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 Section 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.
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.
Senate Bill S76