Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Colorado versus Kansas workers comp

Workers compensation benefits are not governed by any national law. In Colorado they are established by state legislation. The state has imposed dollar limits or caps on benefits (not on medical benefits) although not on those permanently and totally disabled. Apparently in Kansas they have capped even those benefits. Efforts are being made to change the situation in Kansas. Here is an article on this. Unless changed injured workers in Kansas are limited to $125,000 even if they are unable to work for the rest of their lives! It is well known that nationally until recently workers compensation benefits were reduced but we are seeing some improvement. Hopefully this trend will continue. It is simply unreasonable if not unconscionable to fix benefits and never change them. The result is that those severely disabled are often left to turn to government resources. Sorry but all we do then is turn the problem over to the taxpayers rather then insisting on decent insurance coverage for those injured at work. Roughly a century ago when the workers comp laws were enacted it was society that was upset with laws that a work injury was just a risk of every job. All of us know that without adequate coverage the problem is shifted to government. While I have problems with parts of Colorado law it is not on the subject of permanent total disability where Colorado allows for lifetime benefits. Unfortunately the Colorado definition is tougher then one for Social Security disability but at least benefits for a total case are not capped.

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