senate Bill S3938A

Relates to permanent total disability benefits received by disabled volunteer firefighters

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Sponsor

O'BRIEN

Co-Sponsors

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 27 / Feb / 2013
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 26 / Mar / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 26 / Mar / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 3938A

Summary

Relates to permanent total disability benefits received by disabled volunteer firefighters; provides for a cost-of-living adjustment to such benefits.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5928A
Versions:
S3938
S3938A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Local Government
Law Section:
Volunteer Firefighters' Benefit Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§8 & 51, Vol Ffs Ben L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S2454A, A2454A, A3194A, S2454, S2454A
2009-2010: S528, A4444, S528
2007-2008: A2745

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3938A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the volunteer firefighters' benefit
law, in relation to the payment of benefits

PURPOSE: To provide for a cost-of-living adjustment to benefits
received by disabled volunteer firefighters in New York State.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Amends Section 8 of the Volunteer Firefighters' Benefit Law
by adding a new subsection 2 which reads: Benefits received pursuant
to subdivision one of this section after January first, two thousand
ten shall be adjusted yearly on February first by a percentage equal
to the percent increase in the .previous year's consumer price index.

Section 2. Subdivision 5 of section 51 of the volunteer firefighters'
benefit law is renumbered subdivision 6 and a new subdivision 5 is
added to read as follows: The insurance carrier or entity responsible
for paying the benefit increase provided in section eight of this
chapter shall claim for such benefit increase reimbursement from the
special fund for reopened cases commencing one year from the date of
the first such payment and annually thereafter while such payments
continue, on a form prescribed by the chair.

Section 3. Sets the enactment date.

EXISTING LAW: No existing provisions for a cost-of-living adjustment
for benefits paid to volunteer firefighters.

JUSTIFICATION: Volunteer firefighters who are injured in the course
of their volunteer service are eligible under State law to receive
workers' compensation for their injuries. The State has enacted these
benefits in recognition that these volunteers provide enormously
important services to our communities.

Chapter 574 of the laws of 1998, raised the benefit level for all
volunteer firefighters with permanent total disabilities to the
maximum amount of $400 a week regardless of their date of injury.

Recognizing that inflationary forces make it increasingly difficult to
subsist on a fixed income, this legislation institutes a
cost-of-living adjustment for all disabled volunteer firefighters.
Adequately compensating the men and women, who sacrifice their safety
and their time to protect the safety of others, for their injuries
incurred in the line of duty is the least we, as a State, can do to
thank them for their selfless service.

This cost-of-living adjustment shall apply to weekly benefit periods
after January 1, 2015.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2005-2006: S.1072B Passed Both Houses, Veto Memo
288 2007-2008: S.173 Referred to Local Government 2009-2010: S.258
Referred to Local Government 2011-2012: S.2454 Referred to Local
Government

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.


EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 3938--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 27, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  O'BRIEN, DILAN, SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the  Committee  on  Local
  Government  --  recommitted  to  the  Committee on Local Government in
  accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --  committee  discharged,  bill
  amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
  tee

AN ACT to amend the volunteer firefighters' benefit law, in relation  to
  the payment of benefits

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  Section 8 of the volunteer firefighters' benefit  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  574  of  the  laws  of 1998, is amended to read as
follows:
  S 8. Permanent total disability benefits. 1.  In  the  case  of  total
disability  adjudged  to be permanent the volunteer firefighter shall be
paid four hundred dollars for each week [during the  continuance  there-
of].    Permanent  total disability, within the meaning of this section,
shall exist only if the earning capacity of  the  volunteer  firefighter
has  been  lost permanently and totally as the result of the injury. The
loss of both hands, or both arms, or both feet, or both  legs,  or  both
eyes,  or  any two thereof, shall, in the absence of conclusive proof to
the contrary, constitute permanent total disability, but  in  all  other
cases  permanent total disability shall be determined in accordance with
the facts. Notwithstanding any other  provisions  of  this  chapter,  an
injured  volunteer firefighter disabled due to the loss or total loss of
use of both eyes, or both hands, or both arms, or  both  feet,  or  both
legs,  or any two thereof shall not suffer any diminution of such weekly
benefit by engaging in business or employment provided his or her weekly
earnings or wages, when combined with his or her  weekly  benefit  shall
not  be  in excess of six hundred dollars; and further provided that the
application of this section shall not result in  reduction  of  benefits

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD07006-02-4

S. 3938--A                          2

which  an  injured volunteer firefighter who is disabled due to the loss
or total loss of use of both eyes, or both hands, or both arms, or  both
feet,  or  both  legs, or any two thereof would otherwise be entitled to
under any other provisions of this article.
  2. BENEFITS RECEIVED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION AFTER
JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN SHALL BE ADJUSTED YEARLY ON FEBRUARY
FIRST  BY  A  PERCENTAGE  EQUAL  TO THE PERCENT INCREASE IN THE PREVIOUS
YEAR'S CONSUMER PRICE INDEX.
  S 2. Subdivision 5 of section 51 of the volunteer firefighters'  bene-
fit law, as renumbered by chapter 246 of the laws of 2006, is renumbered
subdivision 6 and a new subdivision 5 is added to read as follows:
  5.  THE INSURANCE CARRIER OR ENTITY RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THE BENEFIT
INCREASE PROVIDED IN SECTION EIGHT OF THIS CHAPTER SHALL CLAIM FOR  SUCH
BENEFIT  INCREASE REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE SPECIAL FUND FOR REOPENED CASES
COMMENCING ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE FIRST SUCH PAYMENT AND ANNUALLY
THEREAFTER WHILE SUCH PAYMENTS CONTINUE, ON A  FORM  PRESCRIBED  BY  THE
CHAIR.
  S  3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to weekly
benefit periods that commence after January 1, 2015.

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