MACo Voices Concerns on Death Benefits Bill

MACo Associate Director Les Knapp and a panel of county attorneys was the sole opposition against HB 1318 in the House Economic Matters Committee on March 3.  The bill, sponsored by Delegate Carolyn Krysiak, alters the death benefit paid to a surviving spouse, child, or other dependent of an employee covered by workers’ compensation who dies due to an occupational disease or work-related accident.

The MACo panel expressed concerned that while the bill tried to make the death benefits system fairer and less costly for most payors, counties may end up paying more due to the fact that counties are often self-insured and employ more high-risk personnel, sich as police and firefighters, who enjoy broad presumptions about compensable diseases assumed to be related to their occupation.  Delegate Krysiak agreed to consider amendments that would address MACo’s concerns.

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