This week Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator and CEO Sarah Morrison defended the agency’s proposed budget, HB 27, in testimony. Administrator Morrison testified that the budget request is flat from the previous budget and highlighted, that over the last six years, private employer rates have dropped an average of 28.2%, saving employers $755 million. She presented the agency’s strategic priorities and accomplishments.
The bill proposes several policy changes that Morrison explained, including:
Expediting compensation to employees awarded temporary total disability (TTD) where they don’t have ready access to required wage documentation, which delays their compensation. The BWC proposes to pay minimum calculable TTD payments to an injured worker until the calculation can be completed to determine the proper amount. BWC will subsequently true-up TTD compensation.
Streamlining operations to dismiss the backlog of more than 20,000 suspended applications for permanent partial disability (PPD), so called “C-92” applications, while preserving injured workers rights to PPD. Currently, there is no mechanism to dismiss the C-92 application other than death of the injured worker.
Allowing the agency and stakeholders to communicate electronically where appropriate, instead of by mail.
The House will continue hearings on the bill. 2/23/2017