Workers’ compensation benefits help many injured Wisconsin employees to pay for their medical expenses and time off from work. However, a study has found that workers are receiving the lowest levels of benefits in decades. Workers’ compensation benefits per $100 of payroll were just $0.91 in 2014, the lowest it has been since 1980.
The Study Panel on Workers’ Compensation Data was published by the National Academy of Social Insurance. According to the report, there has been a trend of lower workers’ compensation benefits compared to payroll that started in the 1990s. While workers’ compensation benefits have been declining, employer costs for workers’ compensation have increased. In 2014, employers paid $1.35 per $100 of payroll for things like insurance premiums and reimbursement payments.
The NASI report also pointed that a greater percentage of workers’ compensation benefits are going towards health care costs. In 1980, just 29 percent of workers’ compensation benefits were paid for health care costs. Due to the rising cost of health care, over 50 percent of workers’ compensation benefits paid in 2014 went towards health care costs. A researcher for NASI said that lower levels of workplace injuries might be reducing the amount of benefits workers receive for injuries. The recovering economy and new state laws may also be affecting workers’ compensation benefits.
People may be able to claim more workers’ compensation benefits if they provide thorough documentation of their medical expenses and recovery time. An attorney can often be helpful in this regard as well as in ensuring that the claim is filed on a timely basis.