The workers’ compensation laws in Oklahoma are not set in stone. In fact, the state’s lawmakers update these laws on a regular basis. This year, lawmakers have already proposed over a dozen pieces of legislation that would change elements of the workers’ compensation system. None of these laws have been passed yet, however it’s important for workers in Oklahoma to know what changes could take place later this year.
H.B. 3841: Fraud in Workers’ Compensation Claims
There are penalties for committing fraud in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. The current law includes several broad examples of fraud such as making false statements or knowingly omitting information when applying for benefits. But H.B. 3841 adds another example of fraudulent behavior, which is “failing to report a material change in income” when receiving temporary total disability benefits. If this law is passed, you could face felony charges for failing to report changes in your income while receiving temporary total disability benefits.
S.B. 1375: Chiropractic Care
Another proposed piece of legislation, S.B. 1375, would update the law that outlines which medical services employers must promptly provide to injured workers. Currently, the law states that employers must promptly provide medical, surgical, hospital, podiatric, nursing, and optometric services. If this law is passed, employers would also be legally obligated to provide chiropractic care to injured workers. Under this proposed law, employers would have the right to select the treating chiropractor.
S.B 1818: Compensable Injuries
Senate Bill 1818 is another piece of legislation that could change the workers’ compensation system. This law clarifies that idiopathic injuries or conditions would not be compensable under the workers’ compensation system. The proposed law also defines an idiopathic injury or condition as one that occurs during the course of the victim’s employment, but does not arise out of the victim’s employment, which means it is not directly caused the victim’s work.
This law would also clarify who would be liable for an employee’s cumulative trauma injury. If passed, the last employer where the employee was exposed to the trauma for at least 90 days would be liable. The workers’ compensation insurance company that insured the employer during this period of time would also be liable.
If you have suffered a work-related injury, turn to the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. as soon as possible. We have helped countless clients secure workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries. Now, let us help you. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.