The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that employers in the United States pay an estimated $1 billion per week to cover the direct costs of workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, this isn’t nearly enough. According to the Washington Post, employees are still left to cover half of the cost of their work-related injuries – and this doesn’t even include the portion covered by their own private insurance. In 2015, workers’ compensation covers a mere 21 percent of the cost of workplace injuries. Now, a new study shows that while employers’ costs are on the rise, employees are receiving less and less for their job-related injuries. If you have been injured at work, this is all the more reason to hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help with your claim.
Workers’ Comp Payments Drop Five Percent in Four Years
The study, published by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) earlier this year, looked at workers’ comp data through 2013. It found that workers’ comp benefits as a share of payroll for injured workers had dropped five percent since 2009. Interestingly, employers’ costs went up five percent over the same period. So, why the disparity in costs and payouts? NASI suggests three possible reasons:
- Growing workforce. As the economy strengthens and more people return to work, employers have to cover more workers’ injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance is expensive, so as employment numbers rise, so do the costs of providing workers’ comp.
- Lobbying for employer-friendly laws. Since 2003, more than half of all states nationwide have revised their workers’ compensation laws to make them more favorable to employers and their insurance companies. The most common changes have included reducing coverage for certain medical conditions and making it more difficult for employees to file successful workers’ comp claims.
- Healthcare is getting more expensive. Healthcare costs have ballooned in recent years. With work-related injuries leading to higher medical bills, the percentage of employees’ costs covered by workers’ comp is getting smaller and smaller.
But, Workers’ Comp Benefits Have Increased Overall
While individual employees are receiving less for their injuries, overall workers’ comp benefits are actually up by more than eight percent. In 2013, employers nationwide paid a total of $63.6 billion in workers’ comp benefits. So, clearly, there is money to be had. With employers and their insurance companies constantly finding new ways to deny injured workers’ claims, hiring an experienced attorney is the only way to make sure that you have the best possible chance to receive the benefits you deserve.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Attorney in Burlington or Keokuk, IA Today
At Pothitakis Law Firm, we focus exclusively on helping injured workers and other accident victims win just compensation for their losses. The Iowa workers’ compensation system is complicated. If you try to file for benefits on your own, chances are that you will not receive the full benefits to which you are entitled. We can make sure that your claim receives the attention it deserves, and we will fight vigorously to obtain maximum benefits for your claim. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, please contact us today.