Missouri Senate to debate future of disability fund

Monday, February 4, 2013 | 8:01 a.m. CST; updated 9:02 a.m. CST, Monday, February 4, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri senators are preparing to debate legislation to revive an insolvent fund for disabled workers.

The state's Second Injury Fund has a deficit of about $25 million that is expected to keep growing.

The fund provides compensation to people with previously existing disabilities who then suffer an additional work-related injury or illness. It's financed by a surcharge on workers' compensation insurance premiums. But the revenues haven't kept up with expenses.

The Senate is scheduled to begin debate Monday on legislation that would temporarily increase the surcharge to generate more money. The measure would also limit the types of injuries that would qualify for future payments.

Some lawmakers would rather abolish the fund. But even that step would require some additional money to pay off existing claims.

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