Springfield, IL – A bill to create the George Bailey Memorial Program to provide quicker disability benefits to families of fatally wounded burn victims has passed the Illinois House and now goes before the Senate.
The bill was inspired by the experience of the late George Bailey and his family after he was fatally injured in 2004 in an explosion of superheated water at the Granite City Works plant then owned by U.S. Steel.
ELIMINATES WAITING PERIOD
FOR DISABILITY ASSISTANCE
State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) sponsored the Burn Victims Relief Act, House Bill 4006, to solve the problem of a required five-month waiting period before disability benefits can be paid to help with medical expenses.
The bill would eliminate the waiting period in cases involving burn victims expected to die within 18 months.
George Bailey was working under a steam line on April 17, 2004 when a violent explosion occurred, engulfing him in steam and superheated water. Bailey suffered third degree burns to his arms, hands, back, neck, face, throat, lungs and head, and succumbed to his injuries 11 weeks later.
Medical expenses were over $1 million, but disability payments were not available until after the waiting period.
RELIEF FOR BURN VICTIMS
The bill passed April 24 with just one dissenting vote.
Said Hoffman: “George Bailey’s family has fought tirelessly to help craft this Burn Victims Relief Act and set up the Memorial Fund in the hopes that no other family would be forced to face financial hardships after a traumatic accident.
“I commend the dedication of the Bailey family and applaud my colleagues in the House for helping to provide relief to burn victims.”