the Missouri Senate during pre-dawn hours on Wednesday.
Early this morning, the Missouri Senate passed legislation that would fix the state's ailing Second Injury Fund.
The fund is designed to help disabled workers who suffer a second work-related injury. It began running out of money after lawmakers eight years ago capped the surcharge businesses have to pay into it. Senate Bill 1, sponsored by State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville), would temporarily increase the surcharge.
Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:16 am
The Missouri Senate on Tuesday night gave first-round approval to a workers’ compensation bill that includes a proposed fix for the state’s ailing Second Injury Fund.
Senate Bill 1 would replenish the fund by temporarily doubling the fees business may be charged, while restricting the types of injuries that would be covered. The sponsor, State Senator Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville), calls it an ideal compromise.
Missouri senators are preparing to debate legislation to revive an insolvent fund for disabled workers. The state's Second Injury Fund has a deficit of about $25 million that is expected to keep growing.
The fund provides compensation to people with previously existing disabilities who then suffer an additional work-related injury or illness. It's financed by a surcharge on workers' compensation insurance premiums. But the revenues haven't kept up with expenses.
A report from the Missouri auditor confirms that a state fund for disabled workers is insolvent.
State Auditor Tom Schweich said Friday that Missouri's Second Injury Fund had barely $3 million as of the end of 2012 but had unpaid obligations of $28 million.
The fund covers workers' compensation claims for employees who have previous injuries or disabilities and then suffer a new job-related injury. Auditors and financial analysts have warned for several years that the fund was on a path toward insolvency. But lawmakers have done nothing to address it.
Legislation has been filed in both the Missouri House and Senate to address the state’s Second Injury Fund, which provides payments to workers with prior disabilities who are injured on the job. But the fund has been losing money for years.