The Second Injury Fund (SIF or the Fund) is a
state operated workers' compensation insurance fund established in
1945 to discourage discrimination against veterans and encourage the
assimilation of workers with a pre-existing injury into the
workforce. Public Act 95-277 closed the Fund to new "second injury"
claims for injuries sustained on or after July 1, 1995 and expanded
enforcement, fines and penalties against employers who fail to
provide workers' compensation coverage. Prior to July 1, 1995, the
Fund provided relief to employers where a worker, who already had a
pre-existing injury or condition, was hurt on the job and that
second injury was made "materially and substantially" worse by the
first injury (thus the term "Second Injury Fund"). Such employers
transferred liability for these workers' compensation claims to the
Fund, if certain criteria were met under the Connecticut Workers'
Today the Fund continues to be liable for
those claims transferred prior to the closing of the Fund as well as
claims involving uninsured employers, reimbursement of cost of
living adjustments for certain injuries involving payment of total
disability benefits or dependent widow's disability benefits and, on
a pro rata basis, reimbursement claims to employers of any worker
who had more than one employer at the time of the injury.
The Fund seeks to provide quality service
both to the injured workers and employers of Connecticut, whom it
jointly serves. The Fund accomplishes this by adjudicating
qualifying workers' compensation claims fairly and in accordance
with applicable law, industry standards and best practices. Where
possible, the Second Injury Fund seeks to return injured workers to
gainful employment or seeks settlement of claims, which ultimately
reduces the burden of Second Injury Fund liabilities on Connecticut
taxpayers and businesses.
The Fund is financed by assessments on all
Connecticut employers. The State Treasurer as Custodian of the Fund
establishes the assessment rate on or before May 1st of each year.