Higher Awards Proposed for Some California Workers’ Comp Claims
On Friday, the California Division of Workers' Compensation proposed new rules that would increase the disability payments for people permanently injured on the job by 16%, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The increases are part of a new formula based on how much workers would earn if they were not permanently injured. The formula takes into account a review of how wage losses relate to injuries under the worker compensation formula that has existed since 2005, DWC Director Carrie Nevans said.
The proposed formula for 2009 would increase the average award amount:
- From $7,693 to $8,153 for a permanent shoulder injury;
- From $14,490 to $15,755 for a hip injury; and
- From $6,003 to $7,521 for an ankle injury.
The formula also would eliminate age as a factor for determining benefits, the AP/Chronicle reports.
The formula will be open for public comment through May 23 and will go through several months of public hearings and revisions before being adopted.
Critics of the increase said the current formula is so low that a slight increase will not be enough for the permanently injured, the AP/Chronicle reports.
Groups representing workers also said benefits in other states are higher than California.
A spokesperson for Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D-Oakland) said the senator is studying the proposed revised formula. Perata has proposed a bill to increase permanent disability payments (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 5/10).