Permanent Total Disability Committee October 30, 2006

Members present:  James Buchen, Ralph Herrmann, Jodie M. Connor, Neill De Clercq, Ron Kent, Scott Shaver, Allison Hanson, Abby Butler, Janell Knutson, Heather Thomas and John Conway


Staff present: Frances Huntley-Cooper and Kathy Froehlich

Public Attendees:  John Metcalf, Lynne Kossow, Wendy DeBlaey and Patricia Grillot

All in attendance at the meeting introduced themselves.

The Committee reviewed the mission statement.

John Conway provided a historical review of the Committee’s work last year including proposed periodic permanent total disability (PTD) benefit rate increases, cost to insurers and self-insured employers and funding mechanisms.

The Social Security reverse offset and the effect of the offset on PTD benefit increases was discussed. Currently the Social Security offset lasts approximately six to nine years. Proposed PTD benefit increases could result in a continued Social Security reverse offset for some employees of up to 19 years.

The Committee was provided information on the balances in the Work Injury Supplemental Benefit Fund (WISBF) for the last few years, and the number and ages of PTD claimants.

The Committee members requested additional information from the Department before discussing specific recommendations for PTD benefit increases including issues regarding cost of living adjustments, and how much of a time lag there would be between the injury date benefit rates and the current benefit rates.

The Committee that the Department provide the following information for the next meeting:

  1. Expenditure and revenue data for each of past 10 years including a more detailed explanation of categories.
  2. How many open PTD claims on January 1 of each of the past 10 yrs?
  3. How many new PTD cases initiated in each of past 10 yrs?
    How many PTD cases closed during each year for past 10 yrs?
  4. How much additional cost will be incurred to add 3 yrs?
    How much additional cost to add 6 yrs?
  5. How do the number of PTD cases in WI compare to other states?
  6. A brief overview of caselaw on vocational permanent total disability determinations.
  7. Can Fund sustain cost of adding 3 yrs? 6yrs?
  8. How many fatal injuries have there been since 4/1/06 requiring $20,000 payment?
    How many loss of limb claims since 4/1/06?
  9. Are there other ways to come up with more money?

Patricia Grillot spoke and expressed her concern that the PTD committee increase benefits to the current benefit rate as soon as possible.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 28, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. location to be determined.