State Budget: Worker’s Compensation

The governor’s original proposed budget included a provision to move the worker’s compensation division in the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI). During budget committee deliberations, JFC removed the governor’s provision, from the budget bill.

However, JFC did accept the governor’s proposal to transfer most adjudicatory functions relating to disputed worker’s compensation claims to the Division of Hearings and Appeals (DHA) in the Department of Administration (DOA). To address concerns by worker’s compensation practitioners over retention of expertise, the provision requires the 18 administrative law judges to be transferred allocate a minimum of 80% of their time to worker’s compensation issues.

JFC approved the governor’s recommendation to terminate reimbursements for self-insured employers for supplemental benefits paid by self-insured employers and to terminate reimbursements to insurers for supplemental benefits paid by insurers from the work injury supplemental benefits fund. Insurers paid supplemental benefits will instead be entitled to annual reimbursement from the worker’s compensation operation fund.