You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Kentucky’ tag.

UPDATE:  HR 507, a bill identical to SB 136, was recently introduced in the House and has been posted to the House Labor & Industry Committee as of March 7, 2014. SB 137 has been reassigned to committee twice, and as of March 17, 2014 was reassigned to the Senate Appropriations & Revenue Committee.

There are presently two competing workers’ compensation bills in the Kentucky Senate attempting reform of KRS Chapter 342, one modest (SB 137) and one quite a bit more ambitious (SB 136).

SB 137, sponsored by J. Carroll, W. Blevins, Jr. and D. Harper Angel attempts to (1)  increase attorney fees and (2) to extend payment of workers’ compensation income benefits to age 70 or 5 years after the injury, whichever is later.

The relevant changes of SB 137 are set forth below:

AN ACT relating to workers’ compensation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

->Section 1.   KRS 342.320 is amended to read as follows:

(2)     In an original claim, attorney’s fees for services under this chapter on behalf of an employee shall be subject to the following maximum limits:

(a)     Twenty-five percent (25%)[Twenty percent (20%)] of the first fifty[twenty-five] thousand dollars ($50,000)[($25,000)] of the award, fifteen percent (15%) of the[ next ten thousand dollars ($10,000), and five percent (5%) of the] remainder of the award, not to exceed a maximum fee of twenty-four thousand dollars ($24,000) in an original award[twelve thousand dollars ($12,000)]. Annually, the commissioner shall compute, in accordance with KRS 342.740, the increase or decrease in the state average weekly wage, and consistent with that calculation shall adjust the maximum attorney fee for an injury in the succeeding year. This fee shall be paid by the employee from the proceeds of the award or settlement; and

(b)     Attorney-client employment contracts entered into and signed after July 14, 2000, shall be subject to the conditions of paragraph (a) of this subsection.


(7)     In a claim that has been reopened pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, an attorney’s fee may be awarded by the administrative law judge[ subject to the limits set forth in subsection (2) of this section]. For a reopening, the maximum additional attorney fee shall be twelve thousand dollars ($12,000). The maximum fee for a reopening shall be adjusted annually as the attorney fee for an original award. In awarding the attorney’s fee, the administrative law judge shall compute the fee based on additional income benefits awarded as a result of that reopening and shall consider the factors set forth in subsection (3) of this section.[ If no additional amount is recovered upon reopening, no attorney’s fee shall be awarded. No attorney’s fee shall be allowed or approved exceeding the amounts provided in subsection (2)(a) of this section applicable to any additional amount recovered.]

(8)     Attorney’s fees for representing employers in proceedings under this chapter pursuant to contract with the employer shall be subject to approval of the administrative law judge in the same manner as prescribed for attorney representation of employees. Employer attorney’s fees are subject to the limitation of twenty-four[twelve] thousand dollars ($24,000)[($12,000)] maximum fees except that fees for representing employers shall not be dependent upon the result achieved. Employer attorney’s fees may be paid on a periodic basis while a claim is adjudicated and the payments need not be approved until the claims resolution process is completed. Fees for legal services in presenting a claim for reimbursement from the Kentucky coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fund shall not exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). All such approved fees shall be paid by the employer and in no event shall exceed the amount the employer agreed by contract to pay.

->Section 2.   KRS 342.730 is amended to read as follows:

(4)     All income benefits payable pursuant to this chapter shall terminate as of the date upon which the employee reaches age seventy (70)[qualifies for normal old-age Social Security retirement benefits under the United States Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. secs. 301 to 1397f,] or five (5)[two (2)] years after the employee’s injury or last exposure, whichever last occurs. In like manner all income benefits payable pursuant to this chapter to spouses and dependents shall terminate when such spouses and dependents qualify for benefits under the United States Social Security Act by reason of the fact that the worker upon whose earnings entitlement is based would have qualified for normal old-age Social Security retirement benefits.

 The complete text of SB 137 can be viewed by clicking here.

SB 136 sponsored by T. Buford and D. Seum seeks to amend KRS Chapter 342 to (1) define and recognize temporary partial disability benefits; (2) define medical provider; (3) limit medical benefits to age 70 or five years after date of injury, whichever is later except for permanent total awards or awards involving prosthetic devices; (4) allow attorney’s fees or increased payments for medical fee disputes that are decided in favor of the claimant; (5)  amend the reopening statutes to allow for reopening for additional temporary total or partial benefits; (6) permit claimants who have awards of $60 or less per week to elect a lump sum; (7) require settlements for future medicals to be approved by the federal Medicare Secondary Payer Act; (8) permit claimants to recover damages from an insurance carrier who commits an unfair claims settlement practice; (9) increase attorneys’ fees to a total of $24,000; (10) specify that administrative law judges do not approve attorney’s fees; (11) enumerate changes to the manner that income benefits are determined; (12) increase the maximum for temporary total or partial income benefits from 100% of the state average weekly wage to 120% of the state average weekly wage; (13) increase the maximum of permanent partial income benefits from 75% to 85% of the state average weekly wage; (14) increase and clarify multiplier language factors; and (15) provide that the time limit for permanent partial income benefits is determined by the impairment ratings.

Click here to review the text of SB 136 and its proposed changes.



“Online Order Capability for Kentucky Medical Fee Schedule!

“The Department of Workers’ Claims is pleased to announce a new online feature for submitting/paying for the Medical Fee Schedule for Physicians! This allows you to request and purchase a Kentucky Medical Fee Schedule in an online environment. Once your order is received and payment processed, your item(s) will be shipped to you within 1-3 business days. You may still utilize the traditional form and mail in your order if you so choose. We look forward to serving you! Please click the following link to place your order: “

The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Nominating Commission has recommended Carla H. Montgomery, Carole Meller Pearlman and Rebekkah B. Rechter to fill the unexpired term of Board Member Lawrence Smith, who recently died.  Montgomery is former General Counsel with the Department of Workers’ Claims, Pearlman is a Louisville, Ky attorney and Rechter is a Louisville, Ky attorney and Kentucky Supreme Court staff attorney. The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Board consists of three members and is the first level of review in the Kentucky workers’ compensation appeal process.  Current Board Members are Franklin Stivers and Michael Alvey.


“When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.” – Mark Twain





From the DWC: The Open Records Online Request Service is currently experiencing technical difficulties. They are “working on the issue” and harbor the hope to have the system working again soon. They advise If you need to submit a request, fax them (Hello, again, 1984) at 502-564-5732.

The online records request service has only been operational for a short period of time.  Its usefulness, since that time, has been inconsistent.

old officeThe Kentucky DWC, after a bit of a delay (15 years, perhaps?), finally has its online records search up and running. We at OUCH! originally thought the records system would allow for actual online viewing of the records. Uhhhhh, no. The new system is really nothing more than a glorification of the original fax-a-request that has long been the procedure for obtaining claims information from the DWC. In fact, it is probably not much slower and it is certainly less of a hassle to fax a request and receive the invoice, write a check and then receive the documents. The whole process requires two tasks on the part of the requester and takes approximately 3-4 days even with snail mail delivery of the documents.

With the so-called new and improved online method, one has to first sign up for an account (and remember to make a note of the username and password), make the request, wait for the request to be processed, receive an e-mail saying the request is being processed, wait to receive an invoice via e-mail, go back to the website to pay the invoice (with credit card only) and then wait to receive a link via e-mail to the records. The DWC estimates a 4-5 day turnaround for all of this.

When your records are available, they arrive via a link to a .zip file and are merely unlabeled individual .pdf files, so one has to click on each document to see what it is. To look easily at the documents at once, it is necessary to combine the documents into one .pdf file, and that requires software that can perform such a task.

We will just stick with the old method. Good try, DWC, but no thanks.

The Kentucky  mileage reimbursement rate for July 1 – Sept. 30, 2012 is 46¢ per mile.

Per the Commonwealth of Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet Office of the Controller:  “The reimbursement rate is determined using the American Automobile Association (AAA) Daily Fuel Gauge Report for Kentucky for regular unleaded gasoline. The gasoline cost used for the calculation is located on the AAA website.”  Click here.

The Kentucky mileage reibumrsement remains at .47/mile for the period of October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011.

Kentucky Employers Mutual Insurance (KEMI) is suing a lot of its insureds.  Why? 

Click here for the Fayette Circuit Court docket of a few of those suits.

The mileage rate for October 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010 is 43 cents per mile.

The Controller’s website has been updated to reflect this change. Refer to the Controller’s web page for all related travel information. To be added to the Controller’s Travel Information Distribution list, contact Patricia Boler at

Bookmark and Share just released its list of the most medicated sates with Kentucky being ranked the fourth most medicated with 16.5 prescriptions per capita. First, second and third places went to West-Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama respectively.

Bookmark and Share


Elsewhere online


Law & Legal Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Blog Directory for
Lexington, KY Blog directory blog directory
© 2009 ROLAND LEGAL PLLC. All Rights Reserved