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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—A bill introduced in the Illinois House last week could change how workers compensation awards are computed for employees who already have received benefits for previous injuries.
H.B. 6145 would deduct prior partial disability calculations from benefits to be paid for subsequent injuries, so long as the new injury occurs in the same portion of the body as the previous injury. The bill, filed Thursday by Illinois Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, has been sent to the House rules committee.
The Illinois Senate also is moving forward with a separate workers comp bill that attempts to reduce comp costs in the state.
S.B. 2521 would exclude idiopathic injuries from workers comp, and require employees to participate in an employer's preferred provider program for workers comp physicians. The networks were established by workers comp reforms passed in Illinois last year, and current law allows employees to opt out of the program.
The Senate bill also includes new definitions for work-related accidents and injuries. The legislation says, in part, that an injury's cause must be "established to a reasonable degree of medical certainty (and) based on objective relevant medical findings..."
The bill, introduced in November by Republican state Sen. Kyle McCarter, was referred to the Senate's executive committee last month.
NCCI Holdings Inc. has asked for a 3.5% increase in workers compensation rates for Illinois next year, despite recent reforms that are expected to reduce the state's workers comp costs.