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2017 State Workers’ Comp. Fiscal Data Research Bulletin Available

The annual Workers’ Compensation Fiscal Data Research Bulletin showing state workers’ compensation system payments and costs from 2006 to 2015 is now available for purchase. The fiscal bulletin shows the continued  economic expansion and trend toward lower benefit cost rates. The number of covered workers in all states increased from 129.9 million in 2014 to 132.4 million […]

New CMS Re-Review Option for WC MSAs Very Limited

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new re-review option in the updated WCMSA User Manual on July 10, 2017. The new option is very limited. See Section 12.4 and 12.4.3  beginning on page 12-12 and continuing for the following 22 pages ending on page 12-34.https://www.cob.cms.hhs.gov/WCMSA/assets/wcmsa/userManual/WCMSAUserManual.pdf Limitations of New (Amended) Re-Review Option […]

President Trump Signs Resolution to Disallow OSHA Penalty Regulations

On April 3rd President Trump signed HJ Res 83 disallowing OSHA regulations that were contrary to statute and expanded the period during which employers would be at risk of penalties for OSHA reporting errors. See announcement at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/03/president-donald-j-trump-signs-hjres-69-hjres-83-hr-1228-sjres-34-law The rule that is being disallowed had the effect of extending to five years the statute of limitations […]

US DOL Requests OMB Authority to Expand Surveys to Search for Occupational Injury and Illness Underreporting

On March 7th The Department of Labor (DOL) submitted the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) sponsored information collection request (ICR) revision titled, ‘‘Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses,’’ to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for use in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Public comments on […]

US DOL Releases New Comprehensive Black Lung Regulations

On January 4, 2017, as part of the wave of federal regulations filed late in the administration, the US DOL Office of Workers Compensation Programs released substantive rules for comment with respect to the payment of Black Lung medical benefits. The regulations generally set a new national method of determining approved medical reimbursement amounts. The changes […]

US DOL Proposed Rule Would Result in Increased Longshore Maximum Benefits

Comments due by October 26 The US Department of Labor on August 26, 2016 filed proposed rules for comment on the definition of minimum and maximum compensation rate annual adjustments. See https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-08-26/pdf/2016-20467.pdf The main issue in contention is that the US DOL Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs is proposing to employ the average weekly wage […]

US DOL Report on State Workers’ Compensation Supports New Federal Involvement

The US Department of Labor on October 5th released a report entitled “Does the Workers’ Compensation System Fulfill Its Obligations to Injured Workers?”. The release of the report was accompanied by statements from the Secretary of Labor, the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, and the US DOL Assistant Secretary for OSHA. The report may […]

Congress Enacts Enhanced Veterans Administration Authority Impacting Workers Compensation/Insurance

On September 28, 2016, The US Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) to provide appropriation authority so that the federal government could pay its bills after September 30th. The President is expected to sign the CR. The legislation includes a number of permanent provisions including a provision that prohibits the Veterans Administration from paying for […]

US DOL Briefing to Review State Workers’ Compensation: Recommend Federal Oversight

On October 5th the US Department of Labor in coordination with the National Academy of Social Insurance will release two reports reviewing state workers’ compensation. The Department of Labor’s State Workers’ Compensation Report, which addresses recent trends in state workers’ compensation systems and the effect of these trends on workers, employers, and communities; and The […]