Recent Trends in Workers' Compensation

by Ishita Sengupta and Virginia Reno
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 67 No. 1, 2007

Workers' compensation pays for medical care immediately after injury and pays cash benefits for last work time after a 3- to 7-day waiting period. As a source of support for disabled workers, it is surpassed in size only be the Social Security Disability Insurance program. This article traces the development of workers' compensation coverage, benefits, and employer costs in 2004.


Ishita Sengupta is the Workers' Compensation Research Associate and Virginia Reno is Vice President for Income Security Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI). This article reports new estimates of workers' compensation coverage, benefits, and costs reported by NASI in Sengupta, Reno, and Burton (2006).

The findings and conclusions presented in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Social Security Administration.

Summary

Workers' compensation provides cash benefits and medical care to employees who are injured on the job and survivor benefits to the dependents of workers whose deaths result from work-related incidents. Workers' compensation programs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia and federal programs together paid $56.0 billion in medical and cash benefits in 2004, an increase of 2.3 percent over 2003 payments. Of the total, $26.1 billion was for medical care and $29.9 billion was for cash benefits. Employers' costs for workers' compensation in 2004 were $87.4 billion, an increase of 7.0 percent over 2003 spending. Workers' compensation programs and spending vary greatly from state to state.

As a source of support for disabled workers, workers' compensation is currently surpassed in size only by Social Security Disability Insurance (DI), which covers impairments of any cause that are significant, long-term impediments to work. Although most recipients of workers' compensation recover and return to work, those with lasting impairments may become eligible for DI benefits, subject to an offset to avoid excessive wage replacement from both programs.

Origins of Workers' Compensation

Workers' compensation was the first form of social insurance in the United States. The first U.S. workers' compensation law was enacted in 1908 to cover federal civilian employees engaged in hazardous work. The rest of the federal workforce was covered in 1916. Nine states enacted workers' compensation laws in 1911. By 1921, all but six states and the District of Columbia had workers' compensation laws. Today each of the 50 states has its own program, as do the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Federal laws provide benefits to coal miners with black lung disease and certain energy employees exposed to hazardous material. The laws also set rules for federal workers' compensation programs covering persons outside the jurisdiction of individual states, such as longshore and harbor workers and persons working overseas for companies under contract with the U.S. government.

Before workers' compensation laws were enacted, a worker's only legal remedy for a work-related injury was to bring a tort suit against the employer and prove that the employer's negligence caused the injury. Under the tort system, workers often did not recover damages and experienced delays or high costs when they did. Although employers often prevailed in court, they were at risk for large and unpredictable losses when workers' suits were successful. Ultimately, both employers and workers favored legislation to ensure that a worker who sustained an occupational injury or disease arising out of or in the course of employment would receive predictable compensation without delay, irrespective of who was at fault. In return, the employers' liability was limited. Under the "exclusive remedy" concept in workers' compensation, the worker accepts program payments as compensation in full and gives up the right to sue for damages.

Workers' compensation programs vary across states in terms of who is allowed to provide insurance, which injuries or illnesses are compensable, and the level of benefits. Generally, state laws require employers to obtain workers' compensation insurance or prove that they have the financial ability to carry their own risk (self-insure).

Scope of Coverage

Every state except Texas requires employers to provide workers' compensation coverage. In Texas, employers can choose not to cover their employees, but if they make that choice they are not protected from tort suits filed by injured employees.

Some states exempt from mandatory coverage certain categories of workers, such as those in very small firms, certain agricultural workers, household workers, employees of charitable or religious organizations, or employees of some units of state and local government. Employers with fewer than three workers are exempt from mandatory workers' compensation coverage in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Employers with fewer than four workers are exempt in Florida and South Carolina. Those with fewer than five employees are exempt in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

The rules for agricultural workers vary among states. In 16 states (in addition to Texas), farm employers are exempt from mandatory coverage altogether. In other states, coverage is compulsory for some or all farm employees.

Two groups outside the coverage of workers' compensation laws are railroad employees engaged in interstate commerce and seamen in the U.S. Merchant Marine. These workers have health insurance and short- and long-term cash benefit plans that cover disabilities whether or not the conditions are work related. In addition, under federal laws these workers retain the right to bring tort suits against their employers for negligence in the case of work-related injuries or illnesses.

In 2004, state and federal workers' compensation laws covered an estimated 125.9 million employees, or 97.4 percent of all workers covered by unemployment insurance. In all, about 94 percent of all U.S. wage and salary workers are covered by workers' compensation laws. Self-employed persons are not covered by workers' compensation or unemployment insurance. Covered payroll—that is, total wages paid to workers covered by workers' compensation—was $4,953 billion in 2004.

Types of Workers' Compensation Benefits

Workers' compensation pays for medical care immediately and pays cash benefits for lost work time after a 3- to 7-day waiting period. Most workers' compensation cases involve relatively minor injuries that do not result in lost work time greater than the waiting period for cash benefits. In these cases, only medical benefits are paid. Although medical-only cases are common, they account for a small share of benefits paid, according to information about insured employers in 39 states. Medical-only cases accounted for 78 percent of the workers' compensation cases but for only 6 percent of benefits paid in recent years. At the same time, the 22 percent of cases that involved cash benefits accounted for 94 percent of total benefits for medical care and cash benefits combined (NCCI 2004).

Cash benefits vary according to the duration and severity of the worker's disability. Temporary total disability benefits are paid when the worker is precluded from performing the preinjury job or another job with the employer that the worker could have performed before the injury. Most states pay weekly benefits for temporary total disability that replace two-thirds of the worker's preinjury wage, subject to a dollar maximum that varies from state to state. In most cases, workers fully recover, return to work, and their benefits end. In some cases, they return to work before reaching maximum medical improvement and have reduced responsibilities and lower pay. In those cases, they receive temporary partial disability benefits. Temporary disability benefits are the most common type of cash benefit. They account for 65 percent of cases involving cash benefits and 21 percent of benefit payments incurred (Chart 1).

Chart 1.
Types of disabilities as a share of workers' compensation cases with cash benefits and of benefit payments incurred, 2001
Pie charts linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: National Council on Compensation Insurance, Annual Statistical Bulletin (Boca Raton, FL: NCCI, 2004), Exhibits X and XII.
NOTE: The data include only privately insured employers in 39 states. Medical-only cases are excluded.
a. Benefits are incurred losses.

If a worker has very significant impairments that are judged to be permanent after he or she reaches maximum medical improvement, permanent total disability benefits might be paid. These cases are relatively rare. Permanent total disabilities, together with fatalities, account for 1 percent of all cases that involve cash benefits and 12 percent of total benefit liabilities.

Permanent partial disability benefits are paid when the worker has impairments that, although permanent, do not completely limit his or her ability to work. States differ in their methods for determining whether a worker is entitled to permanent partial benefits, the degree of partial disability, and the amount of benefits to be paid (Barth and Niss 1999, Burton 2005). Cash benefits for permanent partial disability are frequently limited to a specified duration or an aggregate dollar limit. Permanent partial disabilities account for 34 percent of cases that involve any cash benefits and for 67 percent of benefit spending.

Benefits and Employer Costs in 2004

Workers' compensation programs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia and federal programs together paid $56.0 billion in workers' compensation benefits in 2004—$26.1 billion for medical care and $29.9 billion for cash benefits (Table 1). Payments to medical providers and benefits paid directly to workers each rose by 2.3 percent between 2003 and 2004.

Table 1. Comparison of coverage, benefits, and employers' costs for workers' compensation, 2003–2004
Amount 2003 2004 Change, 2003–2004
Amount
(dollars)
Percent
Aggregate
Covered workers (thousands) 124,685 125,863 . . . 0.9
Covered wages (billions of dollars) 4,717 4,953 . . . 5.0
Benefits paid (billions of dollars) 54.7 56.0 . . . 2.3
Medical payments 25.5 26.1 . . . 2.3
Cash benefits 29.2 29.9 . . . 2.3
Employers' costs for workers' compensation (billions of dollars) 81.7 87.4 . . . 7.0
Per $100 of covered wages (dollars)
Benefits paid 1.16 1.13 -0.03 . . .
Medical payments 0.54 0.53 -0.01 . . .
Cash payments to workers 0.62 0.60 -0.02 . . .
Employers' costs 1.73 1.76 0.03 . . .
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance estimates.
NOTES: Benefits are payments in the calendar year to injured workers and to providers of their medical care.
Costs are employers' expenditures in the calendar year for workers' compensation benefits, administrative costs, and insurance premiums. Costs for self-insuring employers are benefits paid in the calendar year plus the administrative costs associated with providing those benefits. Costs for employers who purchase insurance include the insurance premiums paid during the calendar year plus the benefits paid under large deductible plans during the year. The insurance premiums must pay for all of the compensable consequences of the injuries that occur during the year, including the benefits paid in the current year as well as future years.
. . . = not applicable.

Employers' costs in 2004 were $87.4 billion, an increase of 7.0 percent over 2003 costs. For employers who self-insure, costs are benefits paid plus administrative costs. For employers who buy insurance, costs are payments for premiums and for benefits paid in large deductibles under insurance policies that have this feature. Premiums paid in a given year do not necessarily correspond to benefits paid in that year because premiums reflect future liabilities for injuries that occur in that year.

When measured relative to aggregate wages of covered workers, the costs to employers rose by $0.03 per $100 of wages, from $1.73 in 2003 to $1.76 in 2004 (Table 1). In contrast, total workers' compensation payments to workers fell by $0.03 for every $100 of wages, from $1.16 in 2003 to $1.13 in 2004. The drop occurred in payments for medical care, which fell from $0.54 to $0.53 per $100 of wages in 2004, and in cash benefits paid to injured workers, which fell from $0.62 to $0.60 per $100 of wages.

During the 16-year period 1989–2004, workers' compensation benefits paid and employers' costs relative to wages peaked in the early 1990s and declined to a low in 2000. As of 2004, employers' costs had increased by more than benefits, but both benefits and costs remained far below their peak levels relative to wages. Total benefits peaked in 1992 at $1.68 per $100 of covered wages, which is $0.55 higher than the 2004 figure. Total costs to employers peaked in 1990 at $2.18 per $100 of covered wages, which is $0.42 higher than in 2004 (Chart 2).

Chart 2.
Workers' compensation benefits and employers' costs per $100 of covered wages, 1989–2004 (in dollars)
Total benefits paid and employers' costs
Line chart linked to data in table format, which is provided in Table A-1.
Components of total benefits
Line chart linked to data in table format, which is provided in Table A-1.
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance estimates. The data re shown in Table A-1 in the appendix.
NOTES: Benefits are payments in the calendar year to inured workers and to providers of their medical care.
Costs are employers' expenditures in the calendar year for workers' compensation benefits, administrative costs, and insurance premiums. Costs for self-insuring employers are benefits paid in the calendar year plus the administrative costs associated with providing those benefits. Costs for employers who purchase insurance include the insurance premiums paid during the calendar year plus the benefits paid under large deductible plans during the year. The insurance premiums must pay for all of the compensable consequences of the injuries that occur during the year, including the benefits paidin thee current year as well as future years.

During this 16-year period, both components of benefits (cash and medical payments) relative to wages reached peaks in the early 1990s and lows in 1999–2000. They have grown somewhat since then but are still substantially below their peaks (Chart 2). Medical payments have risen to account for a larger share of total benefits in 2004 than they did in the mid- to late 1990s.

Insurance Arrangements

Workers' compensation programs differ in the methods used to ensure that benefits will be paid when due. Employers generally provide the required protection through one of three methods: purchasing private insurance; purchasing insurance from a state fund, where available; or self-insuring (a method used mainly by large employers who are able to prove to state regulatory agencies that they are financially able to carry their own risk).

Options are limited in North Dakota and Wyoming because those states require employers to buy insurance through an exclusive state fund. In three other states in 2004—Ohio, Washington, and West Virginia—employers had to either self-insure or buy insurance through an exclusive state fund. In other jurisdictions, employers can purchase private insurance. In 2004, private insurers paid $28.3 billion (50.6 percent of benefits), state funds paid $11.0 billion (19.7 percent), and self-insured employees paid $13.3 billion (23.8 percent) (Table 2). Federal benefits accounted for $3.3 billion (5.8 percent).

Table 2. Nonfederal workers' compensation benefits, by type of insurer, and medical benefits as a share of all benefits, by state, 2004 (in thousands of dollars unless specified otherwise)
State Total Private
insurers
State
funds
Self-
insured a
Medical
benefits
Amount (dollars) As a share of all benefits
Total, nonfederal 52,711,882 28,346,310 11,044,194 13,321,378 25,228,333 47.9
Alabama 575,697 277,585 . . . 298,112 357,739 62.1 b
Alaska 194,195 142,286 . . . 51,910 108,348 55.8 b
Arizona 584,750 185,882 295,598 103,270 375,591 64.2 b
Arkansas 225,689 160,642 . . . 65,047 136,946 60.7 b
California 12,459,638 5,562,020 3,202,628 3,694,990 6,072,398 48.7
Colorado 834,594 271,253 416,618 146,723 406,930 48.8 b
Connecticut 684,930 433,077 . . . 251,853 271,039 39.6 b
Delaware 158,190 113,948 . . . 44,242 75,711 47.9 c
District of Columbia 98,443 75,415 . . . 23,029 38,089 38.7 b
Florida 2,759,712 2,219,913 . . . 539,799 1,637,270 59.3 b
Georgia 1,127,654 768,478 . . . 359,176 538,764 47.8 b
Hawaii 271,290 150,840 34,015 86,436 103,900 38.3 b
Idaho 210,326 74,896 122,429 13,001 124,277 59.1 b
Illinois 2,213,372 1,646,713 . . . 566,659 1,073,614 48.5 b
Indiana 608,717 489,351 . . . 119,366 413,979 68.0 b
Iowa 445,832 337,824 . . . 108,008 230,117 51.6 b
Kansas 365,546 241,025 . . . 124,522 200,913 55.0 b
Kentucky 763,050 422,506 72,097 268,447 411,837 54.0 b
Louisiana 589,209 297,493 163,733 127,984 297,065 50.4 b
Maine 269,917 94,800 84,269 90,847 113,359 42.0 b
Maryland 767,576 448,756 196,097 122,723 317,621 41.4 b
Massachusetts 1,045,747 900,741 . . . 145,006 358,708 34.3
Michigan 1,517,386 827,277 . . . 690,109 569,855 37.6
Minnesota 933,975 576,232 120,488 237,255 455,248 48.7
Mississippi 305,516 172,433 . . . 133,083 170,668 55.9 b
Missouri 1,119,871 684,950 114,560 320,361 564,841 50.4 b
Montana 211,059 67,757 103,559 39,743 113,201 53.6 b
Nebraska 283,148 218,113 . . . 65,035 166,863 58.9 b
Nevada 357,937 239,619 . . . 118,317 175,796 49.1 b
New Hampshire 213,964 167,868 . . . 46,096 119,685 55.9 b
New Jersey 1,398,358 1,278,746 . . . 119,612 669,265 47.9 c
New Mexico 196,123 87,748 32,170 76,205 115,830 59.1 b
New York 3,337,490 1,732,841 775,146 829,503 1,127,178 33.8
North Carolina 1,159,117 844,199 . . . 314,919 512,146 44.2 b
North Dakota 83,237 260 d 82,977 . . . 46,870 56.3
Ohio 2,442,137 37,509 d 1,935,728 468,900 1,141,082 46.7
Oklahoma 572,001 241,921 212,864 117,216 263,451 46.1 b
Oregon 506,813 234,700 228,642 43,472 270,253 53.3 b
Pennsylvania 2,594,238 1,803,792 226,158 564,288 1,068,661 41.2
Rhode Island 142,268 40,504 85,096 16,669 49,990 35.1 b
South Carolina 688,115 461,543 49,629 176,944 318,811 46.3 b
South Dakota 76,472 72,749 . . . 3,723 48,122 62.9 b
Tennessee 895,808 649,333 . . . 246,475 462,466 51.6 b
Texas 1,574,451 991,865 297,235 285,350 958,631 60.9 b
Utah 218,264 56,281 122,905 39,077 149,240 68.4 b
Vermont 128,076 106,192 . . . 21,884 58,611 45.8 b
Virginia 762,067 554,397 . . . 207,670 419,955 55.1 b
Washington 1,836,097 30,766 d 1,323,410 481,921 636,211 34.7
West Virginia 741,034 7,317 d 629,617 104,100 354,665 47.9 c
Wisconsin 1,042,725 840,423 . . . 202,302 499,057 47.9 c
Wyoming 120,062 3,534 d 116,528 . . . 57,463 47.9 c
Total nonfederal 52,711,882 28,346,310 11,044,194 13,321,378 25,228,333 47.9
Total federal e 3,256,239 f f f 870,872 26.7
Federal employees 2,445,077 f f f 701,110 28.7
Total benefits 55,968,121 f f f 26,099,205 46.6
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance estimates based on data received from state agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor, A.M. Best, and the National Council on Compensation Insurance.
NOTE: . . . = not applicable.
a. Self-insurance includes individual self-insurers and group self-insurance.
b. Medical percentage is based on data provided by the National Council on Compensation Insurance; see Sengupta, Reno, and Burton (2006), Appendix F.
c. Medical percentage is based on the weighted average of states for which medical data were available; see Sengupta, Reno, and Burton (2006), Appendix F.
d. States with exclusive funds (North Dakota, Ohio, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming) may have small amounts of benefits paid in the "Private insurers" category. Two factors account for these small amounts: some companies have group policies that overlap states, and some companies include excess workers' compensation coverage in their reports of workers' compensation benefits to A.M. Best.
e. Federal benefits include those paid under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act for civilian employees, the portion of the Black Lung benefit program that is financed by employers, and a portion of benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) that are not reflected in state data, namely, benefits paid by self-insured employers and by special funds under the LHWCA. For more information about federal programs, see Sengupta, Reno, and Burton (2006), Appendix H.
f. Data are not available by category.

State Variations

The great variations in the total benefits paid in each state reflect, among other things, the size of the labor force and prevailing wages in the state. California is the largest state, and its payments of $12.5 billion accounted for about 22 percent of total workers' compensation benefits paid in 2004 (Table 2).

The share of benefits for medical care also varies among states. In 2004, that share ranged from lows of less than 40 percent (in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington) to highs of more than 60 percent (in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah) (Table 2). Many factors in a state can influence the relative share of benefits for medical care as opposed to cash wage-replacement or survivor benefits, including

For the nation as a whole, payments for medical care and cash benefits both rose by 2.3 percent between 2003 and 2004. But in most jurisdictions, one component of workers' compensation grew more rapidly than the other (Table 3). In California, cash benefits rose by 5.1 percent while payments to medical care providers fell by 4.1 percent. In other states, payments to medical care providers grew more rapidly than did cash benefits to workers. In Michigan, for example, payments to medical providers rose by 5.0 percent while payments to workers rose by just 1.4 percent. In New York, medical payments increased by 8.4 percent while payments to workers increased by only 1.3 percent. In most jurisdictions, medical payments rose more than did payments to workers: in 27 jurisdictions, medical benefits either rose faster than cash benefits or rose while cash payments fell. In 16 jurisdictions, cash benefits to workers either grew faster than did medical payments or rose while medical payments fell.

Table 3. Nonfederal medical, cash, and total benefits, by state, 2003–2004 (in thousands of dollars unless otherwise specified)
State 2003 2004 Percentage change, 2003–2004
Medical Cash Total Medical Cash Total Medical Cash Total
Total 24,667,151 26,862,694 51,529,845 25,228,333 27,483,548 52,711,882 2.3 2.3 2.3
Alabama 364,616 215,568 580,184 357,739 217,958 575,697 -1.9 1.1 -0.8
Alaska 101,417 82,962 184,379 108,348 85,848 194,195 6.8 3.5 5.3
Arizona 337,056 194,184 531,240 375,591 209,159 584,750 11.4 7.7 10.1
Arkansas 139,779 85,282 225,061 136,946 88,742 225,689 -2.0 4.1 0.3
California 6,329,029 6,074,701 12,403,729 6,072,398 6,387,240 12,459,638 -4.1 5.1 0.5
Colorado 332,713 424,327 757,041 406,930 427,663 834,594 22.3 0.8 10.2
Connecticut 288,356 386,392 674,747 271,039 413,891 684,930 -6.0 7.1 1.5
Delaware 76,703 83,561 160,264 75,711 82,479 158,190 -1.3 -1.3 -1.3
District of Columbia 32,973 56,135 89,108 38,089 60,354 98,443 15.5 7.5 10.5
Florida 1,631,140 1,180,162 2,811,302 1,637,270 1,122,442 2,759,712 0.4 -4.9 -1.8
Georgia 502,974 558,995 1,061,969 538,764 588,890 1,127,654 7.1 5.3 6.2
Hawaii 105,503 169,420 274,922 103,900 167,390 271,290 -1.5 -1.2 -1.3
Idaho 112,159 84,235 196,394 124,277 86,049 210,326 10.8 2.2 7.1
Illinois 975,428 1,128,229 2,103,658 1,073,614 1,139,757 2,213,372 10.1 1.0 5.2
Indiana 378,310 181,111 559,421 413,979 194,738 608,717 9.4 7.5 8.8
Iowa 205,463 218,734 424,198 230,117 215,715 445,832 12.0 -1.4 5.1
Kansas 160,283 133,190 293,473 200,913 164,633 365,546 25.3 23.6 24.6
Kentucky 392,111 332,180 724,291 411,837 351,213 763,050 5.0 5.7 5.4
Louisiana 297,357 288,122 585,480 297,065 292,144 589,209 -0.1 1.4 0.6
Maine 110,790 128,987 239,777 113,359 156,558 269,917 2.3 21.4 12.6
Maryland 292,542 408,755 701,297 317,621 449,955 767,576 8.6 10.1 9.5
Massachusetts 350,931 706,245 1,057,175 358,708 687,039 1,045,747 2.2 -2.7 -1.1
Michigan 542,574 934,276 1,476,850 569,855 947,531 1,517,386 5.0 1.4 2.7
Minnesota 413,726 471,280 885,006 455,248 478,726 933,975 10.0 1.6 5.5
Mississippi 162,553 128,461 291,014 170,668 134,848 305,516 5.0 5.0 5.0
Missouri 534,615 546,255 1,080,870 564,841 555,029 1,119,871 5.7 1.6 3.6
Montana 105,286 95,571 200,857 113,201 97,859 211,059 7.5 2.4 5.1
Nebraska 171,361 119,058 290,419 166,863 116,286 283,148 -2.6 -2.3 -2.5
Nevada 150,151 176,406 326,556 175,796 182,141 357,937 17.1 3.3 9.6
New Hampshire 123,981 95,648 219,629 119,685 94,278 213,964 -3.5 -1.4 -2.6
New Jersey 660,107 719,128 1,379,235 669,265 729,093 1,398,358 1.4 1.4 1.4
New Mexico 107,936 81,491 189,427 115,830 80,293 196,123 7.3 -1.5 3.5
New York 1,039,503 2,180,894 3,220,398 1,127,178 2,210,311 3,337,490 8.4 1.3 3.6
North Carolina 480,925 585,686 1,066,611 512,146 646,971 1,159,117 6.5 10.5 8.7
North Dakota a 43,102 35,352 78,453 46,870 36,367 83,237 8.7 2.9 6.1
Ohio a 1,140,541 1,301,646 2,442,187 1,141,082 1,301,055 2,442,137 0 0 0
Oklahoma 262,953 290,970 553,922 263,451 308,550 572,001 0.2 6.0 3.3
Oregon 245,975 225,332 471,307 270,253 236,559 506,813 9.9 5.0 7.5
Pennsylvania 1,040,169 1,525,175 2,565,344 1,068,661 1,525,577 2,594,238 2.7 0 1.1
Rhode Island 40,579 90,286 130,865 49,990 92,278 142,268 23.2 2.2 8.7
South Carolina 312,056 344,879 656,935 318,811 369,305 688,115 2.2 7.1 4.7
South Dakota 46,331 27,436 73,767 48,122 28,350 76,472 3.9 3.3 3.7
Tennessee 445,703 396,944 842,647 462,466 433,342 895,808 3.8 9.2 6.3
Texas 1,169,889 687,053 1,856,942 958,631 615,820 1,574,451 -18.1 -10.4 -15.2
Utah 121,849 64,495 186,344 149,240 69,023 218,264 22.5 7.0 17.1
Vermont 58,147 61,813 119,961 58,611 69,465 128,076 0.8 12.4 6.8
Virginia 393,992 307,601 701,593 419,955 342,112 762,067 6.6 11.2 8.6
Washington a 619,553 1,180,523 1,800,076 636,211 1,199,886 1,836,097 2.7 1.6 2.0
West Virginia a 241,676 587,237 828,913 354,665 386,369 741,034 46.8 -34.2 -10.6
Wisconsin 402,196 438,158 840,354 499,057 543,668 1,042,725 24.1 24.1 24.1
Wyoming a 72,090 42,161 114,252 57,463 62,599 120,062 -20.3 48.5 5.1
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance estimates based on data from state agencies and A.M. Best.
a. Some of the percentage change in benefits for the 2 years being compared might be due to differences in methods used for at least one component of the estimates. For more detail on state-by-state methodologies, see Sources and Methods: A Companion to Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage, and Costs, 2004, available at http://www.nasi.org.

These estimates of workers' compensation benefits and costs are reported in the Annual Statistical Supplement to the Social Security Bulletin and in the Statistical Abstract of the United States, which is published by the U.S. Census Bureau. More details about the estimates and methods for producing them are included in Workers' Compensation: Benefits, Coverage and Costs, 2004, available from the National Academy of Social Insurance at http:// www.nasi.org/.

References

Barth, Peter, and Michael Niss. 1999. Permanent partial disability benefits: Interstate differences. Cambridge, MA: Workers Compensation Research Institute.

Burton, John F. Jr. 2005. Permanent partial disability benefits. In Workplace injuries and diseases: Prevention and compensation—Essays in honor of Terry ­Thomason, ed. Karen Roberts, John F. Burton Jr., and Matthew M. Bodah, Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

[NCCI] National Council on Compensation Insurance. 2004. Annual Statistical Bulletin, 2004 edition. Boca Raton, FL: NCCI.

Sengupta, Ishita, Virginia Reno, and John F. Burton Jr. 2006. Workers' compensation: Benefits, coverage, and costs, 2004. Washington, DC: National Academy of Social Insurance.

Appendix

Table A–1 shows the data for Chart 2.

Table A-1. Total workers' compensation benefits, employer costs, and medical and cash benefits per $100 of covered wages, 1989–2004 (in dollars)
Year Benefits Employer costs Benefits per $100 of covered wages
Medical Cash
1989 1.46 2.04 0.57 0.89
1990 1.57 2.18 0.62 0.94
1991 1.65 2.16 0.66 0.99
1992 1.68 2.12 0.69 1.00
1993 1.61 2.16 0.66 0.95
1994 1.51 2.05 0.58 0.93
1995 1.38 1.82 0.53 0.85
1996 1.26 1.66 0.50 0.76
1997 1.18 1.49 0.48 0.70
1998 1.11 1.38 0.47 0.65
1999 1.10 1.33 0.46 0.64
2000 1.06 1.30 0.47 0.60
2001 1.10 1.40 0.50 0.60
2002 1.16 1.60 0.53 0.62
2003 1.16 1.73 0.54 0.62
2004 1.13 1.76 0.53 0.60
SOURCE: National Academy of Social Insurance estimates.