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Tennessee Enacts Revised Workers' Compensation Provisions

Tennessee
September 12, 2019
September 13, 2019
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Tennessee recently enacted several amendments to its workers’ compensation law.  Effective July 1, 2019, for all injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2019 and up to June 30, 2020, the state increased payouts on the following benefits:

- Maximum payout for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits to $1,056.00 per week

- Maximum payout for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits to $960.00 per week

- Minimum payout for temporary total (TTD) and permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits to $144.00 a week

Additionally, the state enacted a new law for firefighters that creates a presumption that certain conditions or impairments caused by certain cancers occurred within the course and scope of employment.  This presumption is subject to rebuttal by competent medical testimony.

The state also enacted new rules for medical payments effective September 10, 2019.  For complete information on the new medical rules, visit the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development website.

Further, the state has created a Telehealth Working Group to assist with addressing the medical needs of injured employees within the state.  The group will hold its second meeting on October 4, 2019.  Members of the public are invited to participate and may call in via telephone or access the meeting through WebEX.  Information for the upcoming meeting can be found on the State’s website.  

Finally, the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Annual Report on the effects of the 2013 Reform Act by the Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation was recently published.  According to the Administrator, Abbie Hudgens, Tennessee insurance rates have dropped by 18% since implementation of the Reform Act.  Likewise, loss costs are down 89% with 95% of claims being considered “dispute free.”  Reportedly, lost time is also down 11% and permanent partial disability costs down 28% since 2014.  To see the full report, click here for a convenient copy.