The unprecedented growth of the Georgia SITF over the past few years reportedly indicates growth of a substantial unfunded liability. These ever-rising liabilities, coupled with incentives to submit cases into the Fund and increasing assessments, have been a recipe for financial disaster that the Georgia Legislature has now addressed.
On July 1, 2006, the Georgia legislature closed the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund to new claims. There exists some misconception that the law now prevents any claims from being filed after June 30, 2006. However, the statute does not provide such, but instead provides that no claims shall be reimbursed for an injury occurring after June 30, 2006. Thus, any new injuries occurring on or before June 30, 2006 may still be submitted to SITF for a reimbursement agreement, in accordance with the statute and SITF rules.
Despite the fact that the SITF will be closing, the reality is that payments on accepted claims will continue to be paid by the Fund indefinitely. More importantly, all claims filed with the Fund since July 1, 1977 to present that have not been accepted by the Fund, must be perfected for acceptance or they’ll be automatically denied by the Fund on July 1, 2009.
Carriers and self-insureds will continue to pay required assessments to the SITF until June 30, 2008. Once all claims are resolved, the SITF will return any leftover funds to those assessed and complete the process of dissolving the Fund.
In recent years almost 20 states have eliminated their funds.