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Monday, January 30, 2006

Temporary Disability Policy

The Jockeys' Guild has made important changes in the guidelines for members to receive for temporary disability benefits. These changes were approved by the Interim Board of Directors on January 30, 2006, and will go into effect for all claims filed on or after March 1, 2006.

A copy of the Temporary Disability Policy can be viewed in its entirety at the end of this article. Here are the major areas where changes have been made:

1) Number of mounts - Under the old guidelines, a member had to ride only "one mount" to be eligible to receive temporary disability benefits. Under the new policy, a person must have ridden "100 or more mounts as a Guild Member in the current calendar year or previous calendar year" to qualify.

2) Accident reports - The procedure for reporting an accident has also changed. The old system had no deadline for filing an accident report with the Guild office. Under the new policy, members must mail or fax the following to the Guild office within 15 days of the accident: 1) the race track's "Report of Accident" form; and 2) an evaluation form from the primary care physician.

3) Consistent enforcement of policy - In the past, enforcement was not consistent. Members were often allowed to fall way behind on payment for health insurance benefits. Under the new policy, payment options will be available so that members can remain in good standing. If a member does not remain in good standing, benefits will be terminated.

The above changes will enable the Jockeys' Guild to better serve its members and to operate in a more efficient and business-like manner. Members who have questions concerning the new policy are encouraged to contact their Member Representative. They may also call the Guild office toll-free at 1-866-GO-JOCKS.


THE JOCKEYS' GUILD

TEMPORARY DISABILITY POLICY

Restated: January 30, 2006 & February 13, 2006


1. INTRODUCTION - Temporary Disability benefits are available to members who meet the requirements of a member in good standing. A member who incurs an on-track injury and submits a claim for temporary disability benefits will be subject to this policy. When a request for disability benefits is received from a member who does not meet the requirements of a member in good standing, they will receive a letter from the Guild Office advising them of their failure to be in good standing.

2. DEFINITION OF "GOOD STANDING" - To be in good standing, a member must:

a. Hold a valid U.S. jockey license;

b. Be in good standing in all racing jurisdicions;

c. Have ridden 100 or more mounts as a Guild member in the current calendar year or previous calendar year;


d. Be in good standing with all of their accounts with the Jockeys' Guild at the time of their injury to be eligible for temporary disability benefits. Accounts are defined as: annual membership fee; applicable per mount Guild assessment fees; and if participating in the Guild Health Insurance Program, being current on monthly premiums in accordance with the Benefit Plan Guidelines.

3. LENGTH OF BENEFITS - Benefits as a temporary disabled member will not exceed 104 weeks.

4. TEMPORARY DISABILITY POLICY PROCEDURES -

a. All members are required to have an accident report generated for any on-track injury, regardless of the type of injury. All on-track injuries that will cause an interruption in the member performing his/her services as a jockey need to be reported to the Guild. The member is required to submit to the Guild Office by fax, e-mail, or regular mail a copy of the "On-Track Accident" Form along with the Jockeys' Guild "Request for Temporary Disability Benefit" Form within 15 days of injury.

If member's injuries prevent a member from getting the report from a track, the member or member representative responsible is to contact the Guild Office and advise of the situation. The Guild Office may suggest an alternative method or work with a member or member representative to secure such a report. The member or member representative MUST sign and return an appropriate physician release of information form to the Jockeys' Guild Office.

b. The member is to have the primary care physician for treatment of on-track injury (hospital physician, hosptial emergency room physician, or member private physician, whichever is point of medical care) to complete "On-Track Injury Evaluation Form" and send it to the Guild Office.

c. Receipt of forms described above in sections "4.a" and "4.b" will allow temporary disability benefits to commence. If the above steps are not received within 15 days of on-track injury, benefits under this plan may not be available.

d. In accordance with the Guild's Temporary Disability Policy, the member must have periodic physician reports. Schedule for such reports will be appropriately outlined based on member's injury, although modification to this schedule may be made, as deemed appropriate by the Disabled Jockeys' Committee. This report needs to be completed, signed, and returned to the Guild Office to maintain continuing benefits. If form is not completed and returned to the Guild Office within 10 days of this mandated return date, benefits may be discontinued.

e. At the time of your injury, if you are participating in the health insurance plan sponsored by the Jockeys' Guild, the member is still responsible for payment of their monthly premiums for health insurance. You can do this by completing the form "Agreement to Maintain Health Plan Premiums While On Temporary Disability." This form will outline two methods of covering your premium. This form needs to be completed, signed, and returned to the Guild Office by fax, e-mail, or regular mail along with forms outlined above in sections "4.a" and "4.b" and submitted in accordance with item "4.c" above, to maintain your health benefits and temporary disability benefits.

Payment Plan 1: If your account balance is positive, you may elect to have funds from your account transferred monthly to cover your monthly health insurance premiums. This will need to be monitored to assure the account balance can cover these monthly premiums for the period a member is on temporary disability. If funds in account are depleted, member will then have to elect one of two methods outlined below in Payment 2.

Payment Plan 2: If your account balance is not positive to cover your monthly health insurance premiums, you can select from one of the two payment options described below:

Option #1: Have your monthly health insurance premium drawn down from your monthly temporary disability benefit. Based on the cost of your monthly health insurance premium, the amounts will be drawn down on your monthly temporary disability benefit, and member will be issued a check for the balance remaining after the appropriate premium amount has been satisfied during the month. This will be shown on your annual account report to support appropriate tax filing purposes.

Option #2: Send your monthly health insurance premium directly to the Guild Office by the 5th calendar day of each month to cover your monthly health insurance premiums.

5. PROCEDURES WHEN ON-TRACK INJURY RESULTS IN IMMEDIATE PERMANENT DISABILITY -

If the on-track accident results in the member's immediate permanent disability (paralysis, etc.), the member may be eligible for a waiver of health insurance premiums based on the health plan the member is participating in at the time of the injury. To apply for such a waiver, the member must meet the requirements of items listed in sections 4.a, 4.b, 4.c, and 4.d as described above.

In addition, the member must commence with the application process required by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for permanent disability benefits. Proof of application provided by SSA will also be a required submittal to the Guild Office.

(Note: Please refer to Health Care Benefit Plan Book for details outlining expiry terms for individuals who become permanently disabled.)

6. APPEAL PROCESS - Any appeal to this policy must be submitted in writing to the Disabled Jockeys' Committee.

NOTE: Required "forms" mentioned in the above policy are provided in the member packet or can be obtained through the Guild Office. Call the toll-free number at 1-866-GO-JOCKS.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Guild moves office, saves money

The Jockeys' Guild has moved its office to a new location that has more space and costs alot less to rent. The Guild is now headquartered in Duarte, California, which is only about two miles from the old location in Monrovia. .

The change in location is a big win for the Guild and its members. First, it has about 2,000 square feet of working space, compared to about 1,800 square feet at the old site. Rent is now $1,706 per month, compared to a basic rent charge of $4,000 per month for the old office. We're saving over $2,200 per month in rent! That is very good news!

The new office's location is 1740 East Huntington Drive, Suite 310, Duarte, California 91010. The office is being rented on a short-term basis with an option to extend the current rental arrangement.

And here is some very important information related to the office: Even though we have changed office locations, the "mailing address" is the same. Mail should be sent to this address: Jockeys' Guild, Post Office Box 150, Monrovia, California 91017.

The Guild's telephone numbers and e-mail address also remain the same:

toll free phone: (866) GO JOCKS or (866) 465-6257
phone: (626) 305-5605
facsimile: (626) 305-5615
e-mail: info@jockeysguild.com
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