Costly Workers’ Compensation Bill Amended
The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee has amended a workers’ compensation bill with potentially costly implications for Connecticut employers.
As originally drafted, HB 6797 increased additional partial permanent disability payments by 500% and increased the maximum benefits period from 520 weeks to 780 weeks.
CBIA’s Pete Myers told the committee “these changes will undoubtedly drive up workers’ compensation costs for businesses and municipalities.”
Following the advocacy efforts of CBIA and other trade associations, the committee amended the bill, which now requires an issues study.
The Labor and Public Employees Committee approved legislation that expands workers’ compensation benefits to cover post-traumatic stress injuries for all employees in Connecticut.
CBIA opposed SB 913, given its broad scope and the high cost of claims-related litigation.
Myers told the committee that “Connecticut businesses would see an increased risk in their insurance policies as well as an increase in premiums” if the legislation was enacted.
The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis released a report noting the bill would increase costs for the state and municipalities “to the extent qualified personnel apply for workers’ compensation benefits.”
The Labor Committee also approved HB 6550, which requires an employer, or an insurer acting on behalf of the employer, to provide an employee with a certified letter any time that prescription benefits are cut.
The bill also requires an administrative law judge to wait 15 days, allowing for an extended period of time for an employee to request a hearing, and then sign off on a Form 36 before benefits are cut.
Additionally, the bill states that these cases will receive priority for receiving a hearing.
While CBIA supports the premise of this bill, there are concerns it will create more unnecessary hearings, slowing down a well-functioning workers’ compensation system.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Pete Myers (860.244.1921).
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