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Congressional Budget Office Again Reports That The Proposed Federal Asbestos Trust Fund Is Inadequate

 The Congressional Budget Office again indicted that the proposed asbestos reform trust fund would be inadequate. In a letter to Senator Spector it commented as follows: "The proposed trust fund might or might not have adequate resources to pay all valid claims. There is a significant likelihood that the fund’s revenues would fall short of the amount needed to pay valid claims, debt service, and administrative costs. There is also some elihood that the fund’s revenues would be sufficient to meet those needs. The final outcome cannot be predicted with great certainty.

Workers' Compensation News - December 19, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 314

 HOT TOPICS IN WORKERS COMPENSATION LAW ANNOUNCED  3rd Annual THIS YEAR IN WORKERS’ COMP: TOP ISSUES & CASES Wed. May 10, 2005 - Edison, NJ

Proposed Federal Asbestos Act Will Create Massive Inequities in Both Workers' Compensation and Medicare

Statement of Jon L. Gelman Attorney at Law Before the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary Hearing on the Fairness in Asbestos Resolution Act of 2005 January 11, 2005

Workers' Compensation News - November 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 313

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE MEDICAL.....It has been widely reported that medical costs exceed the indemnity portion (temporary and permanent disability benefits) in many jurisdictions. This was again confirmed by the recent report issued by NASI (Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2003). The business of workers' compensation has now become a reimbursement vehicle for group health carriers. 

  A 4.1 percent cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits under title II of the Social Security Act (the Act), effective for December 2005

 While each State has its own approach to workers' compensation and personal injury claims, one common denominator is the role of the newly named Centers for Medical and Medicare Services (CMS), formally known as the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), and in particular its Medicare Coordination of Benefits (COB) section. 

Medicare Set Aside Agreement Submission

In an effort to speed the process and obtain quicker review of proposed Workers' Compensation Medicare Set Aside Agreements (WCMSAA), CMS has published a sample 29 page sample submission.

Cancer Reported as the Leading Cause of Job Fatalities in the World

 The International Labour Conference (ILO) in Geneva reported that cancer was the cause of 32% of the world wide job related deaths in the world.

Workers' Compensation News - September 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 311

FRAGRANCE AND FLAVOR INDUSTRY HIT WITH $15 MILLION VERDICT Jury Awards $15 Million in Making of Popcorn -This self regulated industry becomes prime target.
A jury on Friday awarded a former popcorn-plant worker $15 million after finding that his exposure to butter-flavoring fumes led to his severe respiratory problems.

The 2005 Rutgers Lacrosse / Nancy Gelman Tournament for Breast Cancer

On Saturday, October 22, 2005, 5 nationally ranked teams played at Rutgers University in a tournament to raise money for breast cancer research. Proceeds of the tournament benefited the Nancy R. Gelman Foundation, Inc, for its goal in supporting new treatments to fight breast cancer. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee is now considering proposed Federal legislation that will have significant impact upon Workers' Compensation systems throughout the United States. Since the enactment of workers' compensation legislation decades ago, asbestos and other latent disease claims continue to be an enormous challenge to compensation programs.

Workers' Compensation News - August 24, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 310

NJ: WC JUDGES HAVE DISCRETION TO RULE ON VALIDITY OF A TDB LIEN. In a complex decision involving causal relationship, apportionment of liability and reimbursement of a TDB lien that Appellate Division responded to a statement made by the trial Judge, "...I am no longer a Judge, I am a statutory collection agency for the Labor Department," by reversing his decision and remanding the matter for hearing.

Workers' Compensation News - August 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 309

Esther Weissman, 73, labor lawyer, helped to alter compensation law.

On July 11, 2005, CMS published a new set of Questions and Answers concerning the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSP). In the 7 page document CMS indicated that there was no substantive dollar or "safe harbor" threshold for compliance with the federal mandate which requires review of all potential settlements in workers' compensation cases. 

Workers' Compensation News - July 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 308

WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIM FREQUENCY DOWN. NCCI announced that the decline in claim frequency continued through 2004. Over the last five years there have been significant declines for all types on injuries. However medical costs continues to be the leading driver of costs. The medical share of total workers' compensation costs has now risen to 55% countrywide and in some states is approaching 70%. 

Workers' Compensation News - June 10, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 307

CMS TO ISSUE NEW MEDICARE SECONDARY PAYER GUIDANCE. Under mounting pressure from many organized groups, CMS (The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services) has indicated that it will shortly release a new set of "Questions and Answers" in order to, yet again, redefine its procedures. 

Workers' Compensation News - May 23, 2005, Volume 3 Issue 306

NY WORKERS' COMPENSATION RATES. New York Rates: Follow the Bouncing Ball. New York is famous for being a high cost state for workers compensation. By any reasonable measure, New York falls within the top four states for high comp cost, sharing the dubious spotlight with California, Texas and Florida 

Workers' Compensation News - May 10, 2005 Volume 3 Issue 305

Cancer Reported as the Leading Cause of Job Fatalities in the World - New Report Reveals That Medicare is Covering $23 Billion in Medical Costs That Should be Paid by Workers' Compensation 

Stress in the Workplace: The Availability of Workers' Compensation Benefits

Compensability for occupational diseases has become commonplace in most, if not all, jurisdictions throughout the country; however, the majority of claims filed allege physical rather than mental disability. The California Workers' Compensation Institute recently published their study of mental stress claims which indicated an increase of 430 percent in the number of claims filed from 1980 to 1986. 

Workers' Compensation News - April 4, 2005 Volume 3 Issue 304

OWENS CORNING'S ASBESTOS LIABILITIES SET AT $7 BILLION BY FEDERAL JUDGE
OC's asbestos liability put at $7 billion by U.S. Judge. Choosing a midpoint between estimates of opposing creditor groups, a federal judge has ruled that Owens Corning is exposed to $7 billion in potential claims by people who were made sick by exposure to asbestos insulation produced by the firm until the early 1970s. 

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