AN ACT TO AMEND THE WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACT TO REPEAL THE TWO-YEAR SUNSET PROVISION FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL WORKERS AND TO PROVIDE THAT FIRST RESPONDERS ARE COMPENSATED AT ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF SALARY WITHOUT A LIMIT ON THE DURATION OF MEDICAL COMPENSATION.
Amends GS 95-24 to no longer require that a claim for workers' compensation be filed or the employee be paid compensation within two years after the accident in order to have a right to compensation.
Amends GS 97-25.1, which terminates the right to medical compensation two years after the employer's last payment of medical or indemnity compensation (unless certain conditions are met) to exclude from this limitation first responders.
Amends GS 97-29 as follows. Requires employers of a first responder who qualifies for total disability to pay the injured employee a weekly compensation equal to 100% of the first responder's average weekly wages. Adds that first responders qualify automatically for extended compensation in excess of the 500-week limitation on temporary total disability if at the time the employee applies to exceed the limitation, 425 weeks have passed since the date of first disability, and there is evidence that the employee has sustained a total loss of wage-earning capacity. Defines first responder for use in the statute. Makes conforming changes.