SB 430
Modifies the law relating to Workers' Compensation
LR Number:
Last Action:
3/29/2011 - Voted Do Pass S Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2011

Current Bill Summary

SB 430 - The act suspends workers' compensation benefits to incarcerated individuals and requires that employees must be entitled to legally work in the United States to receive benefits.

The act allows the second injury fund to advance or reimburse employees for expenses when an employee is required to submit to medical treatment outside the area of the employee's principal place of employment.

Employees shall submit to vocational testing and a vocational rehabilitation assessment scheduled by the second injury fund if the employer has not obtained a vocational rehabilitation assessment. Similarly, employees shall submit to reasonable medical examinations at the request of the second injury fund.

Claims for permanent partial disability shall not be allowed against the second injury fund after the effective date of the act. Claims shall only be allowed going forward for instances when:

• there exists a medically documented preexisting permanent disability caused by military duty or a preexisting permanent partial disability,

• the preexisting disability equals a minimum of 50 weeks of compensation according to the medical standards that are used in determining compensation, and

• a subsequent injury occurs and when combined with the elements of the prior injury results in permanent total disability.

Employers at the time of the last injury are only liable for the disability resulting from the subsequent injury and the second injury fund shall be liable for the remainder that would be due for the permanent total disability.

The act caps the amount awarded in compromise settlements to an amount not to exceed the total sum of 100 weeks of the employee's total average weekly wage as of the date of the injury unless authorization is given by the Workers' Compensation Council, in which case, the caps would not apply.

The act allows the Treasurer, with the advice and consent of the Attorney General and the authorization of the Workers' Compensation Council to enter into compromise settlements with dependents of claimants arising from the Schoemehl v. Treasurer decision.

Compensation shall not be payable from the second injury fund when employees elect to pursue workers' compensation outside of the state.

Life payments paid out of the second injury fund shall be suspended for employees who receive permanent total disability awards but by the use of glasses, prosthetic appliances, or physical rehabilitation are restored to regular work or its equivalent.

Life payments paid out of the second injury fund shall be suspended for all injured employees when the employee is able to obtain suitable gainful employment or be self-employed in view of the nature and severity of the injury. Life payments paid out of the second injury fund may be suspended for any injured employee when the employee becomes eligible to receive Social Security benefits attributable to the employee's injury. The combined sum of the amount of monthly payments from the second injury fund and monthly Social Security benefits shall not be less than the life payments otherwise payable out of the second injury fund.

Currently, a 2% tax is levied on insurance carriers when the balance of the workers' compensation fund is estimated to be on hand on December 31 is less than 110% of the previous year's expenses. This act requires that amount to actually be on hand on July 1 of the year of the determination which shall be made on October 31.

The act repeals a provision allowing loans to be made to the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company.

The act requires the department to use money contained in the second injury fund at the end of the previous fiscal instead of calendar year for calculating the annual surcharge.

Outstanding advances from the workers' compensation fund to the second injury fund shall not exceed 33 1/3% of the total amount of the annual surcharge and reimbursements for advances which shall be made within 5 years instead of within the year.

The act institutes a funding mechanism to bolster the second injury fund. The second injury fund surcharge shall be set at 2010 levels ($40,862,081) until all workers' compensation administration fund advances have been reimbursed. The workers' compensation administration fund tax and surcharge are set at 4% to provide advances to the second injury fund until moneys collected under the annual surcharge exceed the total amount of the second injury fund for two quarters. If the administration fund tax and surcharge and the annual surcharge do not generate revenue of at least $100,000,000 in 2012 and 2013, the rates shall be adjusted to collect revenue at that level.

The act creates the Missouri State Workers' Compensation Council to advise the division of workers' compensation and submit recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly relating to workers' compensation laws.