What is a Second Injury Fund?

About half the states have second injury funds to encourage the hiring of workers who are partly disabled but still able to work. Employers would be reluctant to hire such workers due to the risk they could sustain an injury that would combine with the prior injury or condition to cause a disability.

Without second injury funds, the new employer would be liable for the entire cost of the claim. When a partially disabled employee suffers a second injury, part of the cost of the second injury is apportioned to the second injury fund.

Some states discontinued their second injury funds following passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Although the ADA requires employers to maintain confidentiality about employees’ disabilities, the confidentiality rule does not apply to communications with state workers’ compensation authorities or second injury funds.

States with second injury fund reimbursements that allow claims with new dates of injury are:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire

States with second injury fund reimbursements that do not allow claims with new dates of injury but will provide additional recovery after a review of claims are:

  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • New York
  • South Carolina

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