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State disability funding may be going away

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Businesses offering workers compensation insurance may soon have to bear the full monetary burden of certain employees who are injured at work, with many states' special disability funds running out of money and going away, reported The Associated Press.

These state disability funds have helped businesses pay for portions of some workers compensation claims, such as those for second injuries sustained on the job by injured veterans, said the AP. Without these funds, businesses would bear the cost of these injuries, paying out for them through workers compensation insurance. Therefore, the disappearance of these funds might correspond with an increase in workers compensation premiums.

"We understand states are strapped for cash, thanks to the economy," David Autry, a spokesman for Disabled American Veterans, told the AP. But "it would be a shame to just let these funds disappear."

With these funds potentially going away, businesses may be scared to make any type of new investments in employees or tools that could pose a hazard in the workplace, Missouri Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Karen Buschmann told the source.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pennsylvania state government might be cutting funding for employees with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, which is the reason a number of advocates recently filed a lawsuit requesting funding for services.

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