• Archive for the ‘News’ Category

    The Problem with Zero Percent Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) Ratings

    Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

    The Problem with Zero Percent Permanent Partial Impairment (PPI) RatingsIndiana Worker’s Compensation law requires that the employer to ask the attending physician for an opinion as to whether a work-related injury has resulted in a permanent loss of physical function. The attending physician will sometimes respond by indicating that there is a 0% permanent partial impairment (PPI). That response is the equivalent of an opinion that there has been no permanent loss of function.  

    The employee has the right to an alternative opinion as to the permanent loss issue from a doctor of his own choosing at his own expense.  If the employee’s doctor finds a permanent loss of function and assigns a PPI rating for that loss, then a dispute as to the existence and extent of the permanent injury exists. The usual practice is to agree to a split of the ratings in a resolution of the impairment dispute.

    If the employer is unwilling to consider the employee’s alternative PPI rating, then the Worker’s Compensation Board will evaluate the evidence and make a determination. The first question for the Board’s determination is whether there has been a permanent loss of physical function. If the Board finds that there has been a permanent loss of physical function, then the second question for the Board’s determination is the proper amount of PPI to be awarded.  

    If the Board determines that there has, in fact, been a permanent loss of physical function despite the attending physician’s 0% PPI opinion, then the employer is at an evidentiary disadvantage as to the second question; the amount of PPI to be awarded. This is because the only evidence as to the amount of the PPI sustained is the employee’s alternative PPI rating. While a 0% PPI rating may be evidence that there has been no permanent loss of physical function, it is not evidence as to the amount of PPI to be awarded if the Board finds that there has been a permanent loss of physical function.  

    Recreational Activity and Compensability

    Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

    ISIA-Recreational-Activity-and-Compensability

    An employer’s arrangement for or involvement in its employee’s recreational activity can create worker’s compensation liability. There is nothing wrong with employees engaging in activity outside of the workplace and work time. But, even incidental employer participation in such activity can be deemed to have created an employment related risk in the course of the employment.

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    Gordon v. Toyota | Indiana Court of Appeals

    Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

    indiana-self-insurers-gordon-v-toyota

    Indiana Court of Appeals
    Decided April 19, 2016

    Indiana Code 22-3-3-11 provides that if an injured employee refuses employment suitable to his capacity procured for him, then he shall not be entitled to compensation during the period of refusal.  Most employers are aware of this provision, but are not quite so cognizant of some qualifying provisions which require that 1) the employee must be served with a notice setting forth the consequences of refusal and 2) the Board may determine whether or not the refusal was justifiable.

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    What people want in their Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act

    Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

    What people want in their Indiana Worker's Compensation ActDo you ever wonder how statutory changes to the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Act come about? The answer is that people suggest changes to their legislative representatives. Those people can include associations of people, too, like the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the Indiana Manufacturers Association, the Insurance Institute of Indiana, the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Board, the Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana State AFL-CIO, the Indiana State Building Trades and many other organizations. Your Indiana Self-Insurers Association participates in that process on your behalf as well. But, we need to know what YOU want; you are OUR people.

    Here are some of the things that other people want right now:
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    Employee Unavailability for Work in Indiana

    Friday, November 20th, 2015

    When a work related injury occurs an employer may avoid paying or may terminate the payment of Temporary Total Disability (TTD) compensation by tendering to the employee light duty work which is within the restrictions assigned by the attending physician. Such a tender of light duty work is not mandatory; it is within the employer’s discretion. If light duty work is not available or is not tendered, then TTD compensation must be paid until 1) light duty work becomes available and is tendered, or 2) the employee is released to the regular work or 3) the injury has been deemed to have reached its Maximum Medical Improvement.

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    2015 ISIA Renewal Letter

    Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

    OFFICERS 

    Jerry Williams, President
    Jessica Amos, Mittal Steel USA

    DIRECTORS

    Jessica Amos, Secretary/Treasurer
    Sandy Fralich, Indy Steel Erectors
    Gary Gonthier, General Motors Company
    Michael Hough, Nishikawa Cooper, LLC
    Jerry Williams, Clarian Health Partners
    Robert  Fanning, Executive Director

    To Join or Renew your membership please visit the Membership Page.


    Dear Indiana Self-Insurer and Worker’s Compensation Professional:

    The ISIA was incorporated in 1976 and has provided service to Indiana’s self-insured employers and ancillary industries since that time. While the number of self-insured employers has dropped from a peak of 275 to 105 today, our Association continues to provide important services and education to our members and to serve as a liaison to the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana and other business-friendly organizations.

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    Voluntary Termination of Employment

    Friday, December 5th, 2014

    Many times in the settlement of worker’s compensation cases, the question of voluntary termination of employment comes up. While there may be valid reasons for seeking such a termination, the issue can unduly complicate the resolution of the worker’s compensation claim. There are at least four reasons why requesting a voluntary termination of employment under these circumstances can be problematic:

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    Become an Indiana Self-Insurers Association, Inc. (ISIA) member this year!

    Saturday, March 1st, 2014

    Dear Indiana Self-Insurer and Worker’s Compensation Professional:

    ISIA was incorporated in 1976 and has provided continuous service to Indiana’s self-insurer community since that time. I am enclosing an informational document which outlines the ISIA mission. While the number of self-insured employers is less than it was in 1976, our Board of Directors believes that our Association is a valuable resource to the worker’s compensation community and can continue to supply important services and education to our members. You may notice that the dues are increased over those of past years, and it is with reluctance that we take that step. Our motivation in this regard is simply a function of the reduced number of self-insured employers and ancillary businesses. We hope that you understand and that you will continue to support our mission.

    We will be scheduling and planning our Spring Seminar soon and will let you know when those arrangements have been finalized. We are working with our partners to assure that any legislative action which affects our worker’s compensation law this year will be reasonable and necessary. And we are continuing our dialog with the Worker’s Compensation Board in order to assure that self-insurance remains an efficient option for Indiana employers.

    Please consider becoming an ISIA member again this year. We challenge you to participate in our endeavors and let us know your needs. The worker’s compensation community in Indiana is important to employees and employers alike and the self-insured component of that community is made up of the best of the best. ISIA wants to work with you to meet your goals for education, networking, and response to self-insurance issues in Indiana.

     

    Sincerely,
    INDIANA SELF-INSURERS ASSOCIATION, INC.
    Robert Fanning, Executive Director

    2012 ISIA Renewal Letter

    Thursday, March 29th, 2012

    Dear Indiana Self-Insurer and Worker’s Compensation Professionals:

    The Indiana Self-Insurers Association is at a crossroads. ISIA was incorporated in 1976 and has provided service to Indiana’s self-insured employers and ancillary industries since that time. But, the number of self-insured employers has been dropping steadily for several years from a peak of about 275 to a few more than 100 now. Our Board of Directors believes that our Association can continue to provide important services and education to our members, but we are seeking more efficient ways to do that. Raising dues and seminar fees is not the answer.

    Last year, our Fall Seminar was held in conjunction with the Indiana Worker’s Compensation Institute. That combination of effort was felt by our members in attendance to be worthwhile and the income from vendors allowed us to reduce the seminar fee to $50. This year, we plan to have our Spring Seminar in early June as a stand-alone education meeting for our members, but will take advantage of the kind invitation of IU Health to use its 10th Street facility in Indianapolis in order to save the expense of a for-profit conference center. It is likely that the Fall meeting in early August will again be combined with the IWCI annual meeting. Our goal is to continue to provide meaningful and necessary services to self-insured employers and providers of services to self-insurers while reducing our operating costs consistent with our reduced constituency.

    We hope that you will become an ISIA member this year and we challenge you to participate in our endeavors. The worker’s compensation community in Indiana is important and the self-insurance component of that community is made up of the best of the best. ISIA wants to work with you to meet your needs for education, networking, and response to self-insurer issues in Indiana.

    Sincerely,

    INDIANA SELF-INSURERS ASSOCIATION, INC.
    Robert Fanning, Executive Director

    Click here to download the PDF of the Letter.

    Fall 2010 Seminar Document

    Thursday, October 28th, 2010

    Click to Download the ISIA Fall Seminar Title Page & Cases