Coalition disputes contentions in think tank's report on N.Y. assessments
The alliance, which says it is a "coalition of injured workers and other stakeholders committed to protecting the rights of injured workers under the New York state workers' comp law," has issued its own report disputing the findings of a recent study from the Workers' Compensation Policy Institute.
Calling the WCPI report "misleading," the alliance says assessments are not skyrocketing but have "historically fluctuated within a relatively narrow range." It says the report's implications "that assessments create unacceptably high workers' comp costs in New York" is "simply not the case." A chart comparing workers' comp costs for seven northeastern states in 2004 and 2010 indicates New York is right in the middle.
The assessments to carriers are passed on to employers through a surcharge on their annual premiums, the alliance says. It claims the previous report "has entirely omitted discussion of the benefits its employers reap from the entities funded by assessments."
Both organizations note the assessments primarily fund the Special Disability Fund -- also called the Second Injury Fund -- and the Fund for Reopened Cases. The Second Injury Fund was closed as part of the 2007 New York workers' comp statutory reforms, which the alliance says will ultimately result in "a dramatic long-term cost saving to employers." However, because of the unfunded liability for existing claims, "there will necessarily be a short-term cost associated with its closing, which is reflected in a slight increase in assessments in the near term."
As for the reopened case fund, the alliance suggests it should be closed "as soon as possible in order to avoid a substantial increase in future assessments."
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
April 19, 2012
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