senate Bill S545

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Establishes the veterans' special disability fund to provide incentives to employers to hire veterans who were previously injured during active military duty

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to labor
Jan 09, 2013 referred to labor

S545 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A1912
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Workers' Compensation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง15, Work Comp L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S7038, A887A
2009-2010: A6457

S545 - Bill Texts

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Establishes the veterans' special disability fund to provide incentives to employers to hire veterans who were previously injured during active military duty.

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BILL NUMBER:S545

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to establishing the
veterans' special disability fund to provide incentives to employers to
hire veterans who have sustained an injury or physical impairment during
military active duty

PURPOSE:
To establish the veterans' special disability fund to provide
incentives to employers who hire veterans who have sustained an
injury or physical impairment during active duty. This fund was taken
away when the Second Injury Fund was eliminated as part of the
Workers Comp Reform.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Amends clause (A) of subparagraph 2 of
paragraph (h) of subdivision 8 of section 15 of the worker's
compensation law, as amended by chapter 6 of the laws of 2007, is
amended by changing the date to "On or after July first, two thousand
twelve" and a new subparagraph B is added.

JUSTIFICATION:
At a time of war, when the ration of injured to
"killed-in-action" servicemen and women is at an all time high (16
injured to one KIA), New York needs a veterans' special disability
fund more than ever. The fund was taken away when the Second Injury
Fund was eliminated earlier this year as part of the Workers Comp
Reform. It was expressly established over 60 years ago to provide
incentives to employers to help surviving combatants re-assimilate
into the economy.

The fund comes to the rescue of disabled veterans where the Americans
with Disabilities Act has faltered. The need for the fund is greater
than ever. The ADA, which seeks to prohibit employers from
discriminating against workers with prior conditions, does not apply
to employers with 15 or fewer employees. Yet, these are precisely the
businesses that employ the bulk of the disabled population,
especially our returning vets. The fund for them, acts as a low cost
insurance policy which helps to protect against the extra expense
when hiring handicapped employees and keeping them gainfully
employed. Furthermore, once such an individual is hired, the ADA does
nothing to protect the worker's benefit level or contain costs for
the employer when the prior condition complicates or extends a
worker's comp disability.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011:12: S.7038/A.887 Referred to Labor

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the one hundred
twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however,


that the chair of the workers' compensation board and the
commissioner of taxation and finance shall be authorized and directed
to promulgate any rules and/or regulations necessary for the
implementation of this act on or before its effective date.

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

                                   545

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor

AN ACT to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to establish-
  ing the veterans' special disability fund  to  provide  incentives  to
  employers  to  hire  veterans who have sustained an injury or physical
  impairment during active military duty

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

  Section  1.  Clause (A) of subparagraph 2 of paragraph (h) of subdivi-
sion 8 of section 15 of the workers' compensation  law,  as  amended  by
chapter  6  of  the laws of 2007, is amended and a new subparagraph 8 is
added to read as follows:
  (A) No carrier or employer, or the state insurance fund,  may  file  a
claim  for reimbursement from the special disability fund, for an injury
or illness with a date of accident or date of disablement  on  or  after
July  first,  two  thousand  seven UNLESS SUCH CLAIM SEEKS REIMBURSEMENT
PURSUANT TO THE VETERANS' SPECIAL  DISABILITY  FUND  AS  ESTABLISHED  IN
SUBPARAGRAPH  EIGHT  OF THIS PARAGRAPH.   No carrier or employer, or the
state insurance fund, may  file  a  claim  for  reimbursement  from  the
special disability fund after July first, two thousand ten, and no writ-
ten  submissions or evidence in support of such a claim may be submitted
after that date.
  (8)(A) ON OR AFTER JULY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND THIRTEEN, AN EMPLOYER,  OR
THE  EMPLOYER'S  INSURANCE  CARRIER,  MAY FILE A CLAIM FOR REIMBURSEMENT
FROM THE VETERANS' SPECIAL DISABILITY FUND, AS ESTABLISHED IN CLAUSE (D)
OF THIS SUBPARAGRAPH, FOR WAGES PAID TO A CLAIMANT FOR  PERMANENT  TOTAL
OR  PARTIAL  DISABILITY OF THE CLAIMANT. SUCH CLAIM MAY BE FILED REGARD-
LESS OF THE DATE SUCH INJURY, IMPAIRMENT OR DISABLEMENT WAS SUSTAINED BY
THE VETERAN.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02523-01-3

S. 545                              2

  (B) AN EMPLOYER OR INSURANCE CARRIER SHALL BE FULLY REIMBURSED FOR THE
TOTAL WAGES PAID TO A  CLAIMANT  FOR  THE  TOTAL  PERIOD  OF  DISABILITY
RESULTING  FROM THE COMPENSABLE INJURY SUSTAINED BY SUCH CLAIMANT DURING
EMPLOYMENT AND SUCH COMPENSATION TO THE CLAIMANT,  OR  REIMBURSEMENT  TO
SUCH EMPLOYER, SHALL EQUAL THE TOTAL WAGES PAID UNDER THE AWARD SCHEDULE
OF  COMPENSATION FOR PERMANENT TOTAL DISABILITY AS IS PRESCRIBED IN THIS
SECTION.
  (C) AN EMPLOYER SHALL BE ENTITLED TO SUCH REIMBURSEMENT  IF:  (I)  THE
CLAIMANT  SUSTAINED AN INJURY OR PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENT DURING ACTIVE MILI-
TARY DUTY PRIOR TO EMPLOYMENT,  (II)  THE  EMPLOYER  WAS  AWARE  OF  THE
PRE-EXISTING INJURY OR IMPAIRMENT UPON HIRING THE CLAIMANT AND (III) THE
PRE-EXISTING  INJURY OR IMPAIRMENT MATERIALLY AND SUBSTANTIALLY RESULTED
IN THE PERMANENT COMPENSABLE DISABILITY OF THE CLAIMANT.
  (D) A FUND IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF THE  BOARD  AND
THE DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE TO RETAIN THE LIABILITIES CHARGE-
ABLE  UNDER THIS CLAUSE. THE SAID FUND SHALL BE KNOWN AND REFERRED TO AS
THE "VETERANS' SPECIAL DISABILITY FUND" AND SHALL BE AVAILABLE ONLY  FOR
THE  PURPOSES  STATED  WITHIN  THIS  CLAUSE, AND THE ASSETS OF SAID FUND
SHALL NOT AT ANY TIME BE APPROPRIATED OR DIVERTED TO ANY  OTHER  USE  OR
PURPOSE. SUCH FUND SHALL BE MAINTAINED AND PROVIDED FOR BY THE BOARD AND
THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  TAXATION  AND FINANCE COLLECTIVELY. THE CHAIR SHALL
ASSESS UPON AND COLLECT FROM EACH INSURANCE CARRIER, INCLUDING THE STATE
INSURANCE FUND, AND ANY COUNTY, CITY, TOWN, VILLAGE OR  OTHER  POLITICAL
SUBDIVISION FAILING TO SECURE COMPENSATION, A SUM EQUAL TO A PERCENTAGE,
OF THE TOTAL COMPENSATION PAID BY INSURANCE CARRIERS FOR THE YEAR ENDING
MARCH THIRTY-FIRST NEXT PRECEDING THE DATE OF SUCH ASSESSMENT.
  (I)  THE  CHAIR  AND  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF TAXATION AND FINANCE SHALL
DETERMINE THE EXACT RATE OF ASSESSMENT  TO  BE  MADE  AGAINST  INSURANCE
CARRIERS  TO  FUND THE VETERANS' SPECIAL DISABILITY FUND AND SHALL REAS-
SESS SUCH ASSESSMENTS ON AN ANNUAL  BASIS.  SUCH  ASSESSMENTS  SHALL  BE
INITIALLY BASED UPON THE ASSESSMENTS SET FORTH PURSUANT TO FORMER SUBDI-
VISION  EIGHT  OF  THIS  SECTION  AS IT EXISTED IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE
EFFECTIVE DATE OF CHAPTER SIX OF THE LAWS OF TWO THOUSAND SEVEN. A CLAIM
SOUGHT PURSUANT TO THIS CLAUSE SHALL COMPLY WITH ALL OTHER PROVISIONS OF
THIS SECTION.
  (II) THE CHAIR AND  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF  TAXATION  AND  FINANCE  ARE
FURTHER  AUTHORIZED  AND DIRECTED TO ENTER INTO FINANCIAL AGREEMENTS FOR
THE VETERANS' SPECIAL DISABILITY FUND. SUCH AN AGREEMENT SHALL BE  KNOWN
AND  REFERRED  TO  AS  THE  "VETERANS' SPECIAL DISABILITY FUND FINANCIAL
AGREEMENT".
  (III) THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO
RECEIVE AND CREDIT TO THE VETERANS' SPECIAL DISABILITY FUND ANY  SUM  OR
SUMS  WHICH  MAY, AT ANY TIME, BE CONTRIBUTED TO THE STATE BY THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA UNDER ANY ACT OF CONGRESS, OR OTHERWISE, TO WHICH  THE
STATE  MAY  BE  OR BECOME ENTITLED BY REASON OF ANY PAYMENTS MADE OUT OF
SUCH FUND. THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE SHALL BE THE  CUSTO-
DIAN  OF  SUCH  FUND AND, UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR IN THE VETERANS'
SPECIAL DISABILITY FUND FINANCING AGREEMENT, SHALL INVEST ANY SURPLUS OR
RESERVE MONEYS THEREOF IN SECURITIES WHICH CONSTITUTE LEGAL  INVESTMENTS
FOR  SAVINGS  BANKS UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS STATE AND IN INTEREST BEARING
CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT OF A BANK OR TRUST COMPANY LOCATED  AND  AUTHOR-
IZED  TO DO BUSINESS IN THIS STATE OR OF A NATIONAL BANK LOCATED IN THIS
STATE SECURED BY A PLEDGE OF DIRECT OBLIGATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES  OR
OF  THE  STATE  OF  NEW  YORK  IN  AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT OF SUCH
CERTIFICATES OF DEPOSIT, AND MAY SELL ANY OF THE SECURITIES  OR  CERTIF-
ICATES OF DEPOSIT WHICH SUCH FUND IS INVESTED IF NECESSARY FOR THE PROP-

S. 545                              3

ER  ADMINISTRATION  OR  IN THE BEST INTEREST OF SUCH FUND. DISBURSEMENTS
FROM SUCH FUND AS PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS CLAUSE SHALL BE MADE BY  THE
COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION AND FINANCE UPON VOUCHERS SIGNED BY THE CHAIR.
  S 2. The chair of the workers' compensation board and the commissioner
of  taxation  and  finance  shall on the one hundred twentieth day after
subparagraph 8 of paragraph (h) of subdivision 8 of section  15  of  the
workers'  compensation  law  takes  effect,  determine  the  rate and/or
percentage of compensation to be assessed and collected  upon  insurance
carriers for the veterans' special disability fund.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it  shall  have  become  a  law. Effective immediately, the chair of the
workers' compensation board and the commissioner of taxation and finance
shall be authorized to promulgate any rules and/or regulations necessary
for the implementation of this act on or before its effective date.

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