Tuesday, August 25, 2015 10:19 AM
SPRINGFIELD – On Monday, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law a measure offering relief to fatally injured burn victims by cutting the red tape to qualify for disability benefits.
The act, also called the George Bailey Memorial Program, provides that burn victims who doctors expect to live for less than 18 months will immediately receive the five months’ pay they would have received from Social Security had there not been a mandatory five-month waiting period.
“When people suffer traumatic and fatal injuries they should not be denied the funds they would have received under better circumstances. This measure offers relief to individuals and their families in a time of hardship,” said Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton).
The measure was originally filed in the House by State Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville).
“George Bailey’s family has worked very hard to see this law through,” said Hoffman. “The story of the late George Bailey is tragic, and I want to ensure that families do not have to go through the same painstaking process of waiting months for reimbursements. When someone suffers traumatic burn injuries, they should not have to wait to receive help with the high costs of medical care.”
Currently under the Social Security Act there is a mandatory five-month waiting period applied to Social Security Disability Income claims. A disabled person may only receive payments beginning on the sixth month after their injury. This law removes that waiting period for severely injured burn victims.
Janie Bailey, cousin of the late George Bailey said, “We are so excited that this legislation has passed. This bill will help so many people. Thank you to everyone that made this bill a reality and in the name of George Bailey.”
The measure, HB 4006, was signed into law today by Governor Rauner and will go into effect January 1.
Sen. William R. Haine
Assistant Majority Leader
Years served: 2002 - Present
Committee assignments: Criminal Law; Insurance (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Veterans Affairs.
Biography: Born 8 August 1944, in Alton, Illinois. United States Army Veteran; one tour of duty, Vietnam (1967-69); Bachelors Degree, St. Louis University (1967); Juris Doctorate, St. Louis University School of Law (1974). Member, Madison County Board (1978, 1982-86); Metro-East Transit District Board of Trustees (1981-88); Madison County State's Attorney (1988-2002). Wife, Anna, 7 children, 31 grandchildren.