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The Iowa House of Representatives passed an amended version of a workers compensation reform study bill, removing a provision that would have cut off payments to permanently disabled workers at age 67.
The amended bill, which passed by a vote of 55 to 38, retained language that shifts the burden of proof to injured employees who test positive for alcohol or drugs not prescribed by a doctor or used as prescribed at the time of the injury to show they were not intoxicated, according to the Iowa legislature website.
The amended bill also adds a provision to the original bill introduced last month related to shoulder injuries that result in permanent partial disability. The bill directs the state’s department of workforce development to evaluate employees with a compensable shoulder injury and help find career opportunities that accommodate the employee’s injury or determine if the employee would benefit from career vocational training at a local community college. The injured employee would be entitled to financial support from the employer or employer’s insurer for participating in vocational training, the amended bill says.
The bill was forwarded to the Iowa Senate Thursday for consideration.
Workers compensation trends in New York following systematic reforms made in 2007 showed a decrease in permanent partial disability and lump-sum payments, according to a study released Tuesday by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute.