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Claimant's Win in Budget

 State: NY

 

Comp Reforms Included in Final $141.3 Billion State Budget

 

The $141.3 billion budget approved by the New York Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week includes a series of workers' compensation reforms that will close down the state's unique Reopened Case Fund and transfer $1.175 billion in reserves from the New York State Insurance Fund.

 

The New York Assembly voted to approve the 2013-2014 spending plan Thursday – four days ahead of the April 1 deadline for budget approval. The Senate voted earlier in the week to approve a budget deal agreed to by Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Coalition Leader Dean Skelos on March 24.

 

Among 10 bills approved last week was Senate 2607-D, which requires the State Workers' Compensation Board to make a series of transfers from SIF reserves beginning this year and running through 2016.

 

The bill closes the Reopened Case Fund on Jan. 1, 2014, and boosts the minimum weekly benefit for injured workers from $100 to $150.

 

Senate 2607-D and its House companion A 3007-D also do the following:

 

• Authorize the New York State Dormitory Authority to issue $900 million in bonds to retire the unfunded liabilities from the failure of the state's group self-insured trusts.

• Combine assessments levied to run the State Workers' Compensation Board, pay off legacy claims from the Special Disability Fund and pay administrative expenses into a single assessment.

• Make all data on losses and policies gathered by the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board available to the SWCB and the state Department of Financial Services.

• Allow single arbitrators to resolve medical disputes for bills of less than $1,000. The law now requires mediation panels to resolve the disputes.

• Require SWCB to conduct full-board review of all administrate law judges' rulings within 30 days.

 

SB 2607-D is here.

 

Source: WorkCompCentral

 

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