- Press Release
October 25, 2021
Sharp Increase in California Workers' Comp Benefits Coming in 2022
Oakland, CA – California’s State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) rose more than 13.5% in the year ending March 31, 2021, which the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) reports will lead to a record increase in temporary total disability (TTD) and permanent total disability (PTD) rates for 2022 job injury claims and other California workers’ comp benefits that are tied to SAWW increases.
CWCI notes that updated data from the U.S. Department of Labor show that due to the disproportionate loss of low-wage jobs during the pandemic, California’s SAWW increased by a record 13.5213% from $1,383 in the first quarter of 2020 to $1,570 in the first quarter of 2022. That will have a major impact on workers’ compensation benefit payments, as the TTD/PTD maximum rate, which currently stands at $1,356.31 per week, will increase by $183.40 to $1,539.71 per week for claims with injury dates on or after January 1, 2022. State law also ties minimum weekly TTD/PTD rates to SAWW increases, so those minimums will rise from the current $203.44 per week to $230.95 per week for claims with 2022 injury dates. The California Division of Workers’ Compensation has confirmed the new TTD/PTD rates for 2022 injury claims and has issued a Newsline announcing the new rates.
Also beginning on January, 1, 2022, other workers’ compensation benefits, including TTD paid two years or more after injury, life pension and PTD payments for injuries on or after January 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.
For reference, the SAWW for the 12 months ending March 31, 2020 and for the 12 months ending March 31, 2021 are posted on the U.S. Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance database, https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/data_summary/DataSum.asp. A CWCI Bulletin with more details is also available to Institute members and subscribers under the Communications tab at www.cwci.org.
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