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Workers’ wage replacement – the real story

WCRI’s Evelina Radeva focused on employee wage replacement, a particularly timely topic given NPR and ProPublica’s ongoing series on the Demolition of Workers’ Comp.

Suffice it to say that PP’s reporters would have greatly benefited from Ms Radeva’s presentation.  Informed sources indicated that reporters Michael Grabell and NPR’s Howard Berkes reporters failed to contact WCRI before this week; a rather stunning oversight on the part of the reppporters.

How any journalist reseaching workers’ comp could neglect to even call the nation’s pre-eminent research organization is beyond me.  They would have been well-served to engage early and often with WCRI and their many experts on all aspects of workers’ comp.

Radeva’s deep dive into weekly wage benefits in IN and NY; Indiana is raising their maximum weekly wage by some 20%, generally aligning Hoosiers with the other 15 states in the study set.  On average, 12% of workers hit the wage replacement cap across all 16 states.

Of note NY also increased their maximum weekly wage several years ago; California has as well.

Peter Rousmaniere raised an interesting question that unfortunately went beyond WCRI’s ability and mission – why is there a cap on the maximum weekly wage?

WCRI Rick Victor answered Peter’s question by noting the impact of tax brackets, the tax-free nature of work comp indemnity benefits and anecdotal information that higher-paid workers get other benefits from their employers that help offset lost wages – while acknowledging there is wide variation among and between the states.

One thought on “Workers’ wage replacement – the real story”

  1. You’re on a roll Joe, only two typos. reporters (6th line) and researching (seventh line)

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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