83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesDEFICIT TO HALT WORKERS' COMP PAYOUTS AGAIN

DEFICIT TO HALT WORKERS' COMP PAYOUTS AGAIN

Workers' compensation payments will grind to a halt again this week as the result of the insurance fund being in the red by $2.9 million, according to two top government administrators.
Labor Commissioner Sonia Jacobs-Dow and Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull testified to that effect Monday at a meeting of the Labor and Veterans Affairs Committee, where additional problems also surfaced.
Turnbull revealed that on Friday she had authorized payment of $400,000 in workers' comp claims by "tapping other special funds of the government." Several senators said the administration had no authorization to take such action.
Then Turnbull said she would not authorize any further payments until the Senate acts on an appropriation bill from Government House.
At his press conference Tuesday, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said what his Finance commissioner did "was a humanitarian deed; it was not illegal."
The governor, saying he would discuss the workers' compensation situation when he meets with the Legislature on Thursday, blamed the fund's deficit on the Legislature itself.
"In December, this same Legislature failed to enact a $3 million appropriation that would have covered the shortfall," he said. "The Senate dropped the ball and now there is a crisis."
The insurance fund is owed $6.8 million by the V.I. government and $943,012 by private companies, according to the Finance commissioner.
Jacobs-Dow was grilled by senators Monday about Labor's failure to implement federally mandated "one-stop shopping" for services provided by the department.
She also was questioned about her failure to implement increases in unemployment benefits and decreases in employer contributions to the fund. Committee chair Roosevelt David criticized her for failing to enact the provisions of legislation to that effect that was passed last year.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,722FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Workers' compensation payments will grind to a halt again this week as the result of the insurance fund being in the red by $2.9 million, according to two top government administrators.
Labor Commissioner Sonia Jacobs-Dow and Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull testified to that effect Monday at a meeting of the Labor and Veterans Affairs Committee, where additional problems also surfaced.
Turnbull revealed that on Friday she had authorized payment of $400,000 in workers' comp claims by "tapping other special funds of the government." Several senators said the administration had no authorization to take such action.
Then Turnbull said she would not authorize any further payments until the Senate acts on an appropriation bill from Government House.
At his press conference Tuesday, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull said what his Finance commissioner did "was a humanitarian deed; it was not illegal."
The governor, saying he would discuss the workers' compensation situation when he meets with the Legislature on Thursday, blamed the fund's deficit on the Legislature itself.
"In December, this same Legislature failed to enact a $3 million appropriation that would have covered the shortfall," he said. "The Senate dropped the ball and now there is a crisis."
The insurance fund is owed $6.8 million by the V.I. government and $943,012 by private companies, according to the Finance commissioner.
Jacobs-Dow was grilled by senators Monday about Labor's failure to implement federally mandated "one-stop shopping" for services provided by the department.
She also was questioned about her failure to implement increases in unemployment benefits and decreases in employer contributions to the fund. Committee chair Roosevelt David criticized her for failing to enact the provisions of legislation to that effect that was passed last year.