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Posted on: May 14, 2018
Yesterday was Mother's Day, but there weren't any Hallmark cards honoring grandmothers in the workforce.
Because their reality is ugly. And the truth is nothing to celebrate.
Insurers and their Cumulative Trauma "reform" front operation love to opine about cumulative trauma. They have a million theories about why it's a problem. But none of the theories look at the harsh realities facing grandmothers in the workforce.
Since 2007, grandmothers are one group in the workforce that is growing. Twenty years ago, 8 percent of women past the age of retirement were working. Five years from now, it will be 20 percent.
And while we should take pride in the strides toward pay equity, the fact remains that grandmothers were paid less all of their lives and pay equity today won't change that. In fact, 2/3rds of those who used to have a pension (albeit smaller because they were paid less) have no pension at all. None. Nothing.  
With annual average incomes of $20,000, the number of grandmothers who have to work until they die has exploded. As one said, "My retirement plan is suicide."
Do you think women between 64 and 85 are more vulnerable to cumulative trauma injuries? Have the CT "reformers" said a word about this?
On Monday, May 7th, CAAA submitted comments to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation (CHSWC) regarding the draft 2018 RAND Evaluation of the Return-to-Work Fund Report.  
Key findings of the RAND report included the clear indication that all eligible workers are not applying for the Return-to-Work Fund Supplemental payment primarily because they have not received adequate notice of their eligibility, and annual payments from the Return-to-Work Fund are well below the $120 million allotment.
CAAA has long advocated for the implementation of policies to increase the Return-to-Work supplemental payouts to eligible workers. In agreement with the RAND report findings on improving access and to accomplish increased participation in the program, CAAA included comments recommending to CHSWC to amend regulations to make issuance of the Return-to-Work Supplement automatic and to increase outreach and notification efforts.
CAAA has also proposed that all money remaining in the Fund at the end of each calendar year should be distributed pro rata to those workers who received payments from the Fund during that calendar year with a cap of $25,000.
CAAA will continue to monitor the Fund and keep members apprised of efforts to improve program performance in hopes of getting all eligible injured workers payments each year so that the Return-to-Work fund is truly a $120 million annual program.