Workers' Compensation

P Passed

P HB41

Presumption as to death or disability from hypertension or heart disease; special agents of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Extends the presumption for work-related death or disability from hypertension or heart disease under workers' compensation to include special agents of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Patron - Woodrum

P HB2306

Workers' compensation; drug-free workplace programs. Removes the four-year limit on the duration of the insurance premium discount that workers' compensation insurers provide to employers instituting and maintaining drug-free workplace programs. Currently, insurers are required to provide employers who institute such programs that satisfy the insurer's criteria with premium discounts of up to five percent for a total of no more than four years.
Patron - Bolvin

P HB2405

Certain benefits for special forest wardens. Includes special forest wardens within the definition of "firefighter" for purposes of workers' compensation for off-duty incidents, and for presumptions of death or disability due to respiratory disease, hypertension, heart disease, or certain cancers. In addition, the children and spouses of these wardens who have been killed in the line of duty are entitled to a waiver of tuition and fees at Virginia institutions of higher education. The definition of "firefighter" for purposes of the Workers' Compensation Act presumptions is amended to exclude persons who are employed by private employers primarily to perform firefighting services.
Patron - Kilgore

F Failed

F HB1594

Workers' compensation; chiropractic care. Requires an employer to list one chiropractor on the panel of physicians from which an employee chooses a physician when the employee's injury is to the back, neck or spine.
Patron - Black

F HB1658

Presumption as to death or disability from hypertension or heart disease; Department of Motor Vehicles enforcement division members. Extends the presumption for work-related death or disability from hypertension or heart disease under workers' compensation to include full-time sworn members of the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Patron - Parrish

F HB1693

Workers' compensation; occupational disease presumption; police officers of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Establishes a presumption that hypertension or heart disease causing the death or disability of an officer of the police department established and maintained by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is an occupational disease compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act. Currently, such presumption exists for members of the State Police Officers' Retirement System, members of county, city or town police departments, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, city sergeants or deputy city sergeants of the City of Richmond, Virginia Marine Patrol officers, certain game wardens, and Capitol Police officers.
Patron - Black

F HB2039

Workers' compensation; payment of medical expenses after award. Requires the Workers' Compensation Commission, if it finds that the employer or insurer unreasonably delayed or denied payment of the employee's medical expenses, to award interest on the amount paid for such medical attention, to the employee, or health care provider if the health care provider has not been paid, at the judgment rate of nine percent from the date of the bill until the date paid. The bill will sunset on July 1, 2003.
Patron - Rust

F HB2113

Workers' compensation; cost of living supplements. Requires the Workers' Compensation Commission to develop procedures to ensure that cost of living supplementary payments are provided to eligible claimants upon the effective date of increases in the Average Consumer Price Index for all items adjusted annually.
Patron - Suit

F HB2525

Workers' compensation; disability from pneumoconiosis. Requires that the members of any panel or committee required to interpret or classify a chest roentgenogram for purposes of diagnosing a coal worker's pneumoconiosis shall be board-certified or board-eligible pulmonologists. Members of the panel are currently required to be approved B-readers.
Patron - Phillips

F HB2647

Workers' compensation; presumption of dependency. Removes the requirement that a spouse, child or parent be "wholly" dependent upon a deceased employee in order to be eligible for certain benefits upon the death of an employee from an accident. The measure also substitutes the term "spouse" for the terms "husband" and "wife" in the provision that establishes the presumption that dependents are dependent for support upon a deceased employee. A spouse of a deceased employee will be presumed to be dependent for support upon the deceased employee whom the spouse had not voluntarily deserted or abandoned at the time of the accident or with whom the spouse lived at the time of the accident, if the spouse is then actually dependent upon the deceased employee.
Patron - Moran

F HB2710

Workers' compensation; attorney fees. Prohibits the Workers' Compensation Commission from awarding an injured employee's attorneys' fees and costs incurred in successfully contesting a claim for medical, surgical and hospital services from the sum that benefits a health care provider.
Patron - Broman

F SB898

Workers' compensation; whole body accident coverage. Provides financial compensation to injured employees who sustain a permanent partial loss of use of the body as a whole. This measure applies to permanent losses for which the number of weeks of compensation is not currently specified. The employee shall be paid compensation for the proportionate loss of use of the body as a whole resulting from the injury, based on a total value of 500 weeks for the body as a whole.
Patron - Reynolds

F SB1189

Workers' compensation; suspension of awards. Prohibits the Workers' Compensation Commission from suspending benefits previously awarded to an employee prior to conducting an evidentiary hearing when an employer seeks the termination or suspension of such benefits on grounds of (i) unjustified refusal to accept medical service or vocational rehabilitation services, (ii) refusal of selective employment within the employee's physical capacity, or (iii) a change in the employee's condition. If the employer's application complies with applicable law and its supporting documentation supports a finding of probable cause to believe the employer's grounds are meritorious, the Commission shall schedule an evidentiary hearing on the employer's application, provided that the employee requests the hearing within 15 days. If the employee does not timely request such a hearing, the Commission may suspend the employee's benefits. If the employee requests a hearing, the compensation previously awarded to the employee shall not be suspended unless and until the Commission enters an order, at or following the evidentiary hearing, that ends or diminishes the award.
Patron - Marye


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