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Missouri Workers' Compensation Legal Library


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287.266. Payments made to public assistance recipients to be a debt due state, recovery by state - attorney's fees - assignment of rights - apportionment by judge, when. -

1. As used in this section, the following terms mean:

(1) "Provider", any individual, corporation, public or private entity that has entered into an agreement with the state to provide any service set out in section 208.152 and subsequent amendments;

(2) "Person eligible for public assistance", any individual who is or was eligible for medical assistance under the laws of this state.

2. Payments made to or on behalf of a person eligible for public assistance as the result of any compensable injury, occupational disease or disability as defined by this chapter shall be a debt due the state, and recovery of same shall be a recognized action pursuant to this chapter.

3. The state shall have a lien upon any funds owed by any employer that are or might be due under any insurance agreement or self-insurance authority in effect at the time the medical expense or any portion thereof was paid by the department of social services or its designated division.

4. The state shall have a right of subrogation to any funds owed to or received by the employee or any person, corporation, public agency or private agency acting on his behalf notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter.

5. The department of social services or its designated division may maintain an appropriate action to recover funds due under this section pursuant to the workers' compensation law or the second injury fund, which includes the exercise of all appeal rights afforded by the laws of this state.

6. The department shall have a right to recover the full amount of its payments when payments are made to a provider under this chapter if the payments were made on behalf of a person eligible for public assistance for an injury, occupational disease, or disability which is compensable under this chapter.

7. This debt due the state shall be subordinate only to the fee rights of the injured employee's attorney pursuant to this chapter, and the state shall not be required to pay any portion of the fees or costs incurred by the employee or the employer.

8. Application for and acceptance of public assistance made to or on behalf of the injured employee shall constitute an assignment of rights to the department of social services for reimbursement of funds expended by the department of social services in the treatment of a compensable injury.

9. The attorney shall notify the department of social services upon representation of each client who was eligible for public assistance as provided by sections 208.151 to 208.159 and section 208.162 prior to, during or subsequent to the date of injury, that the attorney was retained to pursue the client's legal rights related to the compensable injury.

10. The administrative law judge, pursuant to authority granted under section 287.610, shall apportion the debt due the state between the injured worker and the injured worker's employer or their designated representatives when an agreement cannot be reached regarding the respective liability for money expended by the department of social services on behalf of the injured employee, but in no case shall the debt due the state be reduced.

(L. 1987 H.B. 518)




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