102.44 Maximum limitations.
Section 102.43 shall be subject to the following limitations:
(1) (ag) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, every employee who is receiving compensation under this chapter for permanent total disability or continuous temporary total dis
ability more than 24 months after the date of injury resulting from an injury that occurred prior to January 1, 2003, shall receive supplemental benefits that shall be payable by the employer or the employer's insurance carrier, or in the case of benefits payable to an employee under s. 102.66 , shall be paid by the department out of the fund created under s. 102.65 . Those supplemental benefits shall be paid only for weeks of disability occurring after January 1, 2005, and shall continue during the period of such total disability subsequent to that date.
(am) If the employee is receiving the maximum weekly benefits in effect at the time of the injury, the supplemental benefit for a week of disability occurring after March 2, 2016, shall be an amount that, when added to the regular benefit established for the case, shall equal $669.
- If the employee is receiving a weekly benefit that is less than the maximum benefit that was in effect on the date of the injury, the supplemental benefit for a week of disability occurring after March 2, 2016, shall be an amount sufficient to bring the total weekly benefits to the same proportion of $669 as the employee's weekly benefit bears to the maximum in effect on the date of injury.
- 1. An insurance carrier paying the supplemental benefits required under this subsection shall be entitled to reimbursement for each such case from the worker's compensation operations fund, commencing one year after the date of the first payment of those benefits and annually thereafter while those payments continue. To receive reimbursement under this paragraph, an insurance carrier must file a claim for that reimbursement with the department by no later than 12 months after the end of the year in which the supplemental benefits were paid and the claim must be approved by the department.
- After the expiration of the deadline for filing a claim under subd. 1. , the department shall determine the total amount of all claims filed by that deadline and shall use that total to determine the amount to be collected under s. 102.75 (1g) from each licensed worker's compensation insurance carrier, deposited in the worker's compensation operations fund, and used to provide reimbursement to insurance carriers paying supplemental benefits under this subsection. Subject to subd. 3. , the department shall pay a claim for reimbursement approved by the department by no later than 16 months after the end of the year in which the claim was received by the department.
- The maximum amount that the department may pay under subd. 2. in a calendar year is $5,000,000. If the amount determined payable under subd. 2. in a calendar year is $5,000,000 or less, the department shall pay that amount. If the amount determined payable under subd. 2. in a calendar year exceeds $5,000,000, the department shall pay $5,000,000 in the year in which the determination is made and, subject to the maximum amount payable of $5,000,000 per calendar year, shall pay the excess in the next calendar year or in subsequent calendar years until that excess is paid in full. The department shall pay claims for reimbursement under subd. 2. in the chronological order in which those claims are received.
- This paragraph does not apply to supplemental benefits paid for an injury that occurs on or after January 1, 2016.
- In case of permanent total disability, aggregate indemnity shall be weekly indemnity for the period that the employee may live. Total impairment for industrial use of both eyes, the loss of both arms at or near the shoulder, the loss of both legs at or near the hip, or the loss of one arm at the shoulder and one leg at the hip constitutes permanent total disability. This enumeration is not exclusive, but in other cases the division shall find the facts.
- For permanent partial disability not covered by ss. 102.52 to 102.56 , the aggregate number of weeks of indemnity shall bear such relation to 1,000 weeks as the nature of the injury bears to one causing permanent total disability and shall be payable at the rate of two-thirds of the average weekly earnings of the employee, the earnings to be computed as provided in s. 102.11 . The weekly
indemnity shall be in addition to compensation for the healing period and shall be for the period that the employee may live, not to exceed 1,000 weeks.
- Where the permanent disability is covered by ss. 102.52 , 102.53 , and 102.55 , such sections shall govern; provided, that in no case shall the percentage of permanent total disability be taken as more than 100 percent. (4m) (a) The department shall promulgate rules establishing minimum permanent disability ratings for amputation levels, losses of motion, sensory losses, and surgical procedures resulting from injuries for which permanent partial disability is claimed under sub. (3) or (4) . At least once every 8 years the department shall review and revise those minimum permanent disability ratings as necessary to reflect advances in the science of medicine. Before the department may revise those ratings, the department shall appoint a medical advisory committee under s. 227.13 , composed of physicians practicing in one or more areas of specialization or treating disciplines within the medical profession, to review and recommend revision of those ratings, based on typical loss of function, to the department and the council on worker's compensation.
- In considering an individual for appointment to the medical advisory committee under par. (a) , the department shall consider the individual's training and experience, the number of years the individual has been practicing in the individual's area of specialization or treating discipline, any certifications by a recognized medical speciality board or other agency held by the individual, any recommendations made by organizations that regulate or promote profession standards in the area of specialization or treating discipline in which the individual practices, and any other factors that the department determines are relevant to the individual's knowledge and ability to serve as a member of the medical advisory committee.
- In cases where it is determined that periodic benefits granted by the federal social security act are paid to the employee because of disability, the benefits payable under this chapter shall be reduced as follows:
- For each dollar that the total monthly benefits payable under this chapter, excluding attorney fees and costs, plus the monthly benefits payable under the social security act for disability exceed 80 percent of the employee's average current earnings as determined by the social security administration, the benefits payable under this chapter shall be reduced by the same amount so that the total benefits payable shall not exceed 80 percent of the employee's average current earnings. However, no total benefit payable under this chapter and under the federal social security act may be reduced to an amount less than the benefit payable under this chapter.
- No reduction under this section shall be made because of an increase granted by the social security administration as a cost of living adjustment.
- Failure of the employee, except for excusable neglect, to report social security disability payments within 30 days after written request shall allow the employer or insurance carrier to reduce weekly compensation benefits payable under this chapter by 75 percent. Compensation benefits otherwise payable shall be reimbursed to the employee after reporting.
- The employer or insurance carrier making such reduction shall report to the department the reduction and as requested by the department, furnish to the department satisfactory proof of the basis for the reduction.
- The reduction prescribed by this section shall be allowed only as to payments made on or after July 1, 1980, and shall be computed on the basis of payments made for temporary total, temporary partial, permanent total and permanent partial disability.
- No reduction shall take into account payments made under the social security act to dependents of an employee.
Updated 15-16 Wis. Stats.
- No reduction under this subsection shall be made on temporary disability benefits payable during a period in which an injured employee is receiving vocational rehabilitation services under s. 102.61 (1) or (1m) .
- (a) Where an injured employee claiming compensation for disability under sub. (2) or (3) has returned to work for the employer for whom he or she worked at the time of the injury, the permanent disability award shall be based upon the physical limitations resulting from the injury without regard to loss of earning capacity unless the actual wage loss in comparison with earnings at the time of injury equals or exceeds 15 percent.
- If during the period set forth in s. 102.17 (4) the employment relationship is terminated by the employer at the time of the injury or by the employee because his or her physical or mental limitations prevent his or her continuing in such employment, or if during that period a wage loss of 15 percent or more occurs, the division may reopen any award and make a redetermination taking into account loss of earning capacity.
- The determination of wage loss shall not take into account any period during which benefits are payable for temporary disability.
- The determination of wage loss shall not take into account any period during which benefits are paid under ch. 108 .
- For the purpose of determining wage loss, payment of benefits for permanent partial disability shall not be considered payment of wages.
(f) Wage loss shall be determined on wages, as defined in s.
102.11 . Percentage of wage loss shall be calculated on the basis of actual average wages over a period of at least 13 weeks.
- For purposes of this subsection, if the employer in good faith makes an offer of employment which is refused by the employee without reasonable cause, the employee is considered to have returned to work with the earnings the employee would have received had it not been for the refusal.
- In all cases of permanent partial disability not covered by ss. 102.52 to 102.56 , whether or not the employee has returned to work, the permanent partial disability shall not be less than that imposed by the physical limitations.
History: 1971 c. 148 ; 1973 c. 150 ; 1975 c. 147 ss. 33 , 54 , 57 ; 1975 c. 199 ; 1977
- 195 ; 1979 c. 278 ; 1981 c. 92 ; 1983 a. 98 ; 1991 a. 85 ; 1995 a. 117 ; 2001 a. 37 ; 2003
- 144 ; 2005 a. 172 ; 2007 a. 185 ; 2009 a. 177 , 206 ; 2011 a. 183 , 257 ; 2015 a. 55 , 180 . Cross-reference: See also ss. DWD 80.32 , 80.34 , and 80.50 , Wis. adm. code. Committee Note, 1971: Employees who are totally disabled receive compensa
tion at the wage level and the compensation rate in effect as of the date of their injury. This is an average of approximately $45.90 per week for the employees who are injured previous to February 1, 1970. The intent is to provide for payment of supplemental benefits; for example, an employee who was injured in October 1951 and earning wages in excess of the maximum of $52.86 is receiving $37 a week for total disability. This employee will receive supplemental benefits of $42 a week to bring the total up to $79, which was the maximum February 1, 1970. An employee injured in October 1951 with a wage of $26.43 has been receiving $18.50 per week for total disability. This is 50 percent of the maximum in effect in October 1951. Such employee will receive supplemental benefits of $21 a week to bring the total up to $39.50, which is 50 percent of the maximum in effect February 1, 1970. It is not intended that any death benefit payment be affected by this section. [Bill 371-A]
The department must disregard total loss of earning capacity in the case of a relative scheduled injury. Mednicoff v. DILHR, 54 Wis. 2d 7 , 194 N.W.2d 670 (1972).
The " odd-lot" doctrine is a part of Wisconsin law. It provides that if a claimant makes a prima facie case that he or she was injured in an industrial accident and, because of injury, age, education, and capacity, is unable to secure continuing gainful employment, the burden of showing that the claimant is employable shifts to the employer. Balczewski v. DILHR, 76 Wis. 2d 487 , 251 N.W.2d 794 (1977).
Sub. (6) (a) includes only wage loss suffered at the employment where the injury occurred and does not include wage loss from a second job. Ruff v. LIRC, 159 Wis. 2d 239 , 464 N.W.2d 56 (Ct. App. 1990).
LIRC exceeded its authority when it ordered temporary total disability payments for an indefinite future period. Such payments are not authorized for the period after a medical condition has stabilized and before the employee undergoes surgery. GTC Auto Parts v. LIRC, 184 Wis. 2d 450 , 516 N.W.2d 313 (Ct. App. 1993).
Sub. (4) requires apportionment between scheduled and unscheduled injuries when both contribute to permanent total disability. Loss of earning capacity may not be awarded for scheduled injuries. Langhus v. LIRC, 206 Wis. 2d 494 , 557 N.W.2d 450 (Ct. App. 1996), 96-0622 .
In order for sub. (6) (b) to apply, the physical limitations must be from an unscheduled injury. Mireles v. LIRC, 226 Wis. 2d 53 , 593 N.W.2d 859 (Ct. App. 1999), 98-1607 .
Sub. (2) governs the permanent total disability indemnity. " Other cases" of disability under sub. (2) may include a combination of scheduled and unscheduled injuries. Mireles v. LIRC, 2000 WI 96 , 237 Wis. 2d 69 , 613 N.W.2d 875 , 98-1607 .
Sub. (6) (b) allows the department to reopen an award to account for loss of earning capacity from an unscheduled injury, even if a scheduled injury causes the termination of employment. Mireles v. LIRC, 2000 WI 96 , 237 Wis. 2d 69 , 613 N.W.2d 875 , 98-1607 .
Sub. (2) allows the awarding of permanent total disability that results from a combination of scheduled and unscheduled injuries, provided that the applicant establishes that a clear, ascertainable portion of the disability is attributable to the unscheduled injury or injuries. Secura Insurance v. LIRC, 2000 WI App 237 , 239 Wis. 2d 315 , 620 N.W.2d 626 , 00-0303 .
A claimant is not required to present evidence of a job search as part of prima facie case of odd-lot unemployability, provided the claimant shows that because of the injury and other Balczewski factors such as age, education, capacity, and training, he or she is unable to secure continuing, gainful employment. If the claimant is within the odd-lot category, it falls to the employer to rebut the prima facie case by demonstrating that the claimant is employable and that jobs exist for him or her. Beecher
v. LIRC, 2004 WI 88 , 273 Wis. 2d 136 , 682 N.W.2d 29 , 02-1582 .
The burden that shifts from the claimant to the employer under Balczewski is a burden of persuasion, but only as to the sub-issue of whether a job exists that the claimant can do. The burden of persuasion on the other aspects of the claimant's case for permanent total disability benefits remains, as always, with the claimant. Beecher v. LIRC, 2004 WI 88 , 273 Wis. 2d 136 , 682 N.W.2d 29 , 02-1582 .
Sub. (6) (a) applies to persons " claiming compensation," which does not include persons already receiving compensation. Schreiber Foods, Inc. v. LIRC, 2009 WI App 40 , 316 Wis. 2d 516 , 765 N.W.2d 850 , 08-1977 .
Under Balczewski and Beecher, once a claimant has established a prima facie odd- lot case, the employer must prove that the claimant is probably employable and that an actual, suitable job is regularly and continuously available. It is not sufficient to show that the claimant is physically capable of performing light work and that light work is available. Neither Balczewski nor Beecher require an employer to disclose any descriptive information of a claimant to a prospective employer to satisfy its rebuttal burden. The employer's duty in ascertaining whether an actual job exists is to obtain information from the prospective employer about the job requirements, not provide information about the claimant. Cargill Feed Division/Cargill Malt v. LIRC, 2010 WI App 115 , 329 Wis. 2d 206 , 789 N.W.2d 326 , 09-1877 .
LIRC improperly expanded the evidentiary burden on employers seeking to rebut a claimant's prima facie odd-lot case beyond that established in Beecher and Balczewski by establishing a preference for evidence that the employer referred the claimant to prospective employers with specific job openings actually available, although an employer may rely on evidence that it actually referred a claimant to a prospective employer to support its rebuttal case. Cargill Feed Division/Cargill Malt v. LIRC, 2010 WI App 115 , 329 Wis. 2d 206 , 789 N.W.2d 326 , 09-1877 .
Payment of the supplemental benefit of 102.44 (1) is not precluded to former state employees by Art. IV, s. 26. The second injury fund is not impressed with a constructive trust which prevents its use for payment of such supplemental benefits. 62 Atty. Gen. 69.