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Missouri Second Injury Fund

Buchanan Williams & O'Brien

Missouri Second Injury Fund Specialists

The Missouri Second Injury Fund is a fund that compensates people who were injured in the workplace once and then injured at work again. A traditional workers compensation case might only cover the second accident, but the Second Injury Fund or SIF would pay compensation for the first injury.

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Missouri Second Injury Fund

Missouri Second Injury Fund section

It’s not a single injury that triggers the special need for a Missouri Second Injury Fund. It’s the combined impact of a previous injury with a brand-new one. When someone is unable to work due to a case like this, the employee’s settlement would only pay the worker for their most recent injury, not both. 

The Missouri Second Injury Fund would then pay the difference between the employee’s workers’ compensation and the total expense incurred for the combined injuries. It is also used to cover any complications that arise from the original injury.

The idiosyncrasies involved with the Missouri Second Injury Fund can be difficult for those without professional legal experience to navigate. Consulting with a Joplin lawyer like those at Buchanan, Williams, & O’Brien is advisable: they can handle all the details of your settlement while you focus on getting well. 

Who Benefits from the Second Injury Fund?

In general, second injury funds are state-run programs that were at first planned to motivate companies to employ returning veterans who may have pre-existing injuries. The reasoning was that a currently disabled employee or one who was not 100% healthy might be more likely to become hurt on the job. If that happened, the company and insurance provider would be responsible for the expense of the most recent injury. 

The Missouri second injury fund is not restricted to veterans. It provides support to all employees with previous injuries who experience a second injury or disease, whether from a Missouri car accident on the job, a slip and fall, or anything else.  

A qualified local attorney who specializes in personal injury cases can provide additional information.

Second Injury Fund

Second Injury Fund Workers Compensation

The second injury fund workers’ compensation covers the gaps when traditional workers’ compensation doesn’t meet the full extent of the employee’s injuries.

The Missouri Second Injury Fund, like other states’ second injury funds, is mainly funded by insurance provided by employers and/or self-insured funds. Detractors of second injury funds, such as the American Property Casualty Insurance Association and other groups, argue that this is socialized care since it requires a large group of insurers subsidize the few. 

However, when you are hurt and out of work, the fund can be a lifeline. The insurance assessments determine the portion or per claim amount paid for each injury. These portions can vary from 2.5-percent to 6-percent or more. 

To receive the necessary workers compensation for a second injury in Missouri often requires the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer. Having adequate representation can help maximize your financial assistance.

What Is a Second Injury Fund?

A Second Injury Fund is also called a subsequent injury fund or SIF. 

Generally, the scope of the Missouri SIF pays for various degrees of the following expenses if the date of the most recent injury occurred before 2014:

  • Death benefits (if the employer was uninsured)
  • Medical care (if the employer was uninsured)
  • Permanent disability (whether partial or total)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Wage loss

If the date of the most recent injury occurred on or after January 2014, there are two categories of Missouri Second Injury Fund benefit available:

  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits
  • Rehabilitation Benefits

The process of navigating the workers’ compensation following an initial or subsequent injury can be long and difficult. A knowledgeable Missouri accident attorney can help you get the financial assistance you need so you can focus on recovering.

Second Injury Fund Workers Compensation

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Second Injury Fund Missouri Risks

Many employees in high-risk jobs feel that the Second Injury Fund Missouri is under-capitalized. They may have heard horror stories from their coworkers about cases that are filed and immediately dismissed. So, they may worry that this happens with every case. 

It is true that states like Missouri are trying to find ways to reduce the amount they have to pay to support injured workers. However, it’s not all bad. One measure put in place to reduce costs was the Missouri Workers’ Safety Program, aimed at increasing workplace safety and reducing injuries.

It’s not always easy to get the compensation you need for an injury, but seeking the counsel of a St. Louis workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure you have the knowledge and confidence to pursue your claim. These cases often go to trial, so legal counsel will be crucial to your success.

Workers Compensation Second Injury Fund

The function of the Workers Compensation Second Injury Fund is to financially assist a staff member who was hurt on the job. It provides the additional funding required to compensate for the individual needs triggered by pre-existing medical conditions that potentially made it difficult for him or her to work even before the main injury occurred. 

Someone with a physical disability, for example, may have increased difficulty obtaining future jobs after suffering a second injury at his/her current place of employment. 

Workers Comp Second Injury Fund Settlements

The Workers Comp Second Injury Fund in Missouri intends to compensate employees for that second injury while allowing the general workers’ comp fund to cover the first. The evidence needs to establish that the pre-existing injury combined with the primary one for which you are filing the claim contributes to a greater degree of disability, one that makes unemployment a huge risk. 

Insurance companies rarely want to release compensation. Therefore, evidence of personal injury is presented in court. Having the right legal advisors improves the likelihood of a reasonable settlement.

The forms that you would use to begin filing for that settlement are available online via the Missouri Department of Labor’s website. You can also find an appeals objections form here, if needed, an application for tort victims compensation, and many other relevant forms.

Second Injury Fund Missouri

Second Injury Fund States Are Losing Favor

In 1916, New York was one of the only second injury fund states with only a few others following suit. Due to WWII, many injured veterans attempted to re-enter the workforce in the mid-1940s. Many additional states embraced the trend at that time.

Not every injury is covered by SIF, and not every need (for example physical rehabilitation benefits) may be covered either. The damages covered and to what degree often vary by state. Since 1992 and the advent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which pushes back against discrimination in hiring, over 20 states are gotten rid of their second injury funds. In fact, some wonder if these funds have ceased to be effective.

Since the laws change often and different benefits may apply depending on when your injury occurred, it is wise to discuss your situation with a local attorney.

Second Injury Fund Definition

According to the MO Department of Labor, the second injury fund definition is:

“The Second Injury Fund Unit is responsible for the billing and collection of the Second Injury Fund Surcharge from insurance carriers writing workers’ compensation premiums in Missouri and from self-insurers or group trusts authorized to self insure in Missouri. In addition to billing and collecting, upon the requisition of the Division, warrants on the state treasurer for the payment of compensation benefits from the Second Injury Fund are issued to the claimants. These payments are consistent with the awards or settlements approved by administrative law judges. The Second Injury Fund Unit is also responsible for certifying physical rehabilitation facilities that are interested in rehabilitating injured workers. A seriously injured worker may be eligible for this benefit if attending a facility that has been certified by the Division of Workers’ Compensation prior to the physical rehabilitation treatment dates.”

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MO Second Injury Fund Payments

Getting MO second injury fund payments can be a huge help for unemployed workers who are hurt or sick. However, it can be confusing to know where to go for help or if you are allowed to file a workers compensation claim since your initial injuries may not have been caused at the workplace. A trusted attorney can help you understand what laws apply in your situation and advise you on what type of claim to file for the best chance of success. 

Missouri Second Injury Fund News

Many workers likely follow news related to the Missouri Second Injury Fund due to the continuing lawsuits and issues with funding. For instance, recently, the Missouri Supreme Court made a decision that further limited who is eligible for compensation from the fund. 

And about a year ago, the Wage Changes HB 1729 or Prevailing Wage Changes HB, as it is often known, revised how Missouri’s wage system works.

If you have sustained a second injury in Missouri, contact a reputable Joplin attorney for the best representation. They will be up to date with the latest on the SIF and will fight for you to get the financial compensation you deserve.

MO Second Injury Fund

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