Major changes may be on the horizon for the way that Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Benefits are dispersed. Reports indicate a bill that would change the way claims are processed has received initial approval.
According to an article published in Business Insurance, the state currently users a judiciary system to process claims from injured workers. The newly proposed administrative system would use three Commissioners to decide if a worker should receive benefits and, if so, how much.
While those in favor of the change say that it will “streamline” the system and allow for injured workers to receive faster compensation, opponents say the change will drastically reduce the amount of benefits an injured worker will receive. Experts point out that the new bill would cut the weekly benefit for an injured worker from $771 to $539.
The bill was approved by the Senate today in a 35-12 vote. SB1062 will now go to the Governor’s desk for a final approval. Governor Fallin has already announced intentions to sign the bill into law.
The Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers point out the changes could make it more important than ever before to discuss legal options with an attorney when considering applying for benefits after a work-related injury. Doing so can help ensure a victim gets the compensation they deserve.