Second Injury Fund
Missouri Second Injury Fund Claim Attorney – In Missouri, if you had a physical or mental disability before you were hurt at work, you might qualify for additional benefits from the Missouri Second Injury Fund.
What is the Second Injury Fund?
In Missouri, if you had a physical or mental disability before you were hurt at work, you might qualify for additional benefits from the Missouri Second Injury Fund. The purpose of the Second Injury Fund is to encourage employers to hire and retain employees who have disabilities. In some cases, the Second Injury Fund’s liability can be substantial. For example, in permanent total disability cases the Second Injury Fund can be held responsible for an employee’s lifetime weekly benefits when the permanent total disability results from a combination of the employee’s preexisting conditions and those caused by the current injury. Also, in death cases, when the employer failed to obtain workers compensation insurance, the Second Injury Fund can be held responsible for death benefits to the employee’s dependents. Claims against the Second Injury Fund must comply with special time limits of the law.
How can I obtain benefits from the Fund?
The Second Injury Fund is designed to compensate an injured employee when a current work related injury combines with a prior disability to create an increased combined disability. The basic concept is the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For example, if an injured employee has a 10 percent disability from the prior injury, and the combined disability is 35 percent, the Second Injury Fund pays for the increased disability. The formula for calculating the Second Injury Fund benefits depends on each case.
An injured employee must have a permanent preexisting disability to trigger liability of the Fund. The prior disability must be “of such seriousness as to constitute a hindrance or obstacle to employment.” In order for an employee to recover from the fund, certain minimum limits must be met.
The Fund is also responsible for paying medical bills of injured employee’s when the employer fails to insure its workers compensation liability. In addition, if the employee is killed, burial expenses and death benefits in the form of weekly payments to the surviving spouse of dependents of the employee are paid from the Fund if the employer is uninsured.
The Fund also provides benefits to injured employees who are undergoing physical rehabilitation. To qualify for these benefits, the employee must be seriously injured and be receiving therapy at a facility certified by the Division. If the injured worker qualifies, he or she will receive $40 per week for up to 20 weeks for rehabilitation.
The last benefit from the Second Injury Fund is second job wage loss benefits. The benefit applies to injuries that occurred after August 28, 1998. The employee must be injured on the job with the first employer. If the employee is unable to work at a second job as a result of the injury, these benefits may be claimed from the Second Injury Fund.
Free Workers Compensation Consultations for your Second Injury Fund Benefits
Our lawyer has a strong history of helping injured workers get the medical attention and financial compensation that they need. Contact our St. Louis, Missouri workers compensation law firm to ensure that your rights are protected. Please call (314) 361-4300 or toll free at (888) 872-6795. You can also complete our Online Case Evaluation Form. All communications are returned promptly.