COVID-19: Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission Institutes Temporary Emergency Guidelines

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission has instituted temporary emergency guidelines that will directly impact the day-to-day operations of the Commission as well as the speed at which cases will be heard. In response to this unprecedented event, the Commission has postponed all dockets for March 17, 2020 and March 18, 2020 to facilitate its transition to a primarily telephonic docket beginning March 19, 2020. Any emergency cases postponed due to the two-day closure will be scheduled for a telephonic …

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Increasing Rights: Osterlund Benefits for the Undocumented Individual & Medical Marijuana Benefits

The Connecticut workers’ compensation system is designed to assist the injured worker when claiming a valid and compensable injury. Over the years, the rights of the injured worker have been expanded, amended, and challenged. Recently, two Connecticut Review Board (CRB) decisions increased those rights once again.

Medical marijuana use has been legalized in several states; however, it is not federally legalized, which causes various issues. In Connecticut, recreational marijuana use is still illegal, while medical marijuana for certain conditions (i.e., chronic back pain, anxiety, etc.) …

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Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission Issues Important Update to Professional Guidelines Regarding One-Time Evaluations and Second Opinions

On August 29, 2019, Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) Chairman Stephen M. Morelli issued Memorandum No. 2019-07 regarding updates to the Professional Guide for Attorneys, Physicians, and Other Health Care Practitioners Guidelines for Cooperation. Specifically, the memorandum highlights changes to the Professional Guide with respect to one-time medical evaluations and second opinions.

By way of background, the Professional Guide is a guidance document produced by the Workers’ Compensation Commission intended to improve the interaction between attorneys, physicians, and other health care professionals in the …

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Undocumented Immigrants Lose Out on Benefits

Under the Connecticut workers’ compensation statutes (codified under Title 31), immigrants who are not U.S. citizens enjoy many, but not all, of the same rights as U.S. citizens. The workers’ compensation system affords medical and indemnity benefits to eligible claimants. Within the indemnity category, there are lost time benefits, permanency benefits, and earning impairment benefits. Particularly, this eligibility hinges on whether an individual is documented and can legally work in the United States.

Immigrants that lack citizenship or proper documentation are still eligible for medical …

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Connecticut Legislative Update: Workers’ Compensation Coverage Expanded for Some First Responders

In a rare legislative change to Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Law, Gov. Ned Lamont recently signed into law Senate Bill No. 164 (Public Act 19-17), which expands workers’ compensation coverage for some first responders who experience mental or emotional impairment following certain traumatic events experienced in the line of duty. Specifically, the bill allows for police officers, firefighters, and parole officers that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In order to be eligible for benefits, the first …

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Construction Sites, Injured Contractors & Workers’ Compensation

In Connecticut, the “traditional” rules of workers’ compensation are relatively well established. A restaurant employee cuts his finger preparing food on shift; a home health aide pulls a muscle in her back while moving a patient on shift; a delivery truck driver gets into a motor vehicle accident while delivering to a customer. But what if you are a contractor or subcontractor on a job/site and get injured? Do you know who your direct employer is? Is there workers’ compensation coverage? For the most part, …

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2019 Mileage Rates Reach Second Highest in 20 Years

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued its annual mileage rates for 2019. This year, the mileage rate has increased from 54 cents per mile to 58 cents per mile, which reflects a 6.42 percent increase from 2018. A review of the mileage rates from 1997 to present show rates as low as 31 cents (1999) and as high as 58 cents (July to December 2008). The rate has only exceeded the current 58 cents on one occasion, and it was only a temporary, mid-year …

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2019 Mileage Rates Reach Second Highest in Twenty Years

Every year the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues the annual mileage rates, and like clockwork, the IRS has released the updated rates for 2019. This year the mileage rate has increased from 54.5 cents per mile to 58 cents per mile, which reflects a 6.42 percent increase from 2018. A review of the mileage rates from 1997 to present show rates as low as 31 cents (1999) and as high as 58.5 center (July to December 2008). The rate has only exceeded the 58 …

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Is a Workplace Injury Caused by a Non-Occupational Medical Condition Compensable? Connecticut Appellate Court says “Yes” in Clements v. Aramark Corporation

It is a fundamental principle of Connecticut workers’ compensation law that in order for an injury to be compensable, it must occur in the course of and arise out of the claimant’s employment. In the recent Appellate Court decision of Clements v. Aramark Corp., the court considered whether an employee who fell and injured herself at work due to an unrelated medical condition met this burden. In a critical decision that overturned both the Trial Commissioner and Compensation Review Board (CRB), the court found in …

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Moratorium to all Moratoriums

Public Act No. 11-205 significantly impacts the way in which the Connecticut Worker’s Compensation Act (C.G.S. § 31-275 through 31-355b) is applied. Generally, under Connecticut’s Worker’s Compensation laws, when an employee is injured in a work related accident, he/she is entitled to worker’s compensation benefits for their injuries. The employer is required to pay both indemnity and medical benefits, in exchange for the employee’s right to sue. However, if the accident was caused by a third party, either the employer or the employee may bring …

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