Can the downward trend in earnings losses experienced by injured workers during the 1990s be traced to the state's improved economic conditions? The adequacy of benefits for permanent disability from occupational injuries is a continuing source of controversy among policymakers in California. This book focuses on the economic consequences of disabling injuries and what those outcomes suggest about the current adequacy of workers' compensation in California. In particular, the authors investigate the relationship between losses in earnings from workplace injuries and economic conditions in the state during the 1990s. Although changes in economic conditions had some impact on earnings losses experienced by permanent partial disability claimants, especially less-severely injured workers who are more easily accommodated by their employers, the decline in earnings losses may be more closely related to changes in the workers' compensation market. Even though benefit levels have increased since 1991 and earnings losses have declined, replacement rates for lost income remain below two-thirds of pre-tax wages, the standard commonly cited for adequacy. Because benefits have declined (in inflation-corrected dollars) since their last increase in 1996 and, as of 2001, the economy is headed into a new recession, it is possible that workers injured today will have worse outcomes than workers injured in 1996 or 1997.
Number of pages: 45
Weight: 222 g
Dimensions: 279 x 216 x 7 mm
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