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January, 2001, Vol. 124, No. 1
Changes in workers' compensation laws during 2000
A number of States increased their maximum workers’ compensation rates for disability and /or death in 2000.
For example, Alaska’s maximum weekly compensation benefit for disability or death changed to 120 percent of the State’s average weekly wage from $700, and the maximum permanent impairment compensation benefits increased to $177,000 from $135,000 to be multiplied by the employee’s percentage of permanent impairment of the whole person. In Georgia, the weekly maximum benefit for temporary total disability increased to $375 and the minimum to $37.50 (up from $350 and $35 respectively). Also in Georgia, the weekly maximum benefit for temporary partial disability increased to $250 from $233.33, and the maximum death benefit to $125,000 from $100,000. In Indiana, the maximum compensation, exclusive of medical benefits, that may be paid for an injury on and after July 1, 2000, and before July 1, 2001, may not exceed $254,000. On October 1, 2000, Minnesota’s maximum weekly compensation increased to $750 per week from $615, and the minimum increased to $130 per week from $104. In Rhode Island the maximum rate for weekly compensation for total disability changed to 110 percent (previously 100 percent) of the State’s average weekly wage.
Examples of coverage changes included extending presumptions of coverage for certain diseases suffered by law enforcement officers or firefighters, or both, in California, Maryland, and Virginia; and redefining the term "employee" in Arizona, Georgia, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
In Nebraska, the Second Injury Fund was renamed the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund, and all monies in the Second Injury Fund were transferred to the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund. The Second Injury Fund had previously been eliminated for injuries occurring on or after December 1, 1997. An Uninsured Employers’ Fund was established in Tennessee to ensure the timely provision of workers’ compensation benefits to workers injured during periods when an employer has no insurance.
Maximum burial allowances increased to $5,000 in Alaska, to $7,000 in Colorado, and to $15,000 in Minnesota.
The following is a State-by-State summary of significant changes to workers’ compensation laws.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 2001 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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