Sec. 31-296. Voluntary agreements. If an employer and an injured employee, or in case of fatal injury his legal representative or dependent, at a date not earlier than the expiration of the waiting period, reach an agreement in regard to compensation, such agreement shall be submitted in writing to the commissioner by the employer with a statement of the time, place and nature of the injury upon which it is based; and, if such commissioner finds such agreement to conform to the provisions of this chapter in every regard, he shall so approve it. A copy of the agreement, with a statement of the commissioner’s approval thereof, shall be delivered to each of the parties and thereafter it shall be as binding upon both parties as an award by the commissioner. The commissioner’s statement of approval shall also inform the employee or his dependent, as the case may be, of any rights the individual may have to an annual cost-of-living adjustment or to participate in a rehabilitation program under the provisions of this chapter. He shall retain the original agreement, with his approval thereof, in his office and, if an application is made to the superior court for an execution, he shall, upon the request of said court, file in the court a certified copy of the agreement and his statement of approval thereof. Before discontinuing or reducing payment on account of total or partial incapacity under any such agreement, the employer, if it is claimed by or on behalf of the injured person that his incapacity still continues, shall notify the commissioner and the employee, by certified mail, of the proposed discontinuance or reduction of such payments, with the date of such proposed discontinuance or reduction and the reason therefor, and, such discontinuance or reduction shall not become effective unless specifically approved in writing by the commissioner. The employee may request a hearing on any such proposed discontinuance or reduction within ten days of receipt of such notice. Any such request for a hearing shall be given priority over requests for hearings on other matters. The commissioner shall not approve any such discontinuance or reduction prior to the expiration of the period for requesting a hearing or the completion of such hearing, whichever is later. In any case where the commissioner finds that an employer has discontinued or reduced any payments made in accordance with this section without the approval of the commissioner, such employer shall be required to pay to the employee the total amount of all payments so discontinued or the total amount by which such payments were reduced, as the case may be, and shall be required to pay interest to the employee, at a rate of one and one-quarter per cent per month or portion thereof, on any payments so discontinued or on the total amount by which such payments were reduced, as the case may be, plus reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the employee in relation to such discontinuance or reduction. Such notice of intention to discontinue or reduce payments shall be in substantially the following form:
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION OF CONNECTICUT
NOTICE TO COMPENSATION COMMISSIONER AND EMPLOYEE OF INTENTION TO DISCONTINUE OR REDUCE PAYMENTS.
To the Compensation Commissioner for the .... Congressional District and to ...., employee:
You are hereby notified that the undersigned employer intends on the .... day of ...., 20.., to discontinue or reduce the payments of compensation to the above-named employee for the following reason, to wit:
by ... (Indicate Official Position), Insurer or Agent
I HEREBY CERTIFY that the above named employee is able to return to
work on the .... day of ...., 20...
There will ⁄ will not be permanent loss or loss of use of .... (member)
.... Attending Surgeon
The following blanks are to be filled out in order that the case may be properly located in the records of the Commissioner:
Date of Injury ....
Date of Award or approval of agreement ....
Date when mailed by respondents .....
The employee may request a hearing by the compensation commissioner on the discontinuance or reduction set forth in this notice within ten days of receipt of this notice.
(1949 Rev., S. 7444; 1953, S. 3047d; 1958 Rev., S. 31-170; 1961, P.A. 491, S. 18; 1971, P.A. 510, S. 1; P.A. 79-376, S. 44; P.A. 83-114, S. 1; P.A. 84-180, S. 1; P.A. 88-106, S. 1; P.A. 90-116, S. 6.)
History: 1961 act entirely replaced previous provisions; 1971 act changed point at which discontinuance is effective from time notices are sent to commissioner to time when specifically approved in writing by commissioner; P.A. 79-376 replaced “workmen’s compensation” with “workers’ compensation” ; P.A. 83-114 provided that the commissioner’s statement of approval of a voluntary agreement shall inform the individual as to his rights for an annual cost-of-living adjustment under this chapter; P.A. 84-180 provided that the commissioner’s statement of approval inform the employee of his rights to participate in a rehabilitation program; P.A. 88-106 authorized reduction of benefits; P.A. 90-116 provided that notices of discontinuance and reduction shall be made by certified mail, provided for priority hearing on discontinuances and reductions and provided for interest and attorney’s fees against the employer in cases of wrongful discontinuance or reduction (Revisor’s note: The references in this section to the date “19..” were changed editorially by the Revisors to “20..” to reflect the new millennium).
Agreement for compensation approved by commissioner may be modified by him on facts not made known to him though known to the parties. 95 C. 356. Widow bound by agreement signed by her and late husband. 120 C. 280. Cited. 126 C. 491; 128 C. 578; 151 C. 559. Agreement by which employer waived all further claims under Workmen’s Compensation Act was binding on him as waiver of his subrogation rights under section 31-293. 157 C. 538. Cited. 159 C. 302. Cited. 177 C. 107, 112. Cited. 231 C. 287, 291. Cited. Id., 469, 480. Cited. 233 C. 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 22-25. Cited. 237 C. 259, 263. Sums paid pursuant to voluntary agreements are “compensation” and recoverable by employers or Second Injury Fund under Secs. 31-293 and 31-352. 259 C. 325.
Cited. 13 CA 208, 212. Cited. 21 CA 464-466. Cited. 28 CA 113, 120. Cited. 33 CA 490, 491. Cited. 36 CA 298, 299. Cited. 38 CA 754, 758. Cited. 40 CA 36, 38, 40. Cited. 44 CA 771. Cited. 45 CA 324. Meaning of “voluntary agreement” as used in regulation section 31-296-1 discussed. 58 CA 45. Court was within discretion to deny request to execute voluntary agreement that was not a final settlement. Id.
Cited. 4 CS 467; 28 CS 5. Cited. 42 CS 514.