Second Injury Fund
The Second Injury Fund, created in 1975, offers employers an opportunity to limit their Workers' Compensation liability in cases where an impaired worker becomes disabled from an on-the-job injury. Preexisting permanent physical or mental impairment may be of any type or cause — congenital, injury or disease, work-related or not. It must be permanent and serious enough to constitute a hindrance or obstacle to the worker in obtaining employment.
The employer must be aware of the worker's handicap as well as the worker's various limitations and capacities. The employer must have written documentation of the preexisting condition at the time of hire or retention. The written record must be dated and obtained prior to the second injury.
The insurance carrier or self-insured must put the Second Injury Fund on notice within 100 weeks from the date of injury. The physician must provide an opinion that the combination of the preexisting condition and the work-related injury resulted in a greater disability than would have been caused by the subsequent injury alone.
If a claim is accepted into the Second Injury Fund, the following reimbursements are awarded:
- The Special Fund reimburses 50 percent of medical and indemnity payments after the first $10,000 has been expended.
- The Special Fund reimburses 100 percent of all payments after 104 weeks of disability.
- The Special Fund does not reimburse permanent impairment payments.