Many at the 2019 Workers’ Compensation Research Institute’s (WCRI) annual conference took note when Dr. John Ruser shared some new data and trends in workers’ compensation. The WCRI CEO pointed out that workers’ comp is a declining part of the employer payroll. The National Academy of Social Insurance concurs, adding that the ratio of compensation benefits paid related to the overall wages has declined since the 1990s and is at the lowest point since the 1980s. This downward trend led some to fear that it was an erosion of benefits paid, but Dr. Ruser points to other factors. These include:
- The frequency of the claims is down since the late-1990s with a 55 percent drop between 1999 and 2014.
- OSHA claims that reportable injuries are down and continue to go down.
- The injuries are down across all professions, so the shift is not a migration by the workforce to safer jobs.
- The declining numbers of injuries are consistent with what is taking place in Europe.
- Job accommodations for workers with restrictions have gone up significantly, which means that workers are returning to work more quickly and thus needing a shorter period of benefits.
- The workplace is a safer place to work these days.
Injured workers still fight for benefits
It is great news to hear that there are fewer injured workers and those injured are returning to work more quickly, but many of the injured still face challenges. Whether it is appealing a denied claim or simply needing to see the right doctors for the injury, an attorney can still be a tremendous asset to workers here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. These legal professionals handle the paperwork and disputes, leaving injured workers to focus on the hard work of rehabilitating their injuries.