Fighting Workers’ Comp reform in North Carolina

You are going to be seeing a lot of posts from me in the coming weeks and months with updates on what is going on in the Statehouse in Raleigh.  The People of North Carolina are in for a fight – and this time it doesn’t only affect injured workers who are depending on their weekly Workers’ Comp benefit checks.  This time it affects us all – the taxpayers.

The insurance companies want to cap the benefits they pay out for individuals that are totally and completely disabled to 500 weeks.  So, you may ask, what happens after those 500 weeks are gone?  The taxpayers will foot the bill, plain and simple.

In addition, the insurance lobby is putting pressure on your representatives to change the existing law to force injured workers to take any type of job they can find if they can not return to what is currently called “suitable employment.”

If these changes are allowed to go through, not only could workers be forced to take jobs that pay them less wages, provide fewer benefits and give them little room to advance (consider a school teacher forced to work as a Wal-Mart greeter), but the resulting loss of income from that job change would be capped at 500 weeks and then the benefits would stop – even if the injured and disabled worker was still physically unable to return to the work they were doing before they were injured.

Check out these blog posts (here and here) for more information.  I have previously blogged about this here.

Also, make sure you contact your state representative and tell them to stand up to the insurance lobby and reject the proposed reforms.

Here is another press release on this issue.