SB 149/LM (BR 1336) - T. Buford, D. Seum
AN ACT relating to workers' compensation.
Amend several provisions of the workers' compensation Act in KRS Chapter 342 to define and recognize temporary partial disability benefits and amend other statutes to comply; limit medical benefits to age 70 or five years after the date of injury, whichever is later, except for permanent total awards or awards involving prosthetic devices which continue for as long as the employee is disabled; allow attorney's fees or increased payments for medical fee disputes that are decided in favor of the claimant; require utilization review doctors to be licensed in Kentucky and treat patients for at least 50% of their practice; amend the reopening statutes to allow for reopening for additional temporary total or partial benefits; allow employees of subcontractors and leasing companies to receive the safety penalty increase if a contractor who is not an employee violates a safety statute or regulation; provide that the employee of an employer intentionally violating a safety statute or regulation which proximately causes the employee's injury may claim compensation under KRS Chapter 342 and maintain a tort action against the employer; permit claimants who have awards of $60 or less per week to elect a lump sum and to receive a one point higher discount rate than that set by the commissioner; require settlements for future medicals to be approved by the federal Medicare Secondary Payer Act; permit claimants to recover damages from an insurance carrier who commits an unfair claims settlement practice; increase attorneys' fees to a total of $24,000; specify that administrative law judges do not approve attorney's fees; prohibit application of up-the ladder liability and exclusivity for a general contractor not if a subcontractor has secured workers' compensation insurance for its employees; enumerate changes to the manner that income benefits are determined; increase the maximum for temporary total or partial income benefits from 100% of the state average weekly wage to 120% of the state average weekly wage; increase the maximum of permanent partial income benefits from 75% to 85% of the state average weekly wage; increase and clarify multiplier language factors; provide that the time limit for permanent partial income benefits are determined by the impairment ratings; create new sections of KRS 342.801 to 342.843 to require Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance to develop a special dividend distribution plan, subject to the approval of the commissioner, and declare a special dividend; amend KRS 342.805 to define "commissioner"; amend KRS 342.819 to require KEMI to declare an annual dividend; make other amendments to conform.
Feb 13-introduced in Senate
Feb 15-to Economic Development, Tourism & Labor (S)