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Correction: An earlier version of this story listed the items struck by amendment as being part of the passed legislation.
The Tennessee House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill extending the deadline for an injured employee to file a claim for increased benefits.
S.B. 2190, introduced by Republican Sen. Jack Johnson, modifies the timeline for an injured worker to request increased benefits from the Tennessee Bureau of Workers Compensation from 60 days to 180 after the employee reaches maximum medical improvement. The bill also increases the period of time after an injury that an employee has to provide notice to the workers compensation bureau of the injury and the failure of the employer to secure payment from 60 days to 180. The bill also deleted the requirement that a final hearing of the state’s Court of Worker Compensation Claims be held within 60 days of the request for benefits from the Uninsured Employers Fund.
The bill had included the inclusion of a three-person panel from which an employee could choose a specialist as well as a reduction in the minimum impairment rating necessary to support a claim for increased benefits, but both of these were struck from the bill prior to passage.
The bill unanimously passed the state’s Senate in early March.
If signed into law, the legislation would take effect immediately.
Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak has approved a 19% reduction in workers compensation rates in the state.