Worker's Compensation Advisory Council

Highlights of Major Accomplishments 1980 - 2000

The Council has achieved numerous accomplishments. The following represent highlights of accomplishments during the past twenty years. As highlights, the listing of accomplishments is not intended to be neither all-inclusive nor comprehensive. The accomplishments are grouped according to the primary core values of the worker’s compensation system.

Universal Coverage

1980 – Allowed employing departments within state government more discretion for the payment of claims

1984 – Clarified the circumstances under which occupational stress claims could be compensated

1984 – Defined situations in which vocational students could be compensated for injuries incurred during training

1986 – Clarified situations in which employees engaging in wellness programs could be compensated for injuries arising from such programs

1990 – Instituted leasing agencies as responsible parties for worker’s compensation of leased employees if the agency retains rights or obligations of the employment contract

1990 - Created the Uninsured Employers Fund to be administered by the department (implemented in 1994)

1998 – Clarified that AFDC-JOBS and FSET program participants are employees of the public agencies administering the programs unless the work-site agency agreed to provide insurance coverage

Adequate Benefits

1980 through 1998 – Increased the rate of disability and death benefits incrementally

1986 – Insured that the compensation paid to part-time employees would not exceed the actual earnings of the part-time job

1986 – Allowed proportionate restoration of employee sick leave when it was inappropriately used instead of worker’s compensation benefits

1988 – Provided for workers injured on part-time jobs to have temporary disability benefits increased to normal full-time earnings for comparable work with the same employer if the worker is employed full-time at another job or not restricting availability for full-time work

Low Administrative Costs

1986 – Addressed medical disputes by allowing the department to make determinations on the reasonableness and necessity of treatment to which medical practitioners must adhere

1988 – Clarified authority to permit divided or partial insurance coverage

1992 – Instituted strategies and processes to address reasonableness of medical fees and necessity of medical treatments

Prompt Return to Work

1980 – Created limitations for permanent disability awards to physical limitation only when employee returns to former employment when there is no less than a 15 percent wage loss

1984 – Clarified circumstances in which lump sum advances can be made to injured worker

Low Litigation

1986 – Clarified the authority of the LIRC to set aside or modify their own or a hearing examiner’s order within one year of its issuance

1986 – Allowed LIRC greater discretion in correcting mistakes in its orders within the time period that an appeal could be made to circuit court

1986 – Permitted LIRC to reinstate orders that were set-aside to be reinstated when further studies indicates that this action is appropriate

1988 – Instituted the "tiebreaker" examination to address selected medical treatment questions

1990 – Created the nine part test for independent contractors

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