Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1366
– Volunteer emergncy respndr/disablty
SENATE BILL NO. 1366
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S1366.......................................by COMMERCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES
VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS - Amends and adds to existing law relating
to disability benefits for volunteer emergency responders to define terms;
to revise the designation of employees in public employment; to revise the
determination of average weekly wage for volunteer emergency responders;
and to provide for the payment of total and permanent disability benefits
to volunteer emergency responders.
02/01 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/04 Rpt prt - to Com/HuRes
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2008
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1366
BY COMMERCE AND HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY RESPONDER DISABILITY BENEFITS; AMENDING SEC-
3 TION 72-102, IDAHO CODE, TO DEFINE A TERM; AMENDING SECTION 72-205, IDAHO
4 CODE, TO REVISE THE DESIGNATION OF EMPLOYEES IN PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT AND
5 THEIR EMPLOYERS SUBJECT TO THE WORKER'S COMPENSATION ACT; AMENDING SECTION
6 72-419, IDAHO CODE, TO REMOVE THE DETERMINATION OF AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE FOR
7 VOLUNTEER FIREMEN, POLICE AND CIVIL DEFENSE MEMBERS OR TRAINEES AND TO
8 PROVIDE FOR THE DETERMINATION OF AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE FOR VOLUNTEER EMER-
9 GENCY RESPONDERS BASED ON IDAHO CODE; AND AMENDING CHAPTER 4, TITLE 72,
10 IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 72-408A, IDAHO CODE, TO PRO-
11 VIDE FOR THE PAYMENT OF TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY BENEFITS TO VOLUN-
12 TEER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS.
13 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
14 SECTION 1. That Section 72-102, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
15 amended to read as follows:
16 72-102. DEFINITIONS. Words and terms used in the worker's compensation
17 law, unless the context otherwise requires, are defined in the subsections
18 which follow:
19 (1) "Alien" means a person who is not a citizen, a national or a resident
20 of the United States or Canada. Any person not a citizen or national of the
21 United States who relinquishes or is about to relinquish his residence in the
22 United States shall be regarded as an alien.
23 (2) "Balance billing" means charging, billing, or otherwise attempting to
24 collect directly from an injured employee payment for medical services in
25 excess of amounts allowable in compensable claims as provided by rules promul-
26 gated by the commission pursuant to section 72-508, Idaho Code.
27 (3) "Beneficiary" means any person who is entitled to income benefits or
28 medical and related benefits under this law.
29 (4) "Burial expenses" means a sum, not to exceed six thousand dollars
30 ($6,000) for funeral and burial or cremation, together with the actual
31 expenses of transportation of the employee's body to his place of residence
32 within the United States or Canada.
33 (5) "Commission" means the industrial commission.
34 (6) "Community service worker" means:
35 (a) Any person who has been convicted of a criminal offense, any juvenile
36 who has been found to be within the purview of chapter 5, title 20, Idaho
37 Code, and who has been informally diverted under the provisions of section
38 20-511, Idaho Code, or any person or youth who has been diverted from the
39 criminal or juvenile justice system and who performs a public service for
40 any department, institution, office, college, university, authority, divi-
41 sion, board, bureau, commission, council, or other entity of the state, or
42 any city, county, school district, irrigation district or other taxing
43 district authorized to levy a tax or an assessment or any other political
1 subdivision or any private not-for-profit agency which has elected wor-
2 ker's compensation insurance coverage for such person; or
3 (b) Parolees under department of correction supervision, probationers
4 under court order or department of correction supervision and offender
5 residents of community work centers under the direction or order of the
6 board of correction who are performing public service or community service
7 work for any of the entities specified in paragraph (6)(a) of this section
8 other than the department of correction.
9 (7) "Compensation" used collectively means any or all of the income bene-
10 fits and the medical and related benefits and medical services.
11 (8) "Custom farmer" means a person who contracts to supply operated
12 equipment to a proprietor of a farm for the purpose of performing part or all
13 of the activities related to raising or harvesting agricultural or horticul-
14 tural commodities.
15 (9) "Death" means death resulting from an injury or occupational disease.
16 (10) Dependency limitations.
17 (a) "Adopted" and "adoption" include cases where persons are treated as
18 adopted as well as those of legal adoption unless legal adoption is spe-
19 cifically provided.
20 (b) "Brother" and "sister" include stepbrothers and stepsisters, half
21 brothers and half sisters, and brothers and sisters by adoption.
22 (c) "Child" includes adopted children, posthumous children, and acknowl-
23 edged illegitimate children, but does not include stepchildren unless
24 actually dependent.
25 (d) "Grandchild" includes children of legally adopted children and chil-
26 dren of stepchildren, but does not include stepchildren of children,
27 stepchildren of stepchildren, or stepchildren of adopted children unless
28 actually dependent.
29 (e) "Parent" includes stepparents and parents by adoption.
30 (f) "Grandparent" includes parents of parents by adoption, but does not
31 include parents of stepparents, stepparents of parents, or stepparents of
33 (11) "Disability," for purposes of determining total or partial temporary
34 disability income benefits, means a decrease in wage-earning capacity due to
35 injury or occupational disease, as such capacity is affected by the medical
36 factor of physical impairment, and by pertinent nonmedical factors as provided
37 in section 72-430, Idaho Code.
38 (12) "Employee" is synonymous with "workman" and means any person who has
39 entered into the employment of, or who works under contract of service or
40 apprenticeship with, an employer. It does not include any person engaged in
41 any of the excepted employments enumerated in section 72-212, Idaho Code,
42 unless an election as provided in section 72-213, Idaho Code, has been filed.
43 Any reference to an employee who has been injured shall, where the employee is
44 dead, include a reference to his dependents as herein defined, if the context
45 so requires, or, where the employee is a minor or incompetent, to his commit-
46 tee or guardian or next friend.
47 (13) (a) "Employer" means any person who has expressly or impliedly hired
48 or contracted the services of another. It includes contractors and subcon-
49 tractors. It includes the owner or lessee of premises, or other person who
50 is virtually the proprietor or operator of the business there carried on,
51 but who, by reason of there being an independent contractor or for any
52 other reason, is not the direct employer of the workers there employed. If
53 the employer is secured, it means his surety so far as applicable.
54 (b) "Professional employer" means a professional employer as defined in
55 chapter 24, title 44, Idaho Code.
1 (c) "Temporary employer" means the employer of temporary employees as
2 defined in section 44-2403(7), Idaho Code.
3 (d) "Work site employer" means the client of the temporary or profes-
4 sional employer with whom a worker has been placed.
5 (14) "Farm labor contractor" means any person or his agent or subcontrac-
6 tor who, for a fee, recruits and employs farm workers and performs any farm
7 labor contracting activity.
8 (15) "Gender and number." The masculine gender includes the feminine and
9 neuter; "husband" or "wife" includes "spouse"; the singular number includes
10 plural and the plural the singular.
11 (16) "Income benefits" means payments provided for or made under the pro-
12 visions of this law to the injured employee disabled by an injury or occupa-
13 tional disease, or his dependents in case of death, excluding medical and
14 related benefits.
15 (17) "Independent contractor" means any person who renders service for a
16 specified recompense for a specified result, under the right to control or
17 actual control of his principal as to the result of his work only and not as
18 to the means by which such result is accomplished. For the purposes of wor-
19 ker's compensation law, a custom farmer is considered to be an independent
21 (18) "Injury" and "accident."
22 (a) "Injury" means a personal injury caused by an accident arising out of
23 and in the course of any employment covered by the worker's compensation
25 (b) "Accident" means an unexpected, undesigned, and unlooked for mishap,
26 or untoward event, connected with the industry in which it occurs, and
27 which can be reasonably located as to time when and place where it
28 occurred, causing an injury.
29 (c) "Injury" and "personal injury" shall be construed to include only an
30 injury caused by an accident, which results in violence to the physical
31 structure of the body. The terms shall in no case be construed to include
32 an occupational disease and only such nonoccupational diseases as result
33 directly from an injury.
34 (19) "Manifestation" means the time when an employee knows that he has an
35 occupational disease, or whenever a qualified physician shall inform the
36 injured worker that he has an occupational disease.
37 (20) "Medical and related benefits" means payments provided for or made
38 for medical, hospital, burial and other services as provided in this law other
39 than income benefits.
40 (21) "Medical services" means medical, surgical, dental or other atten-
41 dance or treatment, nurse and hospital service, medicines, apparatus, appli-
42 ances, prostheses, and related services, facilities and supplies.
43 (22) "Occupational diseases."
44 (a) "Occupational disease" means a disease due to the nature of an
45 employment in which the hazards of such disease actually exist, are char-
46 acteristic of, and peculiar to the trade, occupation, process, or employ-
47 ment, but shall not include psychological injuries, disorders or condi-
48 tions unless the conditions set forth in section 72-451, Idaho Code, are
50 (b) "Contracted" and "incurred," when referring to an occupational dis-
51 ease, shall be deemed the equivalent of the term "arising out of and in
52 the course of" employment.
53 (c) "Disablement," except in the case of silicosis, means the event of an
54 employee's becoming actually and totally incapacitated because of an occu-
55 pational disease from performing his work in the last occupation in which
1 injuriously exposed to the hazards of such disease, and "disability" means
2 the state of being so incapacitated.
3 (d) "Disablement," in the case of silicosis, means the event of first
4 becoming actually incapacitated, because of such disease, from performing
5 any work in any remunerative employment; and "disability" means the state
6 of being so incapacitated.
7 (e) "Silicosis" means the characteristic fibrotic condition of the lungs
8 caused by the inhalation of silicon dioxide dust.
9 (23) "Outworker" means a person to whom articles or materials are fur-
10 nished to be treated in any way on premises not under the control or manage-
11 ment of the person who furnished them.
12 (24) "Person" means the state or any political subdivision thereof, or any
13 individual, partnership, firm, association, trust, corporation, including the
14 state insurance fund, or any representative thereof.
15 (25) "Physician" means medical physicians and surgeons, ophthalmologists,
16 otorhinolaryngologists, dentists, osteopaths, osteopathic physicians and sur-
17 geons, optometrists, podiatrists, chiropractic physicians, and members of any
18 other healing profession licensed or authorized by the statutes of this state
19 to practice such profession within the scope of their practice as defined by
20 the statutes of this state and as authorized by their licenses.
21 (26) "Provider" means any person, firm, corporation, partnership, associa-
22 tion, agency, institution, or other legal entity providing any kind of medical
23 services related to the treatment of an injured employee which are compensable
24 under Idaho's worker's compensation law.
25 (27) "Secretary" means the secretary of the commission.
26 (28) "Self-insurer" means an employer who has been authorized under the
27 provisions of this law to carry his own liability to his employees covered by
28 this law.
29 (29) "State" includes any state, district, commonwealth, zone or territory
30 of the United States or any province of Canada.
31 (30) "Surety" means any insurer authorized to insure or guarantee payment
32 of worker's compensation liability of employers in any state; it also includes
33 the state insurance fund, a self-insurer and an inter-insurance exchange.
34 (31) "United States," when used in a geographic sense, means the several
35 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Canal
36 Zone and the territories of the United States.
37 (32) "Volunteer emergency responder" means a firefighter or peace officer,
38 or certified personnel as that term is defined in section 56-1012, Idaho Code,
39 who is a bona fide member of a legally organized law enforcement agency, a
40 legally organized fire department or a licensed emergency medical service pro-
41 vider organization who contributes services without receiving compensation.
42 (33) "Wages" and "wage earning capacity" prior to the injury or disable-
43 ment from occupational disease mean the employee's money payments for services
44 as calculated under section 72-419, Idaho Code, and shall additionally include
45 the reasonable market value of board, rent, housing, lodging, fuel, and other
46 advantages which can be estimated in money which the employee receives from
47 the employer as part of his remuneration, and gratuities received in the
48 course of employment from others than the employer. "Wages" shall not include
49 sums which the employer has paid to the employee to cover any special expenses
50 entailed on him by the nature of his employment.
51 (3 34) "Wages" and "wage earning capacity" after the injury or disablement
52 from occupational disease shall be presumed to be the actual earnings after
53 the injury or disablement, which presumption may be overcome by showing that
54 those earnings do not fairly and reasonably represent wage earning capacity;
55 in such a case wage earning capacity shall be determined in the light of all
1 factors and circumstances which may affect the worker's capacity to earn
3 (3 45) "Work experience student" means any person enrolled in the public
4 school districts of this state and who, as part of his instruction, is
5 enrolled in a class or program for academic credit and for which the student
6 is employed by, or works for, a private or governmental entity. The student
7 need not receive wages from the private or governmental entity in order to be
8 classified as a work experience student.
9 (3 56) "Worker's compensation law" or "workmen's compensation law" means
10 and includes the worker's compensation law of this state and any like or simi-
11 lar law of any state, United States, territory, or province of Canada.
12 SECTION 2. That Section 72-205, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
13 amended to read as follows:
14 72-205. PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT GENERALLY -- COVERAGE. The following shall con-
15 stitute employees in public employment and their employers subject to the pro-
16 visions of this law:
17 (1) Every person in the service of the state or of any political subdivi-
18 sion thereof, under any contract of hire, express or implied, and every offi-
19 cial or officer thereof, whether elected or appointed, while performing his
20 official duties, except officials of athletic contests involving secondary
21 schools, as defined by section 33-119, Idaho Code.
22 (2) Every person in the service of a county, city, or any political sub-
23 division thereof, or of any municipal corporation.
24 (3) Participants in the Idaho youth conservation project under the super-
25 vision of the Idaho state forester.
26 (4) Every person who is a member of a volunteer fire or police department
27 emergency responder shall be deemed, for the purposes of this law, to be in
28 the employment of the political subdivision or municipality where the depart-
29 ment, agency or organization is organized.
30 (5) Every person who is a regularly enrolled volunteer member or trainee
31 of the department of disaster and civil defense, or of a civil defense corps,
32 shall be deemed, for the purposes of this law, to be in the employment of the
34 (6) Members of the Idaho national guard while on duty and employees of or
35 persons providing voluntary service to an approved Idaho national guard
36 morale, welfare, and recreational activity. No Idaho compensation benefits
37 shall inure to any such member, employee or volunteer or their beneficiaries
38 for any injury or death compensable under federal law.
39 (7) A community service worker, as that term is defined in section
40 72-102, Idaho Code, is considered to be an employee in public employment for
41 purposes of receiving worker's compensation benefits, which shall be the com-
42 munity service worker's exclusive remedy for all injuries and occupational
43 diseases as provided under chapters 1 through 8, title 72, Idaho Code.
44 (8) Every person who participates in a youth employment program funded in
45 whole or in part by state or federal money and administered by a state or fed-
46 eral agency or a nonprofit corporation or entity.
47 (9) A work experience student, as that term is defined in section 72-102,
48 Idaho Code, who does not receive wages while participating in the school's
49 work experience program shall be covered by the school district's policy with
50 the state insurance fund.
51 SECTION 3. That Section 72-419, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
52 amended to read as follows:
1 72-419. DETERMINATION OF AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE. Except as otherwise pro-
2 vided in this law, the average weekly wage of the employee at the time of the
3 accident causing the injury or of manifestation of the occupational disease
4 shall be taken as the basis upon which to compute compensation and shall be
5 determined as follows:
6 (1) If at such time the wages are fixed by the week, the amount so fixed
7 shall be the average weekly wage.
8 (2) If at such time the wages are fixed by the month, the average weekly
9 wage shall be the monthly wage so fixed multiplied by twelve (12) and divided
10 by fifty-two (52).
11 (3) If at such time the wages are fixed by the year, the average weekly
12 wage shall be the yearly wage so fixed divided by fifty-two (52).
13 (4) (a) If at such time the wages are fixed by the day, hour or by the
14 output of the employee, the average weekly wage shall be the wage most
15 favorable to the employee computed by dividing by thirteen (13) his wages
16 (not including overtime or premium pay) earned in the employ of the
17 employer in the first, second, third or fourth period of thirteen (13)
18 consecutive calendar weeks in the fifty-two (52) weeks immediately preced-
19 ing the time of accident or manifestation of the disease.
20 (b) If the employee has been in the employ of the employer less than
21 twelve (12) calendar weeks immediately preceding the accident or manifes-
22 tation of the disease, his average weekly wage shall be computed under the
23 foregoing paragraph, taking the wages (not including overtime or premium
24 pay) for such purpose to be the amount he would have earned had he been so
25 employed by the employer the full thirteen (13) calendar weeks immediately
26 preceding such time and had worked, when work was available to other
27 employees in a similar occupation.
28 (5) If at such time the hourly wage has not been fixed or cannot be
29 ascertained, the wage for the purpose of calculating compensation shall be
30 taken to be the usual wage for similar services where such services are ren-
31 dered by paid employees.
32 (6) In seasonal occupations that do not customarily operate throughout
33 the entire year, the average weekly wage shall be taken to be one-fiftieth
34 (1/50) of the total wages which the employee has earned from all occupations
35 during the twelve (12) calendar months immediately preceding the time of the
36 accident or manifestation of the disease.
37 (7) In the case of a volunteer firemen, police and civil defense members
38 or trainees emergency responder, the income benefits shall be based on the
39 average weekly wage in their regular employment determined pursuant to section
40 72-408A, Idaho Code.
41 (8) If the employee was a minor, apprentice or trainee at the time of the
42 accident or manifestation of the disease, and it is established that under
43 normal conditions his wages should be expected to increase during the period
44 of disability that fact may be considered in computing his average weekly
46 (9) When the employee is working under concurrent contracts with two (2)
47 or more employers and the defendant employer has knowledge of such employment
48 prior to the injury, the employee's wages from all such employers shall be
49 considered as if earned from the employer liable for compensation.
50 (10) When circumstances are such that the actual rate of pay cannot be
51 readily ascertained, the wage shall be deemed to be the contractual, customary
52 or usual wage in the particular employment, industry or community for the same
53 or similar service.
54 (11) In the case of public employees covered under section 72-205(6),
55 Idaho Code, the income benefits shall be based on the greater of the average
1 weekly wage of the employee's civilian employment and pay computed for one
2 (1) weekend drill in a month, or full-time active duty pay fixed by the month
3 as provided in section 46-605, Idaho Code.
4 SECTION 4. That Chapter 4, Title 72, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
5 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
6 ignated as Section 72-408A, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
7 72-408A. DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY RESPONDERS. Income
8 benefits for total or partial disability during the period of recovery, and
9 thereafter in cases of total and permanent disability, shall be paid to a vol-
10 unteer emergency responder subject to deduction on account of a waiting
11 period. For a period not to exceed twelve (12) months, the deduction shall be
12 an amount equal to sixty-seven percent (67%) of the average weekly state wage,
13 as determined pursuant to section 72-409(2), Idaho Code. The maximum monthly
14 income benefit as provided in this section shall be subject to an annual cost
15 of living adjustment as determined by the industrial commission by rule.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to amend the Worker s
Compensation to provide minimum weekly benefits, based upon 67
percent of the average weekly state wage, for volunteer emergency
responders who are injured or disabled in the line of duty.
There will be no fiscal impact to the Idaho State General Fund.
All worker s compensation premiums will be paid by the employers
of volunteer emergency responders. The additional cost of the
work to administer the requirements of this legislation will be
minimal and absorbed by the State Insurance Fund.
Name: Senator Stan Bastian
Phone: (208) 332-1354
The Idaho Volunteer Fire and Emergency Services Association
Greg Redden, Executive Director 1-800-347-3546
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1366