Oklahoma Governor Stitt Signs Bill SB 2236 Criminalizing Failing to Report Income, by Steve Hanna


Governor Stitt signed SB 2236 late last week and the new law is effective November 1, 2021.  The bill makes failing to disclose outside income, while drawing temporary total disability benefits, a felony.  A claimant has always been required to disclose such income, but previously the only penalty for violating this requirement has been for the insurance company or employer to get a credit for the TTD benefits that were wrongly paid. Under the new law, if a claimant fails to make such a disclosure, it is a criminal act and could result in both a fine and jail time.
It has never been illegal to work at another job, within a claimant’s physical restrictions, while off work due to a compensable injury. However, the employer or carrier can offset what the claimant is earning and reduce the benefits owed. The new bill increases the risk to employees by potentially facing criminal prosecution. The intent is clear, but what is not, are the details. Still to be decided are the following:

  • Is there a minimum dollar threshold?
  • How long does a claimant have to report such earnings?
  • To whom does such disclosure have to be made, the Commission, the Employer, the Carrier?

As usual, in Oklahoma, when the legislature attempts to fix one issue, they usually create more issues. Stay tuned and we will provide further updates.

To learn more about SB 2236 click here
To read the bill click here

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