34:15-95.4. Special adjustment benefit payment; dependent benefits; payment period; amount; supplement.
Any employee or dependent receiving weekly benefits as provided under R.S. 34:15-95, R.S. 34:15-12(b) or R.S. 34:15-13 at a rate applicable prior to January 1, 1980, and whose payment is less than the maximum compensation rate in effect for the year 1980, shall be entitled to receive a special adjustment benefit payment from the Second Injury Fund and from those sources as provided for by this 1980 amendatory and supplementary act.
Any dependent, as defined in R.S. 34:15-13, of a person totally disabled who dies while receiving compensation from the Second Injury Fund, shall become entitled to dependent benefits under this chapter which are comparable to payments made to other dependents under the workers' compensation law, R.S. 34:15-1 et seq., on or after the effective date of this 1980 amendatory and supplementary act.
All compensation payments made under this chapter to a dependent, as defined under R.S. 34:15-13, of an individual who dies while receiving such compensation, shall be payable only where the compensable occupational injury or disease of the decedent is a material contributing factor to his death.
The payment of these adjustment benefits shall be paid to an employee or dependent as long as the employee or dependent is eligible to receive payments under R.S. 34:15-95, R.S. 34:15-12(b), R.S. 34:15-13, or this section.
The amount of the special adjustment benefit payment shall be such that when added to the workers' compensation rate awarded pursuant to R.S. 34:15-95, R.S. 34:15-12(b), R.S. 34:15-13 or this section as a result of injury or death, the total shall bear the same percentage relationship to the 1980 maximum workers' compensation rate that the worker's own compensation rate awarded as a result of the injury or death bears to the then effective maximum workers' compensation rate. The amount of the special adjustment benefit shall be payable at a rate of 35% of the adjustment during the fiscal year 1981 commencing July 1, 1980; 75% of the adjustment during the fiscal year 1982; and 100% of the adjustment during the fiscal year 1983 and thereafter. The special adjustment benefit payment provided herein shall be reduced by an amount equal to the individual's benefit payable under the Federal Old-Age, Survivors' and Disability Insurance Act (not including increases in such benefits due to any federal statutory increases after May 31, 1980), Black Lung benefits, or the employer's share of disability pension payments received from or on account of an employer. Where any person refuses to authorize the release of information concerning the amount of benefits payable under the aforementioned benefits, the division's estimate of that amount shall be deemed to be correct unless and until the actual amount is established and no adjustment shall be made for any period of time covered by any such refusal.
Payments of the adjustment shall be made from the Second Injury Fund in the manner hereinafter provided. The Commissioner of Labor shall make payments from Second Injury Fund directly to the persons who are now receiving benefits under R.S. 34:15-95 and to their dependents becoming eligible for dependents' benefits under this 1980 amendatory and supplementary act by increasing or, as the case may be, setting the biweekly compensation payments to include the biweekly special adjustment. In the case of persons who are entitled to compensation under R.S. 34:15-12(b) or R.S. 34:15-13, the insurance carrier or self-insured employer in the second and subsequent fiscal years after enactment shall increase the weekly compensation payments to include the weekly special adjustment. For such special adjustment payments and supplements to special adjustment payments paid during the period July 1, 1981 and December 31, 1988, insurance carriers and self-insured employers shall credit the payments against the assessments payable by the insurance carrier or self-insurer under R.S. 34:15-94. The insurance carrier or self-insurer claiming such credit shall submit vouchers upon forms prescribed by the Commissioner of Labor, identifying each case and indicating the weekly benefit adjustment applicable thereto on or before June 30, 1989.
Beginning in the fiscal year 1984 and in every fiscal year thereafter, a supplement to the special adjustment benefit payment shall be paid to all employees or dependents entitled to the special adjustment benefit payment. The supplement to the special adjustment benefit payment shall be paid in an amount, in combination with income from all sources referred to in this section, which bears the same percentage relationship to the then current maximum workers' compensation rate that the worker's own compensation rate awarded as a result of the injury or death bears to the then effective maximum workers' compensation rate. Beginning in fiscal year 1986 and in every fiscal year thereafter, payment of supplements to the special adjustment benefits shall be made from the Second Injury Fund. Payment of supplements to the special adjustment benefits for fiscal years 1984 and 1985 shall be from interest earned and accrued upon moneys belonging to "the stock workers' compensation security fund" and "the mutual workers' compensation security fund" during fiscal years 1981 through 1985, and from special assessments upon self-insured employers in the same proportions as provided under R.S. 34:15-94.