Missouri employers are required to have Workers' Compensation insurance. A portion of the insurance payments made by the employers go into the Missouri Second Injury Fund or SIF. This fund, though in some financial trouble, currently provides monetary benefits to employees who have sustained injuries in specific circumstances. As all Missouri employers with work comp insurance pay into this collective "pot", to file a claim for benefits from this fund you must specifically file a claim against the Missouri second injury fund, which is represented by the Missouri Attorney General's Office.
Missouri statutes require an injured employee to file a Work Comp claim claim against the Missouri SIF within one year of filing a claim against your employer/insurer or within two years after the work related injury occurred. This benefit is restricted and follows strict guidelines on who is eligible to receive them. Uninsured employers, disability, death, second job loss or wage loss, and rehabilitation benefits are available in the SIF.
If an employer chose not to have workers' comp insurance at the time an employee suffers personal injury or is killed, the SIF may help pay for the medical expenses accrued by the injured employee or death benefits to their family. However, the company will still be liable to pay some of the expenses when the SIF seeks reimbursement. When an employee has a prior disability which is exacerbated by a work related injury, causing them to have a permanent partial or permanent total disability, the SIF can see that the employee is compensated.
During this time of economic woes, a lot of people are required to work two or even three different jobs. If you are injured on one of these jobs and it directly affects the other(s) causing you to miss work, and pay, the SIF may provide benefits to compensate for this. This is the most difficult claim, full of specific technicalities.
On the assumption that lawmakers get their act together and secure the SIF, you need a Missouri Workers' Compensation lawyer that is experienced in these types of claims and their specific regulations.
Article authored by Sansone / Lauber staff paralegal, Erin Mace.