H. B. 3108
(By Delegate Hunt, (By Request))
[Introduced February 11, 2011; referred to the
Committee on Energy, Industry and Labor, Economic Development and Small Business then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §23-4-23 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to workers’ compensation; disability and death benefits; permanent total disability; and providing for cost-of-living allowances.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §23-4-23 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. DISABILITY AND DEATH BENEFITS.
§23-4-23. Permanent total disability benefits; reduction of disability benefits; reduction of benefits; application of section; cost-of-living allowances; severability.
(a) This section is applicable whenever benefits are being paid for permanent total disability benefits arising under subdivision (d), (m) or (n), section six of this article or under section eight-c of this article. This section is not applicable to the receipt of temporary total disability benefits, the receipt of permanent partial disability benefits, the receipt of benefits by partially or wholly dependent persons or to the receipt of benefits pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e), section ten of this article. This section is not applicable to the receipt of medical benefits or the payment for medical benefits.
(b) Whenever applicable benefits are paid to a beneficiary with respect to the same time period for which payments under a self-insurance plan, a wage continuation plan or a disability insurance policy provided by an employer are also received or being received by the beneficiary, the applicable benefits shall be reduced by these amounts:
(1) The after-tax amount of the payments received or being received under a self-insurance plan, a wage continuation plan or under a disability insurance policy provided by an employer if the employee did not contribute directly to the plan or to the payment of premiums regarding the disability insurance policy; or
(2) The proportional amount, based on the ratio of the employer’s contributions to the total insurance premiums for the policy period involved, of the after-tax amount of the payments received or being received by the employee pursuant to a disability insurance policy provided by an employer if the employee did contribute directly to the payment of premiums regarding the disability insurance policy: Provided, That in no event shall applicable benefits be reduced below the minimum weekly benefits as provided for in subdivisions (b) and (d), section six of this article.
(c) Claimants eligible for and receiving permanent total benefits under the provisions of this article shall be awarded annual cost-of-living allowances based upon the Consumer Price Index published by the United States Department of Labor.
(c) (d) This section applies to awards of permanent total disability made after the effective date of this section.
(d) (e) The board of managers shall promulgate the appropriate rules for the interpretation, processing and enforcement of this section.
(f) If any portion of this section or any application of this section is subsequently found to be unconstitutional or in violation of applicable law, it shall not affect the validity of the remainder of this section or the applications of the section that are not unconstitutional or in violation.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide permanent total disability recipients annual cost-of-living allowances based upon the Consumer Price Index published by the United States Department of Labor.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.