There are certain potential issues among disabled workers that may cause additional stress that able-bodied workers do not face. One such issue is the fact that a worker may become injured on the job someday and end up out of luck when it comes to income, either by being unable to work or because of high medical expenses. However, there are certain funds in place to protect disabled workers who end up injured.
As stated by the Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, workers’ compensation premiums in Missouri have a Second Injury Fund Surcharge, which is collected by the Second Injury Fund Unit. The Unit certifies physical rehabilitation facilities as well, providing places for injured workers to be able to receive physical therapy after suffering from an accident. As long as the worker was part of a certified facility approved by the Division of Workers’ Compensation before the physical therapy treatment dates have been set, they are eligible for this.
Additionally, prior disability can be combined with work-related injuries under the Second Injury Fund in a way that results in increased combined disability for the recipient. This could allow for more potential benefits to the worker. Benefits may include payments through either settlements or approved in court. Compensation benefits may also be collected during the process, further padding the recipient during their time of need.
While dealing with a workplace injury can be difficult for anyone, it may be an even more costly and scary issue for a worker that already suffers from a disability beforehand. That is why the Second Injury Fund is a good option to keep in mind for workers who are eligible.