Many injured workers have heard of, but may not be aware of, the purpose of the Second Injury Fund. The Second Injury Fund is actually a fund of money administered by the State of Indiana. It is funded by mandatory contributions from insurance companies that write worker’s compensation business in the State of Indiana. The fund serves 2 general purposes. The first is to pay for prosthetic replacement devices. If you have settled your worker’s compensation case and will require future prosthetics, you can apply for a prosthetic replacement through the Second Injury Fund. Prosthetics would include items such as an artificial arm, an artificial hand, etc. Whether prosthetics include items such as knee replacement, artificial eyes, or artificial shoulders, is unclear. If you settle your case on what we call a “Section 15 Settlement”, you may not be eligible for Second Injury Fund benefits. Be careful and make sure you consult with legal counsel before settling such a case.
The second purpose of the Second Injury Fund is to pay a weekly worker’s compensation check to you in the event that you remain permanently and totally disabled after the worker’s compensation carrier’s 500th week of obligation ends. To receive Second Injury Fund benefits after the 500th week, you will need to apply for entry into the Second Injury Fund and you will want to do so probably 60 days before the 500th week. Injured workers receive 500 weeks of weekly worker’s compensation checks if they are declared permanently and totally disabled by either the insurance company or a worker’s compensation judge. For more information on these two purposes for the fund, please contact one of the attorneys at Klezmer Maudlin. Thank you.