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Workers’ Compensation

States push expansion of PTSD benefits in comp

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Nearly a dozen states as of late January had introduced legislation to expand or enhance workers compensation benefits for employees who suffer mental injuries by presuming they are suffered in the course of work. “The trend will continue,” said Brian Allen, Salt Lake City-based vice president of government affairs, pharmacy solutions, for Mitchell International Inc., a subsidiary of Enlyte Group….

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Cumulative trauma claims costs add up

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Injuries to body parts that are caused by repetitive motion, frequent exposure to sounds, chemicals or even vibrations are among the most perplexing in the workers compensation sector. Claims arising from cumulative trauma injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis and hearing loss, will likely rise given the aging workforce and an overall trend toward litigation, comp experts say. How…

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Former Sam’s Club employee alleges retaliation over work comp claim

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A former Sam’s Club employee claims she was fired for seeking worker’s compensation benefits after she was injured on the job. Plaintiff Magdalena P. Szetlak filed the lawsuit in the Madison County Circuit Court against Sam’s Club, citing wrongful termination in violation of the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Act. According to the lawsuit, Szetlak was an employee of a Sam’s Club…

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Court reinstates injured crossing guard’s comp benefits

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An Illinois appeals court has reinstated the workers compensation benefits of a crossing guard injured in a slip-and-fall incident, ruling that a lower court was wrong to overturn the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s awarding of medical benefits in the case. The First District Appellate Court of Illinois, Workers’ Compensation Commission Division Thursday determined that the commission was correct to award…

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Lawmakers to consider state-funded mental health program for first responders

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Indiana lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a state-funded program to provide unspecified income and mental health services to first responders who have been involved in “a qualified critical incident.” H.B. 1136, introduced Tuesday, would establish the Indiana “first responders mental health wellness fund and program” and would cover those who are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following…

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New law includes warehouse worker safety provisions

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a budget bill Monday that included provisions addressing the increasingly popular topic of reducing injuries among warehouse workers. Pritzker signed S.B. 1720, a budget implementation act for fiscal year 2023 that also creates the Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force. The task force is charged with providing the governor and lawmakers quarterly updates about its findings,…

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Issues emerge as opioids continue to drop in comp

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Opioid prescribing in workers compensation nosedived to an all-time low last year, a new report finds, but experts say the picture is complicated, with other drugs taking over the pain management space, among other factors. AmTrust Financial Services Inc. reported in October that only 15.2% of its workers compensation claims for 2021 involved an opioid prescription, down from 60% in…

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State plans may push injured workers toward emergency rooms: Study

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Emergency room visits by injured workers showed “substantial variation” across 28 states, even for the same injuries, calling into question whether some state programs push the more expensive care at the onset of an injury regardless of medical necessity, according to a report released Monday by the Workers Compensation Research Institute. In 2021, emergency room utilization for initial medical services…

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Illinois appeals court partially sides with injured Dollar General worker

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An Illinois appeals court has partially reversed a Workers’ Compensation Commission ruling overturning an arbitrator’s issuance of temporary total disability benefits to a retail worker injured during a December 2018 workplace accident. In McGaha v. The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois on Tuesday partially overturned a May Wayne County Circuit Court decision siding with…

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