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S.B. 231





Chief Sponsor: D. Chris Buttars

House Sponsor: Wayne A. Harper

             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill modifies the Workers' Compensation Act to address issues related to the
             10      payment of medical benefits in the case of an industrial accident.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    provides that legislative changes in the time limits in seeking medical benefits made
             14      in 2007 are to be applied retroactively;
             15          .    addresses what constitutes a medical expense necessary to the industrial accident,
             16      including for cases that occur before the prior legislative action; and
             17          .    makes technical changes.
             18      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             19          None
             20      Other Special Clauses:
             21          None
             22      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             23      AMENDS:
             24          34A-2-417, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2007, Chapter 62
             26      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             27          Section 1. Section 34A-2-417 is amended to read:

             28           34A-2-417. Claims and benefits -- Time limits for filing -- Burden of proof.
             29          (1) (a) Except with respect to prosthetic devices or in a permanent total disability case,
             30      an employee is entitled to be compensated for a medical expense if:
             31          [(a)] (i) the medical expense is:
             32          [(i)] (A) reasonable in amount; and
             33          [(ii)] (B) necessary to treat the industrial accident; and
             34          [(b)] (ii) the employee submits or makes a reasonable attempt to submit the medical
             35      expense:
             36          [(i)] (A) to the employee's employer or insurance carrier for payment; and
             37          [(ii)] (B) within one year from the later of:
             38          [(A)] (I) the day on which the medical expense is incurred; or
             39          [(B)] (II) the day on which the employee knows or in the exercise of reasonable
             40      diligence should have known that the medical expense is related to the industrial accident.
             41          (b) For purposes of Subsection (1)(a), a medical expense is considered necessary to
             42      treat an industrial accident if the medical expense is for treatment of a disability that results
             43      from the industrial accident.
             44          (c) An employee is entitled to be compensated for a medical expense if the employee
             45      meets the requirements of Subsections (1)(a) and (b) regardless of whether the industrial
             46      accident that is the basis of the claim occurred before April 30, 2007.
             47          (2) (a) A claim described in Subsection (2)(b) is barred, unless the employee:
             48          (i) files an application for hearing with the Division of Adjudication no later than six
             49      years from the date of the accident; and
             50          (ii) by no later than 12 years from the date of the accident, is able to meet the
             51      employee's burden of proving that the employee is due the compensation claimed under this
             52      chapter.
             53          (b) Subsection (2)(a) applies to a claim for compensation for:
             54          (i) temporary total disability benefits;
             55          (ii) temporary partial disability benefits;
             56          (iii) permanent partial disability benefits; or
             57          (iv) permanent total disability benefits.
             58          (c) The commission may enter an order awarding or denying an employee's claim for

             59      compensation under this chapter within a reasonable time period beyond 12 years from the date
             60      of the accident, if:
             61          (i) the employee complies with Subsection (2)(a); and
             62          (ii) 12 years from the date of the accident:
             63          (A) (I) the employee is fully cooperating in a commission approved reemployment
             64      plan; and
             65          (II) the results of that commission approved reemployment plan are not known; or
             66          (B) the employee is actively adjudicating issues of compensability before the
             67      commission.
             68          (3) A claim for death benefits is barred unless an application for hearing is filed within
             69      one year of the date of death of the employee.
             70          (4) (a) (i) Subject to Subsections (2)(c) and (4)(b), after an employee files an
             71      application for hearing within six years from the date of the accident, the Division of
             72      Adjudication may enter an order to show cause why the employee's claim should not be
             73      dismissed because the employee has failed to meet the employee's burden of proof to establish
             74      an entitlement to compensation claimed in the application for hearing.
             75          (ii) The order described in Subsection (4)(a)(i) may be entered on the motion of the:
             76          (A) Division of Adjudication;
             77          (B) employee's employer; or
             78          (C) employer's insurance carrier.
             79          (b) Under Subsection (4)(a), the Division of Adjudication may dismiss a claim:
             80          (i) without prejudice; or
             81          (ii) with prejudice only if:
             82          (A) the Division of Adjudication adjudicates the merits of the employee's entitlement
             83      to the compensation claimed in the application for hearing; or
             84          (B) the employee fails to comply with Subsection (2)(a)(ii).
             85          (c) If a claim is dismissed without prejudice under Subsection (4)(b), the employee is
             86      subject to the time limits under Subsection (2)(a) to claim compensation under this chapter.
             87          (5) A claim for compensation under this chapter is subject to a claim or lien for
             88      recovery under Section 26-19-5 .

Legislative Review Note
    as of 2-17-10 1:00 PM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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