How do I claim benefits from the Second Injury Fund?

Except for physical rehabilitation benefits, no payments can be made from the Second Injury Fund unless a “Claim for Compensation” is filed against the Second Injury Fund. Only the employee, or (in a death benefits case) the employee’s dependents can file a claim against the Second Injury Fund. Employees or dependents may hire their own lawyer to represent their interests when filing for benefits. Read Obtaining a Lawyer

A claim against the Second Injury Fund is made by filing an approved Division form Claim for Compensation, indicating which of the Second Injury Fund benefits is being sought. If form WC-21 is filed against the Second Injury Fund based upon a pre-existing disability, the employee needs to complete the date(s) of previous injury or disease, the part(s) of the body affected by the previous injury or disease, as well as state whether permanent partial or permanent total benefits are being sought.

There are time limits to filing a claim against the Second Injury Fund. A claim against the Second Injury Fund must be filed within two years after the date of the work-related injury or within one year after a claim is filed against an employer or insurer, whichever is later. This is a somewhat technical requirement; therefore, in most cases, you will want to file a claim against the employer and the Second Injury Fund before entering into a settlement with your employer. As with any legal question, you may want to consult with a lawyer before filing a claim or entering into a settlement.

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