Workers’ compensation revised

Lawmakers passed a bill May 21 that updates workers’ compensation statutes.

Sponsored by Omaha Sen. Burke Harr, LB480 contains provisions of four bills.

Provisions of LB158, introduced by Omaha Sen. John McCollister, deny benefits if an employee knowingly and willfully made false statements regarding his or her physical or medical condition by acknowledging that he or she is able to perform the essential functions of a job based on the employer’s job description.

Provisions of Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist’s LB363 clarify that employees are not responsible for any finance charges or late penalty payments as a result of medical services rendered by a provider.

LB133, introduced by Crete Sen. Laura Ebke, revises the interest rate applicable to an award of workers’ compensation benefits in which an attorney’s fee is permitted by changing the rate from 14 percent to a rate calculation of 6 percentage points above the bond investment yield, as published by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Provisions of LB600, also by Ebke, expand the authority to invest trust assets held in irrevocable workers’ compensation trusts to allow for investments in the same manner as corporate trustees holding retirement or pension funds for governmental employees.

If the assets fall below the acceptable amount required by the compensation court, the trustor must deposit additional assets to continue to satisfy the minimum security amounts required. The provisions prohibit a trustee from investing assets into stocks, bonds or other obligations of the trustor.

Senators passed the bill 46-0.

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