The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) announced support for an actuarial report urging an increase of the threshold of access to permanent workers’ compensation benefits by Maine employees.
During the 2002 legistative session, state lawmakers responded to a Maine Supreme Court decision, Kotch v. American Protective Services, which allowed the stacking of both job-related and non-job-related impairments, making it easier for injured workers to qualify for lifetime workers compensation benefits. L.D. 2202 overturned the decision by eliminating a provision permitting the stacking of work and non-work injuries and permitting the combination only of separate work-related injuries for determining permanent impairment.
Organized labor and the employer community recently submitted conflicting actuarial reports to the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board for a determination on where the threshold should be set for access to permanent benefits.
“NAII urges the Board to adopt a threshold in excess of 13 percent, which will reflect the significant number of cases as yet unreported in the system, and which recognizes that the reaction to the new stacking provisions will significantly increase permanent impairment claims activity in the system,” NAII wrote.
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