On Wednesday, Kansas lawmakers introduced bills for workers' compensation that would extend permanent disability benefits for the life of the injured worker and allow injured workers to choose their own suppliers.
H.B. 2311 would amend state statutes to require that permanent total invalidity benefits – including temporary total, temporary partial and permanent partial – be paid during the continuation of the disability from the date of maximum medical improvement during the employee's lifetime to the weekly rate of compensation for the date of injury.
At present, the employer's maximum liability for permanent total invalidity benefits is limited to $ 1
S.B. 203 would allow injured workers to choose their own designated care provider and require the employer to pay for these services. Current law allows employers to choose a supplier and to enter two names of suppliers as a replacement if the injured employee is not satisfied with the care received.
A third comp bill was introduced on Wednesday, H.B. 2307, would amend state law to allow workers to receive benefits for mental injuries caused by a "sudden, severe emotional shock" that can be traced to a specific work-related event or a series of work-related events that cause the worker to develop a psychological injury. Currently, Kansas law only covers mental injuries in workers' compensation when they are caused by a physical injury in the workplace.