Senate Bill No. 168

(By Senators Kessler (Mr. President) and Fitzsimmons)


         [Introduced February 15, 2013; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary          .]                            


A BILL to amend and reenact §23-4-1f of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to allowing workers' compensation for certain mental illnesses related to being a crime victim.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
    That §23-4-1f of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§23-4-1f. Certain psychiatric injuries and diseases not compensable; exception.
                                            For the purposes of this chapter, no an alleged injury or disease shall be is not recognized as a compensable injury or disease which if it was solely caused by nonphysical means and which did not result in any physical injury or disease to the person claiming benefits except that a person may qualify for workers' compensation for mental illness when the mental illness is the direct and proximate result of being a victim of a crime of violence against the person. The crime must have occurred during the course of employment of the person filing for benefits under this chapter. The crime must be reported to the police within seventy-two hours after the occurrence of the crime. A person is not eligible for workers' compensation benefits if he or she was engaging in the criminal activity that resulted in the mental illness. It is the purpose of this section to clarify that so- called mental-mental claims are not compensable under this chapter.

                                            NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow payment of workers' compensation benefits for mental illness when a person becomes ill after being a victim of a crime.

                                            Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.