The Connecticut General Assembly considered several costly workers' compensation proposals during the 20121 legislative session.
The bills included the following sweeping changes to current state law:
- A presumption that an employee who contracts COVID-19 during the period of the public health and civil preparedness emergency will be presumed to have contracted it in the workplace, regardless of where the employee contracted COVID-19
- A 400% increase in benefits and expansion of the maximum number of weeks of discretionary workers compensation benefits for partial permanent disabilities that may be awarded
- A private right of action if employer deliberately misinforms/dissuades employee of right to avail themselves to workers' compensation benefits
- An increase in the workers' compensation death benefit from $4,000 to $20,000
- Expansion of post traumatic stress injury benefits
- Extension of workers' compensation benefits during COVD-19 for mental and emotional impairment for for police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correction officers, dispatchers, healthcare workers
- Add additional notice of controversy
Essential Workers' Fund
In the place of these proposals, it appears the legislature intends to create a Connecticut Essential Workers COVID-19 Assistance Fund administered by the state-run Second Injury Fund.
Funding would come from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds and the death benefit would be increased to $12,000.
Advocates intend to establish the fund through the state budget implementer bill during the upcoming special legislative session.
Finally, HB 6397, which required employers that self insure workers compensation to submit such claims to the all-payer claims database, failed to advance.
The collection, retention and submission of this date to the state would be costly and overly burdensome to employers.
For more information, contact CBIA's John Blair (860.244.1921).