With the Georgia legislature now back in session, it makes me consider the fate of the SITF and its impending sunset. While it does not appear that the legislature will consider any new measures for the SITF in this session, I would certainly wish somehow that they would.
The Subsequent Injury Trust Fund (SITF) was created to keep Georgians at work. It provides a means by which employers can feel safe in taking a risk on hiring someone who has previously suffered a work-related injury. Any injury or furtherance of the previous injury would not affect the employers’ workers compensation insurance.
Without the SITF, there are two major problems that will arise. First, employers will not want to hire people who have been previously injured on the job. This is due to a reluctance to possibly take on the medical expenses of the worker. Second, once workers understand that they cannot be hired with pre-existing injuries, they will begin to lie about their pre-existing injuries in order to be hired. This will cause a great deal of litigation over pre-existing injuries.
Particularly considering today’s economy, I think it’s a brutal blow to Georgia’s workforce for the SITF to be shutting its doors. I would urge everyone to consider the ramifications of the SITF sunset and take action to contact legislatures and express how important a program like the SITF is to Georgia’s future.