TITLE 28
Labor and Labor Relations

CHAPTER 28-33
Workers' Compensation – Benefits

SECTION 28-33-18.3


§ 28-33-18.3 Continuation of benefits – Partial incapacity.

(a)(1) For all injuries occurring on or after September 1, 1990, in those cases where the employee has received a notice of intention to terminate partial-incapacity benefits pursuant to § 28-33-18, the employee, or his or her duly authorized representative, may file with the workers' compensation court a petition for continuation of benefits on forms prescribed by the workers' compensation court. In any proceeding before the workers' compensation court on a petition for continuation of partial-incapacity benefits, where the employee demonstrates by a fair preponderance of the evidence that his or her partial incapacity poses a material hindrance to obtaining employment suitable to his or her limitation, partial-incapacity benefits shall continue. For injuries on and after July 1, 2023, "material hindrance" is defined to include only compensable injuries causing a greater than sixty-five percent (65%) degree of functional impairment and/or disability. Any period of time for which the employee has received benefits for total incapacity shall not be included in the calculation of the three hundred and twelve-week (312) period.

(2) The provisions of this subsection apply to all injuries from Sept. 1, 1990, to July 1, 2023.

(b)(1) Where any employee's incapacity is partial and has extended for more than three hundred and twelve (312) weeks and the employee has proved an entitlement to continued benefits under subsection (a), payments made to these incapacitated employees shall be increased annually on the tenth (10th) day of May thereafter so long as the employee remains incapacitated. The increase shall be by an amount equal to the total percentage increase in the annual Consumer Price Index, United States City Average for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, as formulated and computed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor for the period of March 1 to February 28 each year.

(2) "Index", as used in this section, refers to the Consumer Price Index, United States City Average for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, as that index was formulated and computed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor.

(3) The annual increase shall be based upon the percentage increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index for the month of a given year, over the index for February the previous year. Thereafter, increases shall be made on May 10 annually, based upon the percentage increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index for the period of March 1 to February 28.

(4) The computations in this section shall be made by the director of labor and training and promulgated to insurers and employers making payments required by this section. Increases shall be paid by insurers and employers without further order of the court. If payment payable under this section is not mailed within fourteen (14) days after the employer or insurer has been notified by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the state it becomes due, there shall be added to the unpaid payment an amount equal to twenty percent (20%) of it, to be paid at the same time as, but in addition to, the payment.

(5) This section applies only to payment of weekly indemnity benefits to employees as described in subdivision (b)(1) and does not apply to specific compensation payments for loss of use or disfigurement or payment of dependency benefits or any other benefits payable under the workers' compensation act.

(c) No petitions for commutation shall be allowed or entertained in those cases where an employee is receiving benefits pursuant to this section.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1990, ch. 332, art. 4, § 2; P.L. 1991, ch. 206, § 4; P.L. 1992, ch. 31, § 5; P.L. 1993, ch. 474, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 105, § 2; P.L. 1998, ch. 404, § 2; P.L. 1999, ch. 216, § 6; P.L. 1999, ch. 384, § 6; P.L. 2000, ch. 109, § 34; P.L. 2000, ch. 491, § 4; P.L. 2001, ch. 256, § 4; P.L. 2001, ch. 355, § 4; P.L. 2002, ch. 119, § 3; P.L. 2002, ch. 280, § 3; P.L. 2003, ch. 388, § 3; P.L. 2003, ch. 395, § 3; P.L. 2004, ch. 273, § 3; P.L. 2004, ch. 293, § 3; P.L. 2005, ch. 342, § 3; P.L. 2005, ch. 403, § 3; P.L. 2006, ch. 605, § 2; P.L. 2006, ch. 610, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 377, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 95, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 121, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 445, § 2; P.L. 2013, ch. 475, § 2; P.L. 2014, ch. 231, § 2; P.L. 2014, ch. 289, § 2; P.L. 2015, ch. 104, § 2; P.L. 2015, ch. 116, § 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 470, § 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 473, § 2.)