Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
January 25, 1999
House Business Affairs
Will Meyer (303-866-4976)
TITLE: CONCERNING THE REESTABLISHMENT OF AN EXCLUSIVE SCHEDULE FOR PERMANENT PARTIAL DISABILITY UNDER THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF BENEFITS RECEIVED UNDER THE SCHEDULE AND LIMITING BENEFITS FOR MENTAL STRESS.
Summary of Assessment
This bill makes the following changes to the Workers' Compensation Act:
• increases the permanent partial disability benefit from $150 per week to $175 per week; beginning on July 1, 2000, the amount of the benefit will increase or decrease annually based on the state average weekly wage;
• provides that each injury where a loss provided for in the injuries schedule and in the medical impairment benefit schedule, would be compensated solely on the basis of the respective schedules; and
• provides that mental or emotional stress be compensated pursuant to Section 8-41-301 (2) C.R.S., governing claims of mental impairment, and not combined with a scheduled or non-scheduled injury.
The provisions of the bill would become effective July 1, 1999, and would apply to injuries occurring on or after that date.
A significant change in the benefits paid to workers covered under the Workers' Compensation Act could result in a change in the premiums paid by employers. However, it is anticipated that any increases in the cost of permanent partial disability benefits would be offset by reductions in costs of mental impairment benefits. Workers' compensation benefits are paid by insurance companies to injured workers, and thus do not impact the revenues or expenditures of the state, or units of local government
This bill would have a minimal impact on the workload of the Division of Workers' Compensation, Department of Labor and Employment. The division would need to make minor changes to its general and final admission forms. These changes could be made within their existing spending authority. This bill does not have any significant impact on any other agency of the state, or unit of local government. Therefore, the bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact.
Labor and Employment Personnel