2017 ORS 656.506¹
Assessments for programs
  • setting assessment amount
  • determination by director of benefit level

(1) As used in this section:

(a) “Employee” means a subject worker as defined in ORS 656.005 (Definitions) (28).

(b) “Employer” means a subject employer as defined in ORS 656.005 (Definitions) (27).

(2) Every employer shall retain from the moneys earned by all employees an amount determined by the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services for each hour or part of an hour the employee is employed and pay the money retained in the manner and at such intervals as the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services shall direct.

(3) In addition to all moneys retained under subsection (2) of this section, the director shall assess each employer an amount equal to that assessed pursuant to subsection (2) of this section. The assessment shall be paid in such manner and at such intervals as the director may direct.

(4) Moneys collected pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) of this section, and any accrued cash balances, shall be deposited by the Department of Consumer and Business Services into the Workers’ Benefit Fund. Subject to the limitations in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the amount of the hourly assessments provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section annually may be adjusted to meet the needs of the Workers’ Benefit Fund for the expenditures of the department in carrying out its functions and duties pursuant to subsection (7) of this section and ORS 656.445 (Advancement of funds from Workers’ Benefit Fund for compensation due workers insured by insurer in default), 656.622 (Reemployment Assistance Program), 656.625 (Reopened Claims Program), 656.628 (Workers with Disabilities Program) and 656.630 (Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences funding). Factors to be considered in making such adjustment of the assessments shall include, but not be limited to, the cash balance as determined by the director and estimated expenditures and revenues of the Workers’ Benefit Fund.

(5) It is the intent of the Legislative Assembly that the department set rates for the collection of assessments pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) of this section in a manner so that at the end of the period for which the rates shall be effective, the cash balance shall be an amount of not less than six months of projected expenditures from the Workers’ Benefit Fund in regard to its functions and duties under subsection (7) of this section and ORS 656.445 (Advancement of funds from Workers’ Benefit Fund for compensation due workers insured by insurer in default), 656.622 (Reemployment Assistance Program), 656.625 (Reopened Claims Program), 656.628 (Workers with Disabilities Program) and 656.630 (Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences funding), in a manner that minimizes the volatility of the rates assessed. The department may set the assessment rate at a higher level if the department determines that a higher rate is necessary to avoid unintentional program or benefit reductions in the time period immediately following the period for which the rate is being set.

(6) Every employer required to pay the assessments referred to in this section shall make and file a report of employee hours worked and amounts due under this section upon a combined report form prescribed by the Department of Revenue. The report shall be filed with the Department of Revenue:

(a) At the times and in the manner prescribed in ORS 316.168 (Employer required to file combined quarterly tax report) and 316.171 (Application of tax and report to administration of tax laws); or

(b) Annually as required or allowed pursuant to ORS 316.197 (Payment to department by employer) or 657.571 (Quarterly or annual tax report).

(7) There is established a Retroactive Program for the purpose of providing increased benefits to claimants or beneficiaries eligible to receive compensation under the benefit schedules of ORS 656.204 (Death), 656.206 (Permanent total disability), 656.208 (Death during permanent total disability) and 656.210 (Temporary total disability) which are lower than currently being paid for like injuries. However, benefits payable under ORS 656.210 (Temporary total disability) shall not be increased by the Retroactive Program for claimants whose injury occurred on or after April 1, 1974. Notwithstanding the formulas for computing benefits provided in ORS 656.204 (Death), 656.206 (Permanent total disability), 656.208 (Death during permanent total disability) and 656.210 (Temporary total disability), the increased benefits payable under this subsection shall be in such amount as the director considers appropriate. The director annually shall compute the amount which may be available during the succeeding year for payment of such increased benefits and determine the level of benefits to be paid during such year. If, during such year, it is determined by the director that there are insufficient funds to increase benefits to the level fixed by the director, the director may reduce the level of benefits payable under this subsection. The increase in benefits to workers shall be payable in the first instance by the insurer or self-insured employer subject to reimbursement from the Workers’ Benefit Fund by the director. If the insurer is a member of the Oregon Insurance Guaranty Association and becomes insolvent and the Oregon Insurance Guaranty Association assumes the insurer’s obligations to pay covered claims of subject workers, including Retroactive Program benefits, such benefits shall be payable in the first instance by the Oregon Insurance Guaranty Association, subject to reimbursement from the Workers’ Benefit Fund by the director. [Amended by 1955 c.323 §1; 1965 c.285 §70; 1971 c.768 §1; 1973 c.55 §1; 1974 c.41 §8; 1977 c.143 §2; 1979 c.845 §5; 1983 c.391 §1; 1985 c.739 §1; 1990 c.2 §31; 1993 c.760 §1; 1995 c.332 §63; 1995 c.527 §1; 1995 c.641 §20; 1999 c.118 §1; 2001 c.591 §1; 2001 c.974 §7; 2014 c.48 §7]

Note: See notes under 656.202 (Compensation payable to subject worker in accordance with law in effect at time of injury).

Note: Section 9, chapter 48, Oregon Laws 2014, provides:

Sec. 9. No later than January 1, 2019, the Workers’ Compensation Management-Labor Advisory Committee established under ORS 656.790 (Workers’ Compensation Management-Labor Advisory Committee) shall study the effects of the amendments to ORS 656.506 (Assessments for programs) by section 7 of this 2014 Act and report to the Legislative Assembly the findings of the committee about the advisability of the continuation of the changes resulting from those amendments. [2014 c.48 §9]

Note: Section 4, chapter 71, Oregon Laws 2017, provides:

Sec. 4. The Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services shall adjust under ORS 656.506 (Assessments for programs) (7) the amount and duration of benefits that accrue on and after the effective date of this 2017 Act [January 1, 2018] for injuries that occurred before the effective date of this 2017 Act. An insurer, or a self-insured employer, shall pay benefits that exceed the amount and duration of benefits that would have been due to a worker under the law that existed at the time of the worker’s injury and the director shall reimburse the insurer or self-insured employer from the Workers’ Benefit Fund. [2017 c.71 §4]

Law Review Cita­tions

55 OLR 432-445 (1976); 16 WLR 519 (1979); 22 WLR 559 (1986)

Chapter 656

Notes of Decisions

Party having af­firm­a­tive of any issue must prove it by preponderance of evidence unless legislature fixes some different quantum of proof. Hutcheson v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 288 Or 51, 602 P2d 268 (1979)

Amend­ments to existing statutes and enact­ment of addi­tional statutes by 1995 legisla­tion generally apply to pending cases and to orders still ap­pealable on June 7, 1995, effective date. Volk v. America West Air­lines, 135 Or App 565, 899 P2d 746 (1995), Sup Ct review denied

Amend­ments to existing statutes and enact­ment of addi­tional statutes by 1995 legisla­tion do not extend or shorten procedural time limita­tions with regard to ac­tions taken prior to June 7, 1995, effective date. Motel 6 v. McMasters, 135 Or App 583, 899 P2d 1212 (1995)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Benefit unavailability for inmates engaged in prison work programs, (1996) Vol 48, p 134

Law Review Cita­tions

24 WLR 321, 341 (1988); 32 WLR 217 (1996)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 656—Workers’ Compensation, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors656.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 656, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano656.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.