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January 2004, Vol. 127, No. 1
Changes in workers' compensation laws in 2003
In 2003, major legislative reforms occurred in California, Florida, Montana, Nevada, and West Virginia. Maximum burial expenses increased from $5,000 to $7,500 in Florida and Iowa, and from $3,200 to $5,500 in Ohio. In California, the vocational rehabilitation provisions were repealed and replaced with a "supplemental job displacement benefit," up to a maximum of $10,000. Also, in California, chiropractic and physical therapy treatments were limited to 24 visits for the life of the claim, while Florida increased chiropractic treatment from 18 visits to 24 visits, and the number of weeks of treatments from 8 to 12.
Workers’ compensation coverage was expanded to include search and rescue workers in Maine and members of the State defense force in New Mexico. In Maryland and Massachusetts, students in work-based learning experiences now are covered. In West Virginia, the Second Injury Fund was abolished, and the length of time a person may receive temporary total disability benefits was reduced from 208 weeks to 104 weeks. In Montana, the waiting period for temporary total disability benefits was reduced from 40 hours (or 5 days) to 32 hours (4 days) of wage loss, and the permanent partial disability benefit maximum increased from 350 weeks to 375 weeks.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 2004 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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