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[Status][Bill Documents][Fiscal Note][Bills Directory]

S.B. 108

             1     

OFFSET OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION AND

             2     
SOCIAL SECURITY

             3     
2008 GENERAL SESSION

             4     
STATE OF UTAH

             5     
Chief Sponsor: John W. Hickman

             6     
House Sponsor: Wayne A. Harper

             7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill modifies provisions related to receipt of workers' compensation benefits.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    removes the offset against permanent total disability compensation for
             14      cost-of-living increases in Social Security retirement benefits received by an
             15      employee with a permanent total disability;
             16          .    removes the offset against death benefits for cost-of-living increases in Social
             17      Security death benefits;
             18          .    clarifies its application to persons whose compensation was reduced on or before
             19      May 4, 2008; and
             20          .    makes technical changes.
             21      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             22          None
             23      Other Special Clauses:
             24          None
             25      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             26      AMENDS:
             27          34A-2-403, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 375


             28          34A-2-413, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 295
             29          34A-2-702, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 1997, Chapter 375
             30     
             31      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             32          Section 1. Section 34A-2-403 is amended to read:
             33           34A-2-403. Dependents -- Presumption.
             34          (1) The following persons shall be presumed to be wholly dependent for support upon
             35      a deceased employee:
             36          (a) a child under 18 years of age, or over if the child is physically or mentally
             37      incapacitated and dependent upon the parent, with whom the child is living at the time of the
             38      death of the parent, or who is legally bound for the child's support; and
             39          (b) for purposes of payments to be made under Subsection 34A-2-702 (5)[(a)](b)(i), a
             40      surviving spouse with whom the deceased employee lived at the time of the employee's death.
             41          (2) (a) In a case not provided for in Subsection (1), the question of dependency, in
             42      whole or in part, shall be determined in accordance with the facts in each particular case
             43      existing at the time of the injury or death of an employee, except for purposes of dependency
             44      reviews under Subsection 34A-2-702 (5)[(a)](b)(iv).
             45          (b) A person may not be considered as a dependent unless that person is:
             46          (i) a member of the family of the deceased employee;
             47          (ii) the spouse of the deceased employee;
             48          (iii) a lineal descendant or ancestor of the deceased employee; or
             49          (iv) brother or sister of the deceased employee.
             50          (3) As used in this chapter and Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act:
             51          (a) "brother or sister" includes a half brother or sister; and
             52          (b) "child" includes:
             53          (i) a posthumous child; or
             54          (ii) a child legally adopted prior to the injury.
             55          Section 2. Section 34A-2-413 is amended to read:
             56           34A-2-413. Permanent total disability -- Amount of payments -- Rehabilitation.
             57          (1) (a) In [cases] the case of a permanent total disability resulting from an industrial
             58      accident or occupational disease, the employee shall receive compensation as outlined in this


             59      section.
             60          (b) To establish entitlement to permanent total disability compensation, the employee
             61      must prove by a preponderance of evidence that:
             62          (i) the employee sustained a significant impairment or combination of impairments as a
             63      result of the industrial accident or occupational disease that gives rise to the permanent total
             64      disability entitlement;
             65          (ii) the employee is permanently totally disabled; and
             66          (iii) the industrial accident or occupational disease [was] is the direct cause of the
             67      employee's permanent total disability.
             68          (c) To establish that an employee is permanently totally disabled the employee must
             69      prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
             70          (i) the employee is not gainfully employed;
             71          (ii) the employee has an impairment or combination of impairments that limit the
             72      employee's ability to do basic work activities;
             73          (iii) the industrial or occupationally caused impairment or combination of impairments
             74      prevent the employee from performing the essential functions of the work activities for which
             75      the employee has been qualified until the time of the industrial accident or occupational disease
             76      that is the basis for the employee's permanent total disability claim; and
             77          (iv) the employee cannot perform other work reasonably available, taking into
             78      consideration the employee's:
             79          (A) age;
             80          (B) education;
             81          (C) past work experience;
             82          (D) medical capacity; and
             83          (E) residual functional capacity.
             84          (d) Evidence of an employee's entitlement to disability benefits other than those
             85      provided under this chapter and Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act, if relevant:
             86          (i) may be presented to the commission;
             87          (ii) is not binding; and
             88          (iii) creates no presumption of an entitlement under this chapter and Chapter 3, Utah
             89      Occupational Disease Act.


             90          (2) For permanent total disability compensation during the initial 312-week
             91      entitlement, compensation [shall be] is 66-2/3% of the employee's average weekly wage at the
             92      time of the injury, limited as follows:
             93          (a) compensation per week may not be more than 85% of the state average weekly
             94      wage at the time of the injury;
             95          (b) (i) subject to Subsection (2)(b)(ii), compensation per week may not be less than the
             96      sum of $45 per week[, plus] and:
             97          (A) $5 for a dependent spouse[, plus]; and
             98          (B) $5 for each dependent child under the age of 18 years, up to a maximum of four
             99      dependent minor children[, but not exceeding]; and
             100          (ii) the amount calculated under Subsection (2)(b)(i) may not exceed:
             101          (A) the maximum established in Subsection (2)(a) [nor exceeding]; or
             102          (B) the average weekly wage of the employee at the time of the injury; and
             103          (c) after the initial 312 weeks, the minimum weekly compensation rate under
             104      Subsection (2)(b) [shall be] is 36% of the current state average weekly wage, rounded to the
             105      nearest dollar.
             106          (3) This Subsection (3) applies to claims resulting from an accident or disease arising
             107      out of and in the course of the employee's employment on or before June 30, 1994.
             108          (a) The employer or its insurance carrier is liable for the initial 312 weeks of permanent
             109      total disability compensation except as outlined in Section 34A-2-703 as in effect on the date
             110      of injury.
             111          (b) The employer or its insurance carrier may not be required to pay compensation for
             112      any combination of disabilities of any kind, as provided in this section and Sections 34A-2-410
             113      through 34A-2-412 and Part 5, Industrial Noise, in excess of the amount of compensation
             114      payable over the initial 312 weeks at the applicable permanent total disability compensation
             115      rate under Subsection (2).
             116          (c) [Any] The Employers' Reinsurance Fund shall for an overpayment of [this]
             117      compensation [shall be reimbursed] described in Subsection (3)(b), reimburse the
             118      overpayment:
             119          (i) to the employer or its insurance carrier [by the Employers' Reinsurance Fund]; and
             120      [shall be paid]


             121          (ii) out of the Employers' Reinsurance Fund's liability to the employee.
             122          (d) After an employee [has received] receives compensation from the employee's
             123      employer, its insurance carrier, or the Employers' Reinsurance Fund for any combination of
             124      disabilities amounting to 312 weeks of compensation at the applicable permanent total
             125      disability compensation rate, the Employers' Reinsurance Fund shall pay all remaining
             126      permanent total disability compensation.
             127          (e) Employers' Reinsurance Fund payments shall commence immediately after the
             128      employer or its insurance carrier [has satisfied] satisfies its liability under this Subsection (3) or
             129      Section 34A-2-703 .
             130          (4) This Subsection (4) applies to claims resulting from an accident or disease arising
             131      out of and in the course of the employee's employment on or after July 1, 1994.
             132          (a) The employer or its insurance carrier is liable for permanent total disability
             133      compensation.
             134          (b) The employer or its insurance carrier may not be required to pay compensation for
             135      any combination of disabilities of any kind, as provided in this section and Sections 34A-2-410
             136      through 34A-2-412 and Part 5, Industrial Noise, in excess of the amount of compensation
             137      payable over the initial 312 weeks at the applicable permanent total disability compensation
             138      rate under Subsection (2).
             139          (c) [Any overpayment of this compensation shall be recouped by the] The employer or
             140      its insurance carrier may recoup the overpayment of compensation described in Subsection (4)
             141      by reasonably offsetting the overpayment against future liability paid before or after the initial
             142      312 weeks.
             143          (5) [Notwithstanding] (a) Subject to Subsection (5)(b) and notwithstanding the
             144      minimum rate established in Subsection (2), [the compensation payable by the] an employer,
             145      its insurance carrier, or the Employers' Reinsurance Fund, after an employee [has received]
             146      receives compensation from the employer or the employer's insurance carrier for any
             147      combination of disabilities amounting to 312 weeks of compensation at the applicable total
             148      disability compensation rate, shall [be reduced,] reduce the compensation payable:
             149          (i) to the extent allowable by law[,];
             150          (ii) by the dollar amount of 50% of the Social Security retirement benefits [received
             151      by] the employee is eligible to receive for a four week period as of the first day the employee is


             152      eligible to receive a Social Security retirement benefit; and
             153          (iii) that the employee receives during the same period as the Social Security retirement
             154      benefits.
             155          (b) (i) An employer, its insurance carrier, or the Employers' Reinsurance Fund may not
             156      reduce compensation payable under this section on or after May 5, 2008, to an employee by an
             157      amount related to a cost-of-living increase to the Social Security retirement benefit that the
             158      employee is first eligible to receive for a four week period, notwithstanding whether the
             159      employee is injured on or before May 4, 2008.
             160          (ii) For purposes of an employee whose compensation payable is reduced under this
             161      Subsection (5) on or before May 4, 2008, the reduction is limited to the amount of the
             162      reduction as of May 4, 2008.
             163          (6) (a) A finding by the commission of permanent total disability is not final, unless
             164      otherwise agreed to by the parties, until:
             165          (i) an administrative law judge reviews a summary of reemployment activities
             166      undertaken pursuant to Chapter 8, Utah Injured Worker Reemployment Act;
             167          (ii) the employer or its insurance carrier submits to the administrative law judge:
             168          (A) a reemployment plan as prepared by a qualified rehabilitation provider reasonably
             169      designed to return the employee to gainful employment; or
             170          (B) notice that the employer or its insurance carrier will not submit a plan; and
             171          (iii) the administrative law judge, after notice to the parties, holds a hearing, unless
             172      otherwise stipulated, to:
             173          (A) consider evidence regarding rehabilitation; and
             174          (B) review any reemployment plan submitted by the employer or its insurance carrier
             175      under Subsection (6)(a)(ii).
             176          (b) Before commencing the procedure required by Subsection (6)(a), the administrative
             177      law judge shall order:
             178          (i) the initiation of permanent total disability compensation payments to provide for the
             179      employee's subsistence; and
             180          (ii) the payment of any undisputed disability or medical benefits due the employee.
             181          (c) Notwithstanding Subsection (6)(a), an order for payment of benefits described in
             182      Subsection (6)(b) is considered a final order for purposes of Section 34A-2-212 .


             183          (d) The employer or its insurance carrier shall be given credit for any disability
             184      payments made under Subsection (6)(b) against its ultimate disability compensation liability
             185      under this chapter or Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act.
             186          (e) An employer or its insurance carrier may not be ordered to submit a reemployment
             187      plan. If the employer or its insurance carrier voluntarily submits a plan, the plan is subject to
             188      Subsections (6)(e)(i) through (iii).
             189          (i) The plan may include, but not require an employee to pay for:
             190          (A) retraining[,];
             191          (B) education[,];
             192          (C) medical and disability compensation benefits[,];
             193          (D) job placement services[,]; or
             194          (E) incentives calculated to facilitate reemployment [funded by the employer or its
             195      insurance carrier].
             196          (ii) The plan shall include payment of reasonable disability compensation to provide
             197      for the employee's subsistence during the rehabilitation process.
             198          (iii) The employer or its insurance carrier shall diligently pursue the reemployment
             199      plan. The employer's or insurance carrier's failure to diligently pursue the reemployment plan
             200      [shall be] is cause for the administrative law judge on the administrative law judge's own
             201      motion to make a final decision of permanent total disability.
             202          (f) If a preponderance of the evidence shows that successful rehabilitation is not
             203      possible, the administrative law judge shall order that the employee be paid weekly permanent
             204      total disability compensation benefits.
             205          (7) (a) The period of benefits commences on the date the employee became
             206      permanently totally disabled, as determined by a final order of the commission based on the
             207      facts and evidence, and ends:
             208          (i) with the death of the employee; or
             209          (ii) when the employee is capable of returning to regular, steady work.
             210          (b) An employer or its insurance carrier may provide or locate for a permanently totally
             211      disabled employee reasonable, medically appropriate, part-time work in a job earning at least
             212      minimum wage [provided that employment], except that the employee may not be required to
             213      accept the work to the extent that it would disqualify the employee from Social Security


             214      disability benefits.
             215          (c) An employee shall:
             216          (i) fully cooperate in the placement and employment process; and
             217          (ii) accept the reasonable, medically appropriate, part-time work.
             218          (d) In a consecutive four-week period when an employee's gross income from the work
             219      provided under Subsection (7)(b) exceeds $500, the employer or insurance carrier may reduce
             220      the employee's permanent total disability compensation by 50% of the employee's income in
             221      excess of $500.
             222          (e) If a work opportunity is not provided by the employer or its insurance carrier, a
             223      permanently totally disabled employee may obtain medically appropriate, part-time work
             224      subject to the offset provisions [contained in] of Subsection (7)(d).
             225          (f) (i) The commission shall establish rules regarding the part-time work and offset.
             226          (ii) The adjudication of disputes arising under this Subsection (7) is governed by Part
             227      8, Adjudication.
             228          (g) The employer or its insurance carrier [shall have] has the burden of proof to show
             229      that medically appropriate part-time work is available.
             230          (h) The administrative law judge may:
             231          (i) excuse an employee from participation in any [job] work:
             232          (A) that would require the employee to undertake work exceeding the employee's:
             233          (I) medical capacity [and]; or
             234          (II) residual functional capacity; or
             235          (B) for good cause; or
             236          (ii) allow the employer or its insurance carrier to reduce permanent total disability
             237      benefits as provided in Subsection (7)(d) when reasonable, medically appropriate, part-time
             238      [employment has been] work is offered, but the employee [has failed] fails to fully cooperate.
             239          (8) When an employee [has been] is rehabilitated or the employee's rehabilitation is
             240      possible but the employee has some loss of bodily function, the award shall be for permanent
             241      partial disability.
             242          (9) As determined by an administrative law judge, an employee is not entitled to
             243      disability compensation, unless the employee fully cooperates with any evaluation or
             244      reemployment plan under this chapter or Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act. The


             245      administrative law judge shall dismiss without prejudice the claim for benefits of an employee
             246      if the administrative law judge finds that the employee fails to fully cooperate, unless the
             247      administrative law judge states specific findings on the record justifying dismissal with
             248      prejudice.
             249          (10) (a) The loss or permanent and complete loss of the use of the following constitutes
             250      total and permanent disability that is compensated according to this section:
             251          (i) both hands[,];
             252          (ii) both arms[,];
             253          (iii) both feet[,];
             254          (iv) both legs[,];
             255          (v) both eyes[,]; or
             256          (vi) any combination of two [such] body members [constitutes total and permanent
             257      disability, to be compensated according to this section] described in this Subsection (10)(a).
             258          (b) A finding of permanent total disability pursuant to Subsection (10)(a) is final.
             259          (11) (a) An insurer or self-insured employer may periodically reexamine a permanent
             260      total disability claim, except those based on Subsection (10), for which the insurer or
             261      self-insured employer had or has payment responsibility to determine whether the [worker]
             262      employee remains permanently totally disabled.
             263          (b) Reexamination may be conducted no more than once every three years after an
             264      award is final, unless good cause is shown by the employer or its insurance carrier to allow
             265      more frequent reexaminations.
             266          (c) The reexamination may include:
             267          (i) the review of medical records;
             268          (ii) employee submission to one or more reasonable medical evaluations;
             269          (iii) employee submission to one or more reasonable rehabilitation evaluations and
             270      retraining efforts;
             271          (iv) employee disclosure of Federal Income Tax Returns;
             272          (v) employee certification of compliance with Section 34A-2-110 ; and
             273          (vi) employee completion of one or more sworn affidavits or questionnaires approved
             274      by the division.
             275          (d) The insurer or self-insured employer shall pay for the cost of a reexamination with


             276      appropriate employee reimbursement pursuant to rule for reasonable travel allowance and per
             277      diem as well as reasonable expert witness fees incurred by the employee in supporting the
             278      employee's claim for permanent total disability benefits at the time of reexamination.
             279          (e) If an employee fails to fully cooperate in the reasonable reexamination of a
             280      permanent total disability finding, an administrative law judge may order the suspension of the
             281      employee's permanent total disability benefits until the employee cooperates with the
             282      reexamination.
             283          (f) (i) [Should] If the reexamination of a permanent total disability finding [reveal]
             284      reveals evidence that reasonably raises the issue of an employee's continued entitlement to
             285      permanent total disability compensation benefits, an insurer or self-insured employer may
             286      petition the Division of Adjudication for a rehearing on that issue. The [petition] insurer or
             287      self-insured employer shall [be accompanied by] include with the petition, documentation
             288      supporting the insurer's or self-insured employer's belief that the employee is no longer
             289      permanently totally disabled.
             290          (ii) If the petition under Subsection (11)(f)(i) demonstrates good cause, as determined
             291      by the Division of Adjudication, an administrative law judge shall adjudicate the issue at a
             292      hearing.
             293          (iii) Evidence of an employee's participation in medically appropriate, part-time work
             294      may not be the sole basis for termination of an employee's permanent total disability
             295      entitlement, but the evidence of the employee's participation in medically appropriate, part-time
             296      work under Subsection (7) may be considered in the reexamination or hearing with other
             297      evidence relating to the employee's status and condition.
             298          (g) In accordance with Section 34A-1-309 , the administrative law judge may award
             299      reasonable [attorneys] attorney fees to an attorney retained by an employee to represent the
             300      employee's interests with respect to reexamination of the permanent total disability finding,
             301      except if the employee does not prevail, the [attorneys] attorney fees shall be set at $1,000.
             302      The [attorneys] attorney fees awarded shall be paid by the employer or its insurance carrier in
             303      addition to the permanent total disability compensation benefits due.
             304          (h) During the period of reexamination or adjudication, if the employee fully
             305      cooperates, each insurer, self-insured employer, or the Employers' Reinsurance Fund shall
             306      continue to pay the permanent total disability compensation benefits due the employee.


             307          (12) If any provision of this section, or the application of any provision to any person
             308      or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this section [shall be] is given effect without
             309      the invalid provision or application.
             310          Section 3. Section 34A-2-702 is amended to read:
             311           34A-2-702. Employers' Reinsurance Fund -- Injury causing death -- Burial
             312      expenses -- Payments to dependents.
             313          (1) (a) There is created an Employers' Reinsurance Fund for the purpose of making
             314      [payments for] a payment for an industrial [accidents] accident or occupational [diseases]
             315      disease occurring on or before June 30, 1994. [The payments] A payment made under this
             316      section shall be made in accordance with this chapter or Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease
             317      Act. The Employers' Reinsurance Fund [shall have] has no liability for an industrial
             318      [accidents] accident or occupational [diseases] disease occurring on or after July 1, 1994.
             319          (b) The Employers' Reinsurance Fund [shall succeed] succeeds to all monies
             320      previously held in the "Special Fund," the "Combined Injury Fund," or the "Second Injury
             321      Fund."
             322          (c) The commissioner shall appoint an administrator of the Employers' Reinsurance
             323      Fund.
             324          (d) The state treasurer shall be the custodian of the Employers' Reinsurance Fund[, and
             325      the].
             326          (e) The administrator shall make provisions for and direct [its] a distribution from the
             327      Employers' Reinsurance Fund.
             328          [(e)] (f) Reasonable costs of administering the Employers' Reinsurance Fund or other
             329      fees may be paid from the [fund] Employers' Reinsurance Fund.
             330          (2) The state treasurer shall:
             331          (a) receive workers' compensation premium assessments from the State Tax
             332      Commission; and
             333          (b) invest the Employers' Reinsurance Fund to ensure maximum investment return for
             334      both long and short term investments in accordance with Section 51-7-12.5 .
             335          (3) (a) The administrator may employ, retain, or appoint counsel to represent the
             336      Employers' Reinsurance Fund in [proceedings] a proceeding brought to enforce [claims] a
             337      claim against or on behalf of the [fund] Employers' Reinsurance Fund.


             338          (b) If requested by the commission, the attorney general shall aid in representation of
             339      the [fund] Employers' Reinsurance Fund.
             340          (4) The liability of the state, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities, elected or
             341      appointed officials, or other duly authorized agents, with respect to payment of [any]
             342      compensation benefits, expenses, fees, medical expenses, or disbursement properly chargeable
             343      against the Employers' Reinsurance Fund, is limited to the cash or assets in the Employers'
             344      Reinsurance Fund, and they are not otherwise, in any way, liable for the operation, debts, or
             345      obligations of the Employers' Reinsurance Fund.
             346          (5) (a) If injury causes death within a period of 312 weeks from the date of the
             347      accident, the employer or insurance carrier shall pay:
             348          (i) the burial expenses of the deceased as provided in Section 34A-2-418 [,]; and
             349      [further]
             350          (ii) benefits in the [amounts] amount and to [the persons in accordance with
             351      Subsections (5)(a) through (c)] a person provided for in this Subsection (5).
             352          [(a)] (b) (i) If there [are] is a wholly dependent [persons] person at the time of the
             353      death, the payment by the employer or its insurance carrier shall be:
             354          (A) subject to Subsections (5)(b)(i)(B) and (C), 66-2/3% of the decedent's average
             355      weekly wage at the time of the injury[, but];
             356          (B) not more than a maximum of 85% of the state average weekly wage at the time of
             357      the injury per week; and
             358          (C) (I) not less than a minimum of $45 per week, plus:
             359          (Aa) $5 for a dependent spouse[, plus];
             360          (Bb) $5 for each dependent minor child under the age of 18 years, up to a maximum of
             361      four such dependent minor children[, but]; and
             362          (II) not exceeding:
             363          (Aa) the average weekly wage of the employee at the time of the injury[,]; and [not
             364      exceeding]
             365          (Bb) 85% of the state average weekly wage at the time of the injury per week.
             366          (ii) Compensation shall continue during dependency for the remainder of the period
             367      between the date of the death and the expiration of 312 weeks after the date of the injury.
             368          (iii) (A) The payment by the employer or its insurance carrier to a wholly dependent


             369      [persons] person during dependency following the expiration of the first 312-week period
             370      described in Subsection (5)[(a)(i)] (b)(ii) shall be an amount equal to the weekly benefits paid
             371      to [those] the wholly dependent [persons] person during [that] the initial 312-week period,
             372      reduced by 50% of [any weekly] the federal Social Security death benefits [paid to those] the
             373      wholly dependent [persons.] person:
             374          (I) is eligible to receive for a week as of the first day the employee is eligible to receive
             375      a Social Security death benefit; and
             376          (II) receives.
             377          (B) An employer or its insurance carrier may not reduce compensation payable under
             378      this Subsection (5)(b)(iii) on or after May 5, 2008, to a wholly dependent person by an amount
             379      related to a cost-of-living increase to the Social Security death benefits that the wholly
             380      dependent person is first eligible to receive for a week, notwithstanding whether the employee
             381      is injured on or before May 4, 2008.
             382          (C) For purposes of a wholly dependent person whose compensation payable is
             383      reduced under this Subsection (5)(b)(iii) on or before May 4, 2008, the reduction is limited to
             384      the amount of the reduction as of May 4, 2008.
             385          (iv) The issue of dependency [shall be] is subject to review by an administrative law
             386      judge at the end of the initial 312-week period and annually after the initial 312-week period.
             387      If in [any] a review it is determined that, under the facts and circumstances existing at that
             388      time, the applicant is no longer a wholly dependent person, the applicant:
             389          (A) may be considered a partly dependent or nondependent person; and
             390          (B) shall be paid [such] the benefits [as] the administrative law judge [may determine]
             391      determines under Subsection (5)[(b)](d)(iii).
             392          [(v)] (c) (i) For purposes of [any] a dependency determination, a surviving spouse of a
             393      deceased employee [shall be] is conclusively presumed to be wholly dependent for a 312-week
             394      period from the date of death of the employee. This presumption [shall] does not apply after
             395      the initial 312-week period [and, in].
             396          (ii) (A) In determining the [then existing] annual income of the surviving spouse after
             397      the initial 312-week period, the administrative law judge shall exclude 50% of [any] a federal
             398      Social Security death [benefits received by that] benefit that the surviving spouse[.]:
             399          (I) is eligible to receive for a week as of the first day the surviving spouse is eligible to


             400      receive a Social Security death benefit; and
             401          (II) receives.
             402          (B) An employer or its insurance carrier may not reduce compensation payable under
             403      this Subsection (5)(c)(ii) on or after May 5, 2008, to a surviving spouse by an amount related to
             404      a cost-of-living increase to the Social Security death benefits that the surviving spouse is first
             405      eligible to receive for a week, notwithstanding whether the employee is injured on or before
             406      May 4, 2008.
             407          (C) For purposes of a surviving spouse whose compensation payable is reduced under
             408      this Subsection (5)(c)(ii) on or before May 4, 2008, the reduction is limited to the amount of
             409      the reduction as of May 4, 2008.
             410          [(b)] (d) (i) If there [are] is a partly dependent [persons] person at the time of the death,
             411      the payment shall be:
             412          (A) subject to Subsections (5)(d)(i)(B) and (C), 66-2/3% of the decedent's average
             413      weekly wage at the time of the injury[, but];
             414          (B) not more than a maximum of 85% of the state average weekly wage at the time of
             415      the injury per week; and
             416          (C) not less than a minimum of $45 per week.
             417          (ii) Compensation shall continue during dependency for the remainder of the period
             418      between the date of death and the expiration of 312 weeks after the date of injury as the
             419      administrative law judge in each case may determine. Compensation may not amount to more
             420      than a maximum of $30,000.
             421          (iii) The benefits provided for in this Subsection (5)(d) shall be in keeping with the
             422      circumstances and conditions of dependency existing at the date of injury, and [any] an amount
             423      awarded by the administrative law judge under this Subsection (5)(d) shall be consistent with
             424      the general provisions of this chapter and Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act.
             425          (iv) (A) [Benefits to persons determined to be] An administrative law judge shall
             426      determine that a person is partly dependent under Subsection (5)[(a)(v)](c) [shall be determined
             427      by the administrative law judge] in a manner keeping with the circumstances and conditions of
             428      dependency existing at the time of the dependency review [and].
             429          (B) The administrative law judge may order that a partly dependent person be paid in
             430      an amount not exceeding the maximum weekly rate that a partly dependent [persons] person


             431      would receive if wholly dependent.
             432          (v) [Payments] A payment under this section shall be paid to [such persons] a person
             433      during [their] a person's dependency by the employer or its insurance carrier.
             434          [(c) If] (e) (i) Subject to Subsection (5)(e)(ii), if there [are] is a wholly dependent
             435      [persons] person and also a partly dependent [persons] person at the time of death, the
             436      administrative law judge may apportion the benefits as the administrative law judge considers
             437      just and equitable[; provided, that the].
             438          (ii) The total benefits awarded to all parties concerned [do] may not exceed the
             439      maximum provided for by law.
             440          (6) The Employers' Reinsurance Fund:
             441          (a) shall be:
             442          (i) used only in accordance with Subsection (1) for:
             443          (A) the purpose of making [payments] a payment for an industrial [accidents] accident
             444      or occupational [diseases] disease occurring on or before June 30, 1994, in accordance with
             445      this section and Section 34A-2-703 ; and
             446          (B) payment of:
             447          (I) reasonable costs of administering the Employers' Reinsurance Fund; or
             448          (II) fees required to be paid by the Employers' Reinsurance Fund;
             449          (ii) expended according to processes that can be verified by audit; and
             450          (b) may not be used for:
             451          (i) administrative costs unrelated to the [fund] Employers' Reinsurance Fund; or
             452          (ii) [any] an activity of the commission other than an activity described in Subsection
             453      (6)(a).




Legislative Review Note
    as of 12-20-07 6:49 AM


Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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