340 workers’ comp claims in 2016


The Workers’ Compensation Commission under the CNMI Department of Commerce, which receives an average of three claims a day, processed a total of 340 claims filed in 2016.

At the same time, Workers’ Compensation director Frank Cabrera said the law that created the workers’ compensation program, Public Law 6-93, is effective and in operation to this day. In fact, the commission is the last clearinghouse for all and any business license applicant in the CNMI. Without their approval, one cannot be issued a business license.

“You won’t be able to get you business license because the law states that the secretary of Commerce shall not approve or grant certification or certificate of compliance if company is not in full compliance of the CNMI laws,” said Cabrera.

He said his office makes sure that new or continuing businesses meet compliance pursuant to the statute. “So if you are a business, you need to provide worker’s compensation to your employee(s) 30 days upon hiring,” he said.

WCC provides financial protection to both workers and employees from work-related injuries, illness, or death. The commission, however, does not provide insurance coverage as private companies provide that. “We are like the police, so to speak. The commission is mandated to ensure proper monitoring and enforcement of program in the CNMI regardless if you are a single proprietorship or a corporation.” (Bea Cabrera)

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