March 12, 2013
QUESTIONS FOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION ADVISORY BOARD NOMINEE
By: Lee R. Hansen, Legislative Analyst II
STRUCTURE AND DUTIES
● The board consists of eight members who serve staggered four-year terms. Four must represent employers, including a representative of a major general hospital. Four must represent employees, including an individual who has suffered an extensive disability arising from his employment. The eight appointed members then choose a ninth impartial member who serves as the chairman.
● The governor appoints.
● Both houses confirm (CGS § 31-280a).
● The chairman of the Workers' Compensation Commission must consult with the board before adopting a budget, a plan of operations, or regulations to carry out the commission's duties. Among other things, the board must also (1) help evaluate each compensation commissioner's performance and submit written recommendations for their re-appointment to the governor, (2) advise on the list of physicians available for injured workers to choose from for examinations, and (3) advise on standards for approval and removal of physicians from the list (CGS § 31-280(b)).
1. As a new appointee to the advisory board, what experiences and background do you bring to this position that will help the state's workers' compensation commission function better?
2. What are your goals for your first term on the Advisory Board?
3. What is your impression of how the workers' compensation system is currently addressing the needs of injured workers and their employers? Do those needs agree or are they in conflict?
4. Is fraud and abuse a problem in the workers' compensation system, and does the advisory board have a role in trying to prevent fraud and abuse?
5. Given the traumatic nature of some recent incidents of workplace violence in the state, do you think the workers' compensation system should be doing more to help workers who suffer solely mental or emotional injuries in the workplace? Do you think the workers' compensation system, as presently constituted, is capable of handling these types of claims? What, if any, changes to the system would you recommend?
6. When board members interview compensation commissioners as part of the reappointment process, how will you evaluate whether a commissioner has done a good job? For what reasons, and under what circumstances, would you recommend a commissioner not be re-nominated?
7. Are there a sufficient number of physicians currently participating and available for workers' compensation cases in the state? Does the state have any problems keeping enough physicians involved?
8. It takes an older employee longer to recover from an injury than a younger person with the same injury. Considering the aging of Connecticut's workforce, does this pose a particular challenge for the workers' compensation system?
9. What role can the Advisory Board play in trying to reduce or minimize workers' compensation costs for employers? How do you view the workers' compensation system's importance in contributing to the state's overall economic climate?
10. Do you see any areas in which the board's role should be expanded?