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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 16, 2014

Title 26Chapter ISubchapter CPart 31Subpart B → §31.3121(a)(2)-1


Title 26: Internal Revenue
PART 31—EMPLOYMENT TAXES AND COLLECTION OF INCOME TAX AT SOURCE
Subpart B—Federal Insurance Contributions Act (Chapter 21, Internal Revenue Code of 1954)


§31.3121(a)(2)-1   Payments on account of sickness or accident disability, medical or hospitalization expenses, or death.

(a) The term “wages” does not include the amount of any payment (including any amount paid by an employer for insurance or annuities, or into a fund, to provide for any such payment) made to, or on behalf of, an employee or any of his dependents under a plan or system established by an employer which makes provision for his employees generally (or for his employees generally and their dependents) or for a class or classes of his employees (or for a class or classes of his employees and their dependents), on account of—

(1) Sickness or accident disability of an employee or any of his dependents, only if payment is received under a workers' compensation law;

(2) Medical or hospitalization expenses in connection with sickness or accident disability of an employee or any of his dependents, or

(3) Death of an employee or any of his dependents.

(b) The plan or system established by an employer need not provide for payments on account of all of the specified items, but such plan or system may provide for any one or more of such items. Payments for any one or more of such items under a plan or system established by an employer solely for the dependents of his employees are not within this exclusion from wages.

(c) Dependents of an employee include the employee's husband or wife, children, and any other members of the employee's immediate family.

(d) Workers' compensation law. (1) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a payment made under a workers' compensation law includes a payment made pursuant to a statute in the nature of a workers' compensation act.

(2) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a payment made under a workers' compensation law does not include a payment made pursuant to a State temporary disability insurance law.

(3) If an employee receives a payment on account of sickness or accident disability that is not made under a workers' compensation law or a statute in the nature of a workers' compensation act, the payment is not excluded from wages as defined by section 3121(a)(2)(A) even if the payment must be repaid if the employee receives a workers' compensation award or an award under a statute in the nature of a workers' compensation act with respect to the same period of absence from work.

(4) If an employee receives a payment on account of non-occupational injury sickness or accident disability such payment is not excluded from wages, as defined by section 3121(a)(2)(A).

(e) Examples. The following examples illustrate the principles of paragraph (d) of this section:

Example 1. A local government employee is injured while performing work-related activities. The employee is not covered by the State workers' compensation law, but is covered by a local government ordinance that requires the local government to pay the employee's full salary when the employee is out of work as a result of an injury incurred while performing services for the local government. The ordinance does not limit or otherwise affect the local government's liability to the employee for the work-related injury. The local ordinance is not a workers' compensation law, but it is in the nature of a workers' compensation act. Therefore, the salary the employee receives while out of work as a result of the work-related injury is excluded from wages under section 3121(a)(2)(A).
Example 2. The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the local ordinance requires the employer to continue to pay the employee's full salary while the employee is unable to work due to an injury whether or not the injury is work-related. Thus, the local ordinance does not limit benefits to instances of work-related disability. A benefit paid under an ordinance that does not limit benefits to instances of work-related injuries is not a statute in the nature of a workers' compensation act. Therefore, the salary the injured employee receives from the employer while out of work is wages subject to FICA even though the employee's injury is work-related.
Example 3. The facts are the same as in Example 1 except that the local ordinance includes a rebuttable presumption that certain injuries, including any heart attack incurred by a firefighter or other law enforcement personnel is work-related. The presumption in the ordinance does not eliminate the requirement that the injury be work-related in order to entitle the injured worker to full salary. Therefore, the ordinance is a statute in the nature of a workers' compensation act, and the salary the injured employee receives pursuant to the ordinance is excluded from wages under section 3121(a)(2)(A).

(f) It is immaterial for purposes of this exclusion whether the amount or possibility of such benefit payments is taken into consideration in fixing the amount of an employee's remuneration or whether such payments are required, expressly or impliedly, by the contract of service.

[ T.D. 6516, 25 FR 13032, Dec. 20, 1960; 25 FR 14021, Dec. 31, 1960, as amended by T.D. 9233, 70 FR 74199, Dec. 15, 2005]



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