Prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Second Injury Fund (SIF) was established as a way to encourage employers to hire individuals with pre-existing permanent physical or mental impairments. The SIF is still in existence today.
The SIF offers a way to recover funds if an employee that has a qualifying pre-existing condition sustains a qualifying work-related injury. Each year, NHADA WCT identifies potential SIF claims and prepares them for submission to the State of N.H. Dept. of Labor (DOL). If a claim is accepted by the DOL, NHADA WCT will recover 50% of qualifying indemnity and medical expenses over $10,000.00. After 104 weeks, 100% of qualifying indemnity and medical expenses are recovered.
NHADA WCT has recovered $6,288.548.00 since 1990. Those funds have been placed directly back into the corresponding claims; therefore, reducing the overall expense of that claim.
Keys to successful SIF claim:
Employer must have written documentation of the pre-existing condition prior to the work-related injury.
The pre-existing condition does not have to be work related and does not have to include the same body part as the work-related injury.
The SIF Form can be found here.
The SIF form can only be completed at the time of hire.
If an employer becomes aware of an employee sustaining an injury or illness outside of work, a doctor’s note or a hand written note by either the employee or the employer will suffice as written knowledge. It must be descriptive, dated and in the employee’s medical file prior to the work related injury.
NHADA WCT must put the Fund on notice within 100 weeks of the work-related injury.
Indemnity and medical expenses must exceed $10,000.00
The pre-existing condition must be permanent and serious enough to cause a hindrance to employment opportunities.
The employer's written documentation of the pre-existing condition must pre-date the work-related injury.
The combination of the pre-existing condition and the work-related injury must result in a greater disability than the work-related injury alone.
NHADA WCT must submit the claims to the DOL for approval by September 1st.
You may be contacted by Deb Handrahan, Member Services Coordinator, if we feel you have a claim that would qualify for SIF reimbursement. It is necessary for us to get notarized documentation of the employer’s knowledge of the pre-existing condition for submission. This will require a review of the injured employee’s personnel and medical files.
If you have any questions regarding the SIF, please contact us at 800-852-3372 or email Deb Handrahan.