By Judge Pamela B. Johnson, Knoxville
Recap: In my last blog post discussing the Statistical Data Form, I focused on the importance of the form and explained that the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation uses the data collected to complete its Annual Report to the Legislature. The data is also supplied to national organizations that measure the costs/efficiency of workers’ compensation systems for each state.
To collect this information, the employer must file a statistical data form for every workers’ compensation claim concluded by settlement or trial, and the employee must cooperate. Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-244(b)(1). Also, even if a statistical data form was previously filed with the original settlement or following trial, a new statistical data form must be filed when modifying a prior settlement. In addition to a penalty assessment, the settlement will not become final until the statistical data form is fully completed and received by the Bureau.
Update: You might be asking, “Okay, now what’s changed?” Thankfully, nothing, but the Bureau continues to see problems as described below.
- Fully completed. The SD-2 must not contain any blanks or omitted information. Every line should be marked. If not applicable, type -0- or not applicable (n/a). Just as you carefully dot every “i” and cross every “t” in a contract, you should thoroughly review the SD-2 to ensure every question is answered and every line completed.
- Matching information. The data in the SD-2 must match the information in the settlement agreement. For example, if the agreement states that the employee received $1,500 in temporary total disability, $4,500 in permanent partial disability benefits, and incurred $10,000 in medical benefits, then those exact numbers should be reflected on the SD-2.
- New money only. When the parties modify a prior settlement, only the new money paid should be included in the SD-2 and identified in the agreement. For example, the parties previously settled permanent partial disability (original award) leaving future medical benefits open. Later, the parties return to settle increased benefits and close future medical benefits. The new SD-2 and agreement should only identify the amount paid for increased benefits, the amount of additional medical benefits paid if any, and the amount paid to close future medical benefits. The new agreement might simply reference that a previous settlement was court-approved on (date). then include the prior agreement without repeating the benefits in the new settlement documents. (And coming soon: a new settlement agreement template for modifying prior settlements.)
Reminder: The SD-2 should be used for all claims with dates of injury on or after July 1, 2014. The SD-1 should be used for claims with dates of injury on or before June 30, 2014.
Thank you. And as always, Bureau personnel are happy to answer any questions you might have in completing the form.