State House Approves Workers’ Compensation Study Bill
Connecticut’s House of Representatives approved legislation May 5 implementing a study of several aspects of the state’s workers’ compensation system.
As originally drafted, HB 6797 had costly implications for Connecticut employers.
The bill increased additional partial permanent disability payments by 500% and increased the maximum benefits period from 520 weeks to 780 weeks.
However, through CBIA’s advocacy efforts, the bill was amended to study the effects of increasing these benefits as well as the delay of medical records in workers’ compensation cases.
HB 6796 is now on the Senate floor awaiting further action.
State lawmakers are considering two other workers’ compensation bills.
SB 913 expands workers’ compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress injuries to all employees in Connecticut.
CBIA and other industry groups opposed this bill given the unknown impact on workers’ compensation insurance rates.
The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis reinforced those concerns in its analysis of SB 913, noting “the bill will result in a potential cost” to the state and municipalities.
The state Senate passed the bill May 11 and it is now waiting action in the House.
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, is waiting action by the House.
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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