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Second Regular Session
Sixty-first General Assembly
LLS NO. 980297.01 BWM
HOUSE BILL 981140
STATE OF COLORADO
BY REPRESENTATIVES C. Berry and Dyer;
also SENATOR Norton.
BUSINESS AFFAIRS & LABOR
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING THE REESTABLISHMENT OF AN EXCLUSIVE SCHEDULE
FOR PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH,
INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF BENEFITS RECEIVED UNDER THE SCHEDULE
AND LIMITING BENEFITS FOR MENTAL STRESS.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced
and does not necessarily reflect any amendments that may be subsequently
Increases the permanent partial disability benefit
from $150 per week to $175 per week. Allows an annual increase
or decrease in this figure based on the state average weekly wage.
Where an injury causes a loss set out in the scheduled injuries
schedule and a loss set out in the medical impairment benefit
schedule, provides that each loss will be compensated solely on
the basis of the respective schedule.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. 842107 (6) and (7), Colorado Revised Statutes, are amended to read:
842107. Permanent partial
disability benefits schedule medical impairment
benefits how determined. (6) (a) The
amounts specified in subsections (1) to (5) of this section shall
be at the compensation rate of one hundred
SEVENTYFIVE dollars per week.
(b) ON JULY 1, 1999, AND ON EACH SUCCEEDING JULY 1 THEREAFTER, THE COMPENSATION RATE ESTABLISHED IN THIS SUBSECTION (6) SHALL BE MODIFIED FOR CLAIMS ARISING ON AND AFTER SUCH DATE BY THE SAME PERCENTAGE INCREASE OR DECREASE AS THE STATE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE AS DETERMINED BY THE DIRECTOR WHEN THE DIRECTOR ESTABLISHES THE STATE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE PURSUANT TO SECTION 847106.
(7) (a) When an injured employee sustains two or more injuries coming under this schedule, the disabilities specified in subsections (1) to (5) of this section shall be added, and the injured employee shall receive the sum total thereof; except that, where the injury results in the loss or partial loss of use of the index finger and thumb of the same hand or of more than two digits of any one hand or foot, the disability, in the discretion of the director, may be compensated on the basis of the partial loss of use of said hand or foot, measured respectively from the wrist or ankle.
(b) (I) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINDS, DETERMINES, AND DECLARES THAT THE RATING ORGANIZATION THAT STUDIED THE IMPACT OF THE CHANGES IN SENATE BILL 91218, ENACTED AT THE FIRST REGULAR SESSION OF THE FIFTYEIGHTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ASSUMED THAT SCHEDULED INJURIES WOULD REMAIN ON THE SCHEDULE AND NONSCHEDULED INJURIES WOULD BE COMPENSATED AS MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT BENEFITS. THEREFORE, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINDS, DETERMINES, AND DECLARES THAT THE PURPOSE OF CHANGING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBPARAGRAPH (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH (b), AS AMENDED BY HOUSE BILL 981140, ENACTED AT THE SECOND REGULAR SESSION OF THE SIXTYFIRST GENERAL ASSEMBLY, IS TO CLARIFY THAT SCHEDULED INJURIES SHALL BE COMPENSATED AS PROVIDED ON THE SCHEDULE AND NONSCHEDULED INJURIES SHALL BE COMPENSATED AS MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT BENEFITS, AND THAT, WHEN AN INJURED WORKER SUSTAINS BOTH SCHEDULED AND NONSCHEDULED INJURIES, THE LOSSES SHALL BE COMPENSATED ON THE SCHEDULE FOR SCHEDULED INJURIES AND THE NONSCHEDULED INJURIES SHALL BE COMPENSATED AS MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT BENEFITS. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FURTHER DETERMINES AND DECLARES THAT MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL STRESS SHALL BE COMPENSATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 841301 (2) AND SHALL NOT BE COMBINED WITH A SCHEDULED OR A NONSCHEDULED INJURY.
(b) (II) Except
as provided in subsection (8) of this section, where an injury
causes the loss of, loss of use of, or partial loss of use of
any member specified in the foregoing schedule, the amount of
permanent partial disability shall be the proportionate share
of the amount stated in the above schedule for the total loss
of a member, and such amount shall be in addition to compensation
for temporary disability. WHERE AN INJURY CAUSES A LOSS SET FORTH
IN THE SCHEDULE IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION AND A LOSS SET
FORTH FOR MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT BENEFITS IN SUBSECTION (8) OF THIS
SECTION, THE LOSS SET FORTH IN THE SCHEDULE FOUND IN SAID SUBSECTION
(2) SHALL BE COMPENSATED SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF SUCH SCHEDULE
AND THE LOSS SET FORTH IN SAID SUBSECTION (8) SHALL BE COMPENSATED
SOLELY ON THE BASIS FOR SUCH MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT BENEFITS SPECIFIED
IN SAID SUBSECTION (8).
(III) MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL STRESS SHALL BE COMPENSATED PURSUANT TO SECTION 841301 (2) AND SHALL NOT BE COMBINED WITH A SCHEDULED OR A NONSCHEDULED INJURY.
SECTION 2. 841301 (2) (a) and (2) (b), Colorado Revised Statutes, are amended, and the said 841301 (2) is further amended BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW PARAGRAPH, to read:
841301. Conditions of recovery. (2) (a) A claim of mental impairment must be proven by evidence supported by the testimony of a licensed physician or psychologist. For purposes of this subsection (2), "mental impairment" means a RECOGNIZED PERMANENT disability arising from an accidental injury arising out of and in the course of employment when the accidental injury involves no physical injury and consists of a psychologically traumatic event that is generally outside of a worker's usual experience and would evoke significant symptoms of distress in a worker in similar circumstances. A mental impairment shall not be considered to arise out of and in the course of employment if it results from a disciplinary action, work evaluation, job transfer, layoff, demotion, promotion, termination, retirement, or similar action taken in good faith by the employer. THE MENTAL IMPAIRMENT THAT IS THE BASIS OF THE CLAIM MUST HAVE ARISEN PRIMARILY FROM THE CLAIMANT'S THEN OCCUPATION AND PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT.
(a.5) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION (2), "MENTAL IMPAIRMENT" ALSO INCLUDES A DISABILITY ARISING FROM AN ACCIDENTAL PHYSICAL INJURY THAT LEADS TO A RECOGNIZED PERMANENT PSYCHOLOGICAL DISABILITY.
impairment which is the basis of the claim must have arisen primarily
from the claimant's then occupation and place of employment.
Notwithstanding any other provision of articles 40 to 47 of this
title, where a claim is by reason of mental impairment, the claimant
shall be limited to twelve weeks of medical impairment benefits
which shall be in an amount not less than one hundred fifty dollars
per week and not more than fifty percent of the state average
weekly wage, inclusive of any temporary disability benefits.
This limitation shall not apply to any victim of a crime of violence
NOR TO THE VICTIM OF A PHYSICAL INJURY OR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE
THAT CAUSES NEUROLOGICAL BRAIN DAMAGE.
SECTION 3. Effective date applicability. This act shall take effect July 1, 1998, and shall apply to injuries occurring on or after said date.
SECTION 4. Safety clause. The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.