Waltham, MA, April 23, 2024―Indemnity benefits per workers’ compensation claim grew at a rapid pace of 6 percent or more in 2022 in 16 out of 17 study states, with 8 states growing at a rate of 10 percent or more, according to a new set of studies from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). This followed a period of little change overall in most study states from 2019 to 2021.

“There are many factors explaining the rise in indemnity benefits in 2022,” said Sebastian Negrusa, vice president of research of WCRI. “The tight labor market led to wage growth across the board, and increases in the duration of temporary disability may reflect a growing share of new hires in the workforce and changes in comorbidities since the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Most states saw indemnity benefits increase, but the overall results mask important nuances. Selected findings include the following:

  • Florida: Following two years of little change, Florida indemnity benefits per claim grew 12.9 percent in 2022, driven by a 9.5 percent increase in wages for workers with injuries and a 0.6-week increase in the average duration of temporary disability.
  • Illinois: Indemnity benefits per claim in Illinois increased 9 percent in 2022, driven by a 4 percent increase in wages for workers with injuries and a nearly one-week increase in the average duration of temporary disability.
  • Michigan: Indemnity benefits per claim grew 6 percent in 2022, following four years of moderate growth. Indemnity benefits remained lower than in the typical study state, and Michigan’s overall costs per claim were the lowest of all study states.
  • Texas: After a 4 percent decrease in 2021, 2022 saw Texas’s indemnity benefits grow by 6 percent, driven mainly by wage growth among workers with injuries.
  • Wisconsin: Indemnity benefits per claim grew by 10 percent in 2022, driven by 6 percent growth in wages and an increase of nearly one week in the average duration of temporary disability. Even with these increases, Wisconsin had some of the lowest indemnity benefits of the study states.

The studies, CompScope™ Benchmarks, 24th Edition, provide ongoing annual monitoring of how indemnity benefits, medical payments, and benefit delivery expenses in 17 states compare and how they have changed over time. The 17 states in the study are Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Individual reports are available for every state except Arkansas, Iowa, and Tennessee. The analysis in this edition covers injury dates from 2017 to 2022 and payments through the end of March 2023.

Click here for more information on these studies or to download copies.

About WCRI

The Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Waltham, MA. Organized in late 1983, the Institute does not take positions on the issues it researches; rather, it provides information obtained through studies and data collection efforts that conform to recognized scientific methods. Objectivity is further ensured through rigorous, unbiased peer review procedures. WCRI's diverse membership includes employers, insurers, government entities, managed care companies, health care providers, insurance regulators, labor organizations, and state administrative agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.


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