State Disability Funds Strapped for Cash

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COLUMBIA - Missouri could join the 20 other states that have shut down their special disability funds.

The state's Second Injury Fund helps workers with disabilities who suffer a work-related injury while on the job. The fund helps cover the costs of some work-related injuries and medical payments when employer's lack Workers' Compensation insurance.

Over the past few decades as the number of claims increased, the disability fund has begun to dry up. The state currently owes about $15 million in benefits this year to more than 190 people.

The Second Injury Fund was originally created after World War II to help veterans returning home and re-entering the work force. Critics say the fund is no longer necessary because there are currently protections in the law to protect workers with disabilities that weren't around when the fund was created.

The unemployment rate for veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan is 12.1 percent, whereas only 9.5 percent of veterans without disabilities are unemployed.

To learn more about the Second Injury Fund click here, or call 573-526-3876.