Warnken, LLC Attorneys at Law, Attorneys & Lawyers, Pikesville, MD

The Subsequent Injury Fund

The Subsequent Injury Fund was formed pursuant to the Labor and Employment Article of the Maryland Annotated Code, Section 9-802. Md. Labor and Employment Code Ann. §8-802.  The goal of this agency is to encourage employers to hire employees with pre-existing health conditions by assuming financial obligations on behalf of employees for the effects of their pre-existing impairment and subsequent accidental workplace injuries combined. Id.

SIF Cases

After receiving a claim, the Subsequent Injury Fund investigates workers’ compensations claims that involve pre-existing health conditions that substantially increase the disability of an employee who was injured on the job.  Origins and Functions, Subsequent Injury Fund Board, available at http://msa.maryland.gov/msa/mdmanual/25ind/html/69subsf.html.  In a workers’ compensation action, it is the duty of the employer to compensate for the costs incurred by his employee’s injury while on the job.  It is the duty of the Subsequent Injury Fund to recompense employees from injuries sustained while on the job as a result of a pre-existing condition.  Id. The Fund contributes to the balance of the total award.  The sum of the payment from the employer and the fund should equal the compensation provided by statute for the combined effects of the previous disability and present injury. Id.

Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits from the Subsequent Injury Fund

To collect benefits from the Subsequent Injury Fund, an injured worker must:

  1. Have sustained an accidental injury or occupational disease at work
  2. Have permanent impairment causally related to the accidental injury or occupational disease of at least 25%
  3. Have permanent impairment or disease which existed before the workplace accidental injury or occupational disease at hand that equals 25%
  4. Have had a previous impairment that was or was likely to hinder the worker’s job duties, or suffered an impairment substantially greater than the previous impairment due to the combined effects of the current and previous impairment. 

Injury Fund. Subsequent Injury Fund v. Compton, 28 Md. App. 526, 346 A.2d 475 (1975).

Funding SIF

The Subsequent Injury Fund is funded by assessments on permanency awards, settlements, and death claims paid by employers participating in the Workers’ Compensation process, and from funds derived from the application of paying benefits pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. Md. Labor and Employment Code Ann. §9-806.  The Fund collects 6.5% from each award against an employer or its insurer for permanent disability or death.

This process requires the help of an attorney who is skilled in workers’ compensation law. It is in the employee’s best interest to hire an attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure they can maximally benefit from their lamentable circumstances.