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:
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.