Benefit Adequacy in State Workers' Compensation Programs

by H. Allan Hunt
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 65 No. 4, 2003/2004
Table equivalent for Chart 1. Average weekly temporary total disability benefit relative to the poverty threshold, 1972–1998
Year Percent
1972 79
1973 81
1974 82
1975 83
1976 94
1977 96
1978 96
1979 95
1980 92
1981 91
1982 93
1983 94
1984 95
1985 95
1986 97
1987 98
1988 99
1989 98
1990 97
1991 98
1992 100
1993 99
1994 100
1995 100
1996 102
1997 104
1998 108
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance, Adequacy of Earnings Replacement in Workers' Compensation Programs (Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2004), Figure 4-3.
Table equivalent for Chart 2. Expected temporary disability benefits relative to the Model Act (Revised), by state, 1998
State Percent
Pennsylvania 110
District of Columbia 87
Wyoming 83
Kentucky 76
Vermont 73
New Mexico 71
North Dakota 70
Hawaii 69
Maine 67
Virginia 65
Kansas 64
New Hampshire 60
Nebraska 58
New York 58
Delaware 58
Massachusetts 56
Washington 56
Mississippi 55
Idaho 54
Iowa 52
Ohio 52
Wisconsin 50
New Jersey 49
Rhode Island 47
South Carolina 47
Illinois 47
Georgia 45
Arkansas 45
South Dakota 44
Connecticut 43
West Virginia 43
Utah 42
Tenneessee 42
Alaska 42
Oregon 42
Missouri 42
Michigan 41
Maryland 40
Oklahoma 39
Indiana 37
Alabama 36
Texas 36
Colorado 35
North Carolina 35
Minnesota 34
Florida 32
Montana 31
California 25
Louisiana 22
Nevada 2
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance, Adequacy of Earnings Replacement in Workers' Compensation Programs (Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2004), Figure 4-8.
Table equivalent for Chart 3. Expected statutory benefit relative to the Model Act (Revised), by type of benefit, 1972–1998 (in percent)
Year Temporary
total
disability
Permanent
partial
disability
Fatal Permanent
total
disability
1972 61.0 44.2 13.8 12.7
1973 62.4 50.2 16.6 13.7
1974 65.2 50.2 19.4 14.2
1975 68.4 50.0 21.7 15.2
1976 74.5 53.1 26.7 17.9
1977 75.9 53.4 27.4 18.1
1978 76.0 52.2 29.4 18.8
1979 78.6 53.8 30.3 19.6
1980 78.5 53.3 29.8 19.0
1981 78.5 51.9 29.5 19.3
1982 78.9 52.6 29.8 19.3
1983 80.1 54.4 30.7 19.2
1984 81.2 54.6 32.9 19.4
1985 81.1 54.3 32.8 20.1
1986 81.5 52.9 34.6 21.3
1987 81.5 53.5 34.7 21.3
1988 81.1 52.5 34.4 21.9
1989 81.9 53.6 35.2 21.9
1990 82.4 52.6 34.6 21.2
1991 85.6 51.9 35.9 21.9
1992 84.6 50.7 34.2 21.1
1993 85.4 51.0 34.4 21.1
1994 85.6 52.0 34.6 20.6
1995 86.0 51.9 34.5 20.8
1996 85.9 51.3 34.1 20.7
1997 89.3 53.7 33.2 20.3
1998 88.8 52.2 33.3 20.2
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance, Adequacy of Earnings Replacement in Workers' Compensation Programs (Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2004), Figure 4-9.

Text description for Chart 4.
Relative earnings of permanent partial disability claimants as a proportion of earnings of comparison workers in five states

This line chart is titled Relative earnings of peranent partial disability claimants as a proportion of earnings of comparison workers in five states. There are five lines on the chart, labeled New Mexico, California, Wisconsin, Washington, and Oregon. The horizonal axis is labeled quarters from injury and ranges from 11 quarters before injury to 20 quarters after injury. The vertical axis is labeled relative earnings and ranges from 0.4 to 1.1.

In the chart, all five lines reflect the passage of time as they move from left to right, beginning at 11 quarters before injury. Four of the lines begin at about 1.0 and remain thereabout until the quarter of injury. Wisconsin is the exception, starting slightly lower (about 0.92) before joining the other lines at 7 quarters before injury.

All five lines drop sharply in the quarter of injury. Oregon drops the least, to about 0.75; New Mexico and Wisconsin drop the most, both to less than 0.65. All lines begin a gradual climb thereafter, with New Mexico and Wisconsin making steeper climbs than the others in quarters 2 and 3. By 20 quarters after injury, the five lines range from just over 0.7 to just over 0.8.