Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Vermont Governor Declares Kids’ Chance Week

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin proclaimed that this week is Kids’ Chance Awareness Week in Vermont.  Kids’ Chance of Vermont provides college scholarships to children of workers who have been injured or killed on the job. Thousands of scholarships have been awarded nationwide by Kids’ Chance chapters.  The Governor’s office stated that “[a] work-related accident that leads to a catastrophic injury or death of a guardian has devastating emotional and financial impacts on any family, especially when compensation benefits are insufficient to allow the injured or deceased worker’s children to pursue their education goals. Bottom line, every Vermont kid should have the opportunity to succeed.”  Glenn S. Morgan, Esq. of Ryan Smith & Carbine, Ltd. is a founding director of Kids’ Chance of Vermont and serves as its current treasurer.  More details are available on the Kids’ Chance website at:  http://www.kidschance.org/ .

Monday, October 24, 2016

Adjusters' Conference Registration is LIVE!

The conference registration information for the January 26 and 27, 2017 adjusters' conference is now available on the Department of Labor's website.



If you are unable to register online or have any questions regarding the conference please contact Delaney Meeting and Event Management at (802) 865-5202.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

SAVE THE DATE FOR THE NEXT ADJUSTERS' CONFERENCE!

SAVE THESE DATES!


The next Adjusters’ Conference will be held on Thursday and Friday, January 26-27, 2017, at the Hilton Burlington, 60 Battery Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401.  More details and registration information will be posted shortly on the Vermont Department of Labor website at http://labor.vermont.gov/workers-compensation/adjusters-attorneys-insurers/adjuster-licensing-training/

Please note, there will not be a fall conference in 2016.  

Monday, July 11, 2016

Memorandum to Adjusters RE: Annual Adjustment of Workers' Compensation Benefits

TO:                         All Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carriers, Adjusters and Self-Insureds

FROM:                  J. Stephen Monahan, Director
                                Workers’ Compensation and Safety Division

DATE:                    July 11, 2016

SUBJECT:             Annual Adjustment of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
 



The new Form 28(FY17) and the Form 28A(FY17), which you should use to update claimant’s rates as of July 1, 2016, are now available.  You can download both forms from the web site at: http://labor.vermont.gov/forms/#comp.  

The new maximum for those injuries arising after June 30, 1986 is $1,259.00.  The new maximum for injuries prior to that date is $839.00.  The minimum in all cases is $420.00.


Please be aware of the new requirement to forward a copy to the injured worker or dependent:

Rule 8.2010 The employer or insurance carrier shall file a Notice of Change in Compensation Rate (Form 28) with the Commissioner by July 1st annually as to any injured worker or dependent who is receiving indemnity benefits as of that date and who is entitled to an adjustment of compensation in accordance with this Rule. Concurrent with the filing, the employer or insurance carrier shall mail a copy of the Notice of Change in Compensation Rate to the injured worker or if appropriate, to his or her dependent(s). 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Form 28 for Fiscal Year 2017

The Form 28 for Fiscal Year 2017 is now available on the Department of Labor's website.

http://labor.vermont.gov/wordpress/wp-content/uploads//Form28FY17FillIn.pdf

As of July 1, 2016, the new State of Vermont minimum compensation rate is $420.00 per week, and the new State of Vermont maximum compensation rate is $1,259.00 per week.

Please make sure that you file a Form 28 for accepted claims in which the Claimant has been out of work for at least 26 weeks prior to July 1, 2016.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Registration for Spring Adjusters' Conference is Live!!

Registration for the Spring Adjusters' Conference is Live!  The Conference is set for May 19 and 20, 2016 at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington Vermont.  

Please see below the links to register for the conference and to book rooms at the hotel.  We look forward to seeing you all for another great conference!


http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/B/BTTVTHF-DOL-20160518/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG
Group Name:
VT DOL WC Adjusters
Group Code:
DOL
Check-in:
18-MAY-2016
Check-out:
20-MAY-2016
Hotel Name:
Hotel Address:
60 Battery Street

Burlington, Vermont

05401
Phone Number:
802-658-6500

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What does "within 21 days" mean? Filing a Timely Denial

Rule 3.2200 of the Vermont Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Disease Rules states that “[t]he employer or insurance carrier shall have 21 days (measured from the date on which the employer received notice or knowledge of a claimed work-related injury) within which to determine whether any compensation is due. If it determines that no compensation is due, within 21 days after receiving notice or knowledge of the injury, it shall file a Denial of Workers’ Compensation Benefits (Form 2) with the Commissioner and the injured worker.”  Rule 3.2200 (emphasis added). 

A question has been raised at the Department of Labor regarding the phrase “within 21 days” and whether that means that the Form 2 denial must be received by the Department of Labor within the 21 day period or whether the Form 2 denial must be postmarked by the 21st day.  With the tight time frames that apply to employers and carriers, it is very important to understand the Department of Labor’s understanding of the Rules to which employers and carriers will be held accountable.  We have been advised by the Department of Labor that the Department considers Rule 3.2200 to mean that the Form 2 denial is timely if it is received by the Department of Labor on or before the 21st day.   A Form 2 denial, therefore, is not timely if it is postmarked on the 21st day.  For many employers and carriers, this may mean a significant shift in how denials are handled.

When asked whether filing the Form 2 denial itself via email on the 21st day is sufficient to meet the Department’s standards, the response was that it should be sufficient to email the Form 2 denial to the Specialist assigned to the file, even if there are additional medical records and documentation that have to be sent via regular mail due to size (Rule 3.3000 states that attachments greater than 20 pages in length must be sent either via disc or hard copy by regular mail). 

If you are sending out a Form 2 denial either shortly before or on the 21st day after notice or knowledge of the claim, it is advisable to send the Form 2 denial and up to 20 pages of supporting documentation via email to the Specialist handling the file.  If you have larger attachments that must be sent by regular mail, let the Specialist know that there are additional documents coming by regular mail.  It is unclear at this point whether this will be sufficient to meet the “within 21 days” standard, but it is necessary to cover your bases to make sure that the denial is timely. 

Please see below the current assignment of files at the Department of Labor:

The new schedule for assigned claims is as follows and shall remain in effect until further notice.  Any State File Numbers ending in -0 or -9 (e.g.: HH-67250 or HH-67259) will be assigned to staff based on the next number immediately preceding the -0 or -9 (e.g.:  HH-67250 or HH-67259 would go to Julie Mercier as a -5 claim).

Assigned Specialist II            Assigned Specialist I                    
-1        Anne Coutermarsh                                             Shirley Houghton
-2        Anne Coutermarsh                                             Shirley Houghton
-6        Anne Coutermarsh                                             Wendell Sargent

-3        Mary Sarazin                                                          Muriel Landis
-4        Mary Sarazin                                                          Muriel Landis

-5        Julie Mercier                                                         Muriel Landis

-7        Julie Charonko                                                      Wendell Sargent

-8        Julie Charonko                                                      Wendell Sargent