Second Injury Fund

About the Second Injury Fund

The Second Injury Fund Unit is responsible for the billing and collection of the Second Injury Fund Surcharge from insurance carriers writing workers’ compensation premiums in Missouri and from self-insurers or group trusts authorized to self insure in Missouri. In addition to billing and collecting, upon the requisition of the Division, warrants on the state treasurer for the payment of compensation benefits from the Second Injury Fund are issued to the claimants. These payments are consistent with the awards or settlements approved by administrative law judges. The Second Injury Fund Unit is also responsible for certifying physical rehabilitation facilities that are interested in rehabilitating injured workers. A seriously injured worker may be eligible for this benefit if attending a facility that has been certified by the Division of Workers’ Compensation prior to the physical rehabilitation treatment dates

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How the Second Injury Fund Can Help Me As An Employee

Missouri’s Second Injury Fund (SIF) can help an injured worker when a current work-related injury combines with a prior disability to create an increased combined disability. The basic concept is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For example, if an injured employee has a 15 percent disability from the prior injury, and the combined disability is 40 percent, the Second Injury Fund pays for the increased disability. The formula for calculating the Second Injury Fund benefits depends on each case. SIF can also help the survivors of an employee killed at work, in certain situations, when the employee was employed by an uninsured employer at the time of death. SIF provides five different kinds of benefits; one or more may be available to you.

Related: Injured Workers: How the Second Injury Fund Can Help You

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Roles & Responsibilities of Employers

The Second Injury Fund compensates injured employees when a current work-related injury combines with a prior disability to create an increased combined disability. SIF is funded by a surcharge paid by employers. The Missouri State Treasurer is the “custodian” of the Fund. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office defends the claims made against the Fund and obtains the Treasurer’s authority to settle cases for the Fund. The Second Injury Fund Unit is responsible for the billing and collection of the Surcharge from insurance carriers writing workers’ compensation premiums in Missouri and from individual self-insurers or group trusts authorized to self-insure in Missouri.

Related: Employers: Second Injury Fund Surcharge

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Physical Rehabilitation and Facility Certification

The goal of this program is to restore the injured worker, as quickly and as nearly as possible, to a condition of self-support and maintenance equal to other able-bodied workers, through physical rehabilitation. The physical rehabilitation program staff investigates and determines the employee’s eligibility to receive benefits. The program works closely with physicians, therapists, lawyers, insurers, and case managers.

The Division's supervision of physical rehabilitation is limited to seriously injured workers receiving physical rehabilitation at certified facilities and the authorization of payment from the Second Injury Fund. Serious injuries that may qualify include, but are not limited to, quadriplegia, paraplegia, amputation of the hand, arm, foot or leg, atrophy due to nerve injury or non-use, back injuries not amenable alone to recognized medical and surgical procedures, severe crushing injuries, and severe burns.

Only those seriously injured employees receiving physical rehabilitation in facilities certified by the Division are entitled to the additional benefits. This does not mean these employees cannot be rehabilitated in other facilities. It does mean that if they are rehabilitated in other facilities, they cannot receive the Second Injury Fund benefit. To be certified, each facility must meet criteria and specifications for function, personnel, equipment, quality, and facility adequacy. The Division has recently updated the criteria for certification of compliance to current professional standards. Presently, there are approximately 480 facilities certified by the Division.

The physical rehabilitation program staff investigates and determines the employees' eligibility to receive the benefit. If the employee meets the criteria and is receiving services from a certified facility, the Director authorizes the $40 weekly payment to be paid to the employee from the Second Injury Fund for up to 20 weeks.

In unusual cases, benefits may be provided for longer than the specified 20 weeks by special order. Benefits are paid to the employee only while actually being rehabilitated. The program averages 50 active cases. Each of these cases requires some type of action on a weekly basis. The rehabilitation facility is required to submit progress reports every two weeks while the employee is receiving therapy. The unit works closely with physicians, therapists, lawyers, insurers, and case managers.

For more information about rehabilitation programs and workers' compensation, call 800-775-2667 or 573-526-3876.

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