Reemployment Assistance Program
- • claim data not to be used for insurance rating
- • rules
(1) There is established a Reemployment Assistance Program for the benefit of employers and workers and for the purpose of:
(a) Giving employers and workers the benefits provided in this section.
(b) Providing reimbursement of reasonable program administration costs of self-insured employers and of insurers of employers who participate in any program funded through the Reemployment Assistance Program.
(2) In order to preclude or reduce nondisabling claims from becoming disabling claims, preclude on-the-job injuries from recurring, reduce disability by returning injured workers to work sooner and to help injured workers remain employed, the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services may provide assistance to employers from the Reemployment Assistance Program in such manner and amount as the director considers appropriate. Assistance may include, but need not be limited to, modification of work sites. For purposes of this subsection, work site modification may include engineering design work and occupational health consulting services. Factors to be considered by the director in determining the extent of assistance must include but need not be limited to the employer’s record of returning injured workers to the workplace and the cost-effectiveness of modifications. Assistance may be provided in the form of grants and matching contributions from employers for funds.
(3) In order to encourage the employment of individuals who have incurred compensable injuries that result in disability which may be a substantial obstacle to employment, the director may provide, to eligible injured workers and to employers who employ them, assistance from the Workers’ Benefit Fund in such manner and amount as the director considers appropriate.
(4)(a) In addition to such assistance as the director may provide under this section, the director shall provide reimbursement to self-insured employers or to the insurers of employers who hire preferred workers for the claim costs incurred for injuries to those workers during the first three years from the date of hire, as follows:
(A) The claim costs of injuries incurred by those workers.
(B) Reasonable claims administration costs.
(b) A worker may not waive eligibility for preferred worker status in the claim by agreement pursuant to ORS 656.236 (Compromise and release of claim matters except for medical benefits).
(5)(a) In addition to such assistance as the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services may provide under subsection (3) of this section, the director shall provide to participating self-insured employers and the insurers of participating employers reimbursement of reasonable program administration costs.
(b) As used in this subsection, “participating employer” or “participating self-insured employer” means an employer participating in any program funded through the Reemployment Assistance Program.
(6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, determinations by the director regarding assistance pursuant to this section are not subject to review by any court or other administrative body.
(7) The Reemployment Assistance Program shall be funded with moneys collected as provided in ORS 656.506 (Assessments for programs).
(8) Any assistance from the Reemployment Assistance Program shall be to the extent of the moneys available in the Workers’ Benefit Fund, for the purpose of the program as determined by the director.
(9) The director may make such rules as may be required to establish, regulate, manage and disburse moneys in the Workers’ Benefit Fund in accordance with the intent of this section. Such rules shall include, but are not limited to, the eligibility criteria to receive assistance under this section and the issuance of identity cards to preferred workers to assist employers in the administration of the program.
(10) If claim cost reimbursement is requested under subsection (4) of this section, claims costs incurred as a result of an injury sustained by a preferred worker during the three years after that worker is hired shall not be included in any data used for ratemaking or individual employer rating or dividend calculations by an insurer, a rating organization licensed pursuant to ORS chapter 737, the State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation or the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Neither insurance premiums nor premium assessments under this chapter are payable for preferred workers during the first three years from the date of hire.
(11) Any moneys from the Workers’ Benefit Fund reimbursed to an agency for costs incurred in reemploying injured state workers in the manner described in ORS 659A.052 (Reemployment rights of injured state workers) or in providing wage subsidies for the reemployment of injured state workers shall be outside the biennial expenditure limitation imposed on the agency by the Legislative Assembly and shall be available for expenditure by the agency as a continuous appropriation.
(12) As used in this section, “preferred worker” means a worker who, because of a permanent disability resulting from a compensable injury or occupational disease, is unable to return to the worker’s regular employment, whether or not an order has been issued awarding permanent disability. [1965 c.285 §68; 1969 c.536 §3; 1971 c.768 §3; 1977 c.557 §2; 1981 c.854 §60; 1983 c.391 §4; 1983 c.816 §13; 1985 c.600 §13; 1985 c.770 §2; 1987 c.884 §20; 1990 c.2 §36; 1991 c.93 §11; 1991 c.496 §1; 1991 c.694 §1; 1993 c.760 §3; 1995 c.332 §49; 1995 c.641 §21; 1999 c.273 §4; 2005 c.588 §1; 2007 c.241 §16; 2009 c.36 §§3,4]
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