How the Second Injury Fund Can Help You

Missouri’s Second Injury Fund (SIF) can help an injured worker, or the survivors of an employee killed at work, in certain situations. These situations are explained below.

The SIF is funded by a surcharge paid by employers. The Missouri State Treasurer is the “custodian” of the SIF. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office defends the claims made against the Fund and has the Treasurer’s authority to settle cases for the Fund.

Related: Second Injury Fund

Types of Second Injury Fund Benefits

The Fund provides five different kinds of benefits. One or more may be available to you. They are:

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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 on this website for more information.)

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

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 any settlement.

Related: Obtaining a Lawyer
Related: Filing a Claim for Compensation
Related: Second Injury Fund

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What Happens After a Claim is Filed?

The Division of Workers’ Compensation will send the claim for compensation to the Attorney General’s Office for their response. (Remember that the Attorney General is responsible for defending claims against the SIF.) The Attorney General then has 30 days to file its Answer to the Claim for Compensation. You will receive a copy of the Answer. The Answer will either admit or deny the allegations or statements made in the claim. The Answer may also state that it lacks information to admit or deny the statements made in the claim and in this instance will reevaluate the case when additional information is made available.

The claim will be scheduled for a “prehearing” conference before an administrative law judge.  You (or your lawyer if you have one) must appear at the prehearing to discuss your claim with the assistant attorney general and the judge.  This is an informal meeting which may result in a settlement of your claim. After a prehearing, a mediation may be requested. Mediation is a confidential settlement conference before an administrative law judge.

As in other workers’ compensation cases, the SIF or the employee may request an evidentiary hearing (trial) before an administrative law judge to determine whether the employee is eligible for the benefits being sought. Evidence, including medical evidence, is required. The employee has the burden of proof on all contested issues. For more information about evidentiary hearings, awards and appeals, read What to Expect If Your Case Goes to Trial and Appealing the Judge’s Decision on this website.

Related: Resolve Your Case (Claim)
Related: What to Expect If Your Case Goes to Trial
Related: Appealing the Judge’s Decision

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How Are Payments Made?

After the claim against the Second Injury Fund is resolved, either by an approved settlement, or based upon a Final Award entered by an administrative law judge, the Division will requisition the payments. Payments for medical bills may go directly to the medical providers in uninsured employer cases. All lawyer’s fees and applicable liens need to be satisfied through the benefit payments made in the case. Direct deposit is an option available to persons receiving weekly benefits.

If you have a question as to the status of your payment from the Second Injury Fund, call 800-775-2667 and ask to be referred to a Second Injury Fund Technician.

Related: Publications and Forms for Injured Workers
Related: Resolve Your Case (Claim)

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DISCLAIMER - More Information

The Injured Workers section of the Workers' Compensation portion of this web site is targeted specifically to injured workers and is intended to be a resource throughout the workers' compensation claim process. It is NOT intended to be a substitute for legal representation.

Employers seeking information about the workers' compensation process and their responsibilities regarding workers' compensation should use the Employers section of the Workers' Compensation portion of this web site to find information targeted specifically to them.

Additional information about Missouri Workers' Compensation laws, the Division of Workers Compensation, the Second Injury Fund and more may be found via the Workers' Compensation home page.

Please keep in mind the information specialist cannot act as your legal counsel and cannot give you legal advice. The information specialist can provide you with general information but cannot advise you whether the settlement offer is appropriate for your injury.