|Posted:||May 12, 2015 05:16 PM|
|From:||Senator John R. Gordner|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Uninsured Employers Guarantee Fund|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation which addresses under funding of the Uninsured Employers Guarantee Fund (UEGF).
In 2006, the General Assembly created UEGF within the Workers' Compensation statute to address injuries to workers whose employers failed to carry required Workers' Compensation insurance. UEGF was initially funded through a transfer from the Workers' Compensation Administrative Fund. It is also funded through fines and restitution from the employers who have failed to provide coverage.
UEGF remains underfunded and the Department of Labor and Industry in February took steps to loan additional monies from the Administrative Fund, which is only a short term solution to the existing problem. Additionally, these monies need to be repaid by October, 2015.
While my legislation will provide for a one-time transfer from the Administrative Fund to replenish UEGF, reforms are necessary for the continued solvency of the fund. The legislation will require an injured worker to file a claim within 180 days of the currently-required notice to the fund. The worker must also provide proof of wages before filing a claim of lost wages under the act. Such proof may include pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements or written documentation of employment. Finally, the legislation will provide for medical treatment of injured workers through a list of designated health care providers, consistent with current Workers' Compensation law. The legislation will not limit medical treatment or pharmaceutical usage.
Introduced as SB876