Relates to permanent total disability.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to permanent total disability
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill will create a presumption of permanent total disability for claimants who are found eligible for federal social security disability benefits.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends § 15(1) of the workers' compensation law to allow claimants who are approved for social security disability benefits to be considered permanently totally disabled in the absence of conclusive proof to the contrary.
JUSTIFICATION: Workers who are injured or become ill on the job often apply for federal social security disability benefits after suffering such a condition. The federal eligibility standard for these benefits is that the claimant is "unable to engage in substantial gainful activity." This standard requires that an injured worker must be unable to perform any work activity on a full-time sustained basis and is essentially considered "totally disabled" by the social Security Administration. A claimant whose condition is severe enough to meet this disability standard should be eligible for permanent total disability benefits under the workers' compensation law.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.728 2009-10: S.2781 Referred to Labor 2008: A.10880 Referred to Labor
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 76 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. PERALTA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to permanent total disability THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 15 of the workers' compensation law, as amended by chapter 675 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows: 1. Permanent total disability. In case of total disability adjudged to be permanent sixty-six and two-thirds per centum of the average weekly wages shall be paid to the employee during the continuance of such total disability. Loss of both hands, or both arms, or both feet, or both legs, or both eyes, or of any two thereof, OR APPROVAL FOR FEDERAL SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS, shall, in the absence of conclusive proof to the contrary, constitute permanent total disability. In all other cases permanent total disability shall be determined in accordance with the facts. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an injured employee disabled due to the loss or total loss of use of both eyes, or both hands, or both arms, or both feet, or both legs, or of any two thereof shall not suffer any diminution of his OR HER compensation by engaging in business or employment provided his OR HER earnings or wages, when combined with his OR HER compensation, shall not be in excess of the wage base on which the maximum weekly compensation benefit is computed under the law in effect at time of such earning; further provided, that if the combination exceeds such wage base, the compen- sation shall be diminished to an amount which, together with his OR HER earnings or wages, shall equal the wage base; and further provided that the application of this subdivision shall not result in reduction of compensation which an injured employee who is disabled due to the lossEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01073-01-3 S. 76 2
or total loss of use of both eyes, or both hands, or both arms, or both feet, or both legs or of any two thereof, would otherwise be entitled to under any other provision of this section. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.