The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) is surveying counties about dependent death benefits and public safety employee presumptions. During the 2010 Session, MACo successfully opposed two different workers’ compensation bills. HB 1318/SB 953 would have altered how death benefits for dependents are computed. MACo was concerned that the bill would have imposed a unique fiscal burden on many counties because of the way death benefits are handled under the presumption law. HB 1280/SB 646 would have greatly expanded the existing cancer presumption for firefighters and rescue workers and also created a new infectious disease presumption.
As part of the agreement to not pass the death benefits legislation, the chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and the House Economic Matters Committee asked the Workers’ Compensation Commission to study the issue further. In preparation of this study, the committee chairs requested death benefit information from the counties via a survey to be conducted by MACo. MACo is also using this opportunity to collect information relating to the public safety employee presumptions.
The survey was sent to the counties on June 15 and has a response deadline of July 16.