California Proposes Increasing Disability Benefits, Recommends No Rise in Insurers’ Premiums

By Staff Report

Sep. 16, 2011

California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation has proposed increasing permanent disability benefits by an average of 16 percent as part of changes to the state’s permanent disability rating schedule.

Workers’ comp reforms required the disability rating schedule to be based on empirical data that ties wage loss to injury type, DWC administrative director Carrie Nevans said in a statement. The DWC now has enough data to support an increase, she said.

The Sacramento-based California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, however, called the proposed increase “wholly inadequate.”

The DWC is accepting comments on its proposal until May 23.

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner also announced he would not recommend any change in insurers’ pure premium rates because of stability in the state’s workers’ comp market. It is the first time in six years that California’s Insurance Department has not suggested a midyear pure premium rate change.

In Montana, meanwhile, the Montana State Fund announced it will reduce workers’ comp rates by 3 percent beginning July 1.

Filed by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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