California’s State Average Weekly Wage rose by more than 5% in the year ending March 31, 2022, which will result in an increase in California workers’ compensation temporary total disability and permanent total disability rates for 2023 work injury claims and other workers’ compensation benefits that are tied to SAWW increases, the California Workers’ Compensation Institute is reporting.
The latest wage data from the U.S. Department of Labor examined by CWCI show that California’s SAWW increased by 5.159% from $1,570 in the first quarter of 2021 to $1,651 in the first quarter of 2022.
As a result, the TTD/PTD maximum rate, which stands at $1,539.71 per week for 2022 injuries following a record increase of more than 13.5% that took effect last January, will increase by an additional $79.44 to $1,619.15 per week for claims with injury dates on or after Jan. 1, 2023.
State law also ties minimum weekly TTD/PTD rates to SAWW increases, so those minimums will rise by $11.91 from the current $230.95 per week to $242.86 per week for claims with 2023 injury dates. The California Division of Workers’ Compensation confirmed the new TTD/PTD rates for 2023 injury claims and plans to issue a Newsline announcing the new rates.
Also beginning on Jan., 1, 2023, other workers’ comp benefits, including TTD paid two years or more after injury, life pension and PTD payments for injuries on or after Jan. 1, 2003, and installment payments on death claims will be going up due to the SAWW increase. Underpayment of benefits results in penalties, so CWCI encourages claims administrators to review changes in benefit rates with legal counsel to assure that adjustments are appropriate and accurate, according to CWCI.