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January 2003, Vol. 126, No.1
Changes in workers’ compensation laws, 2002
California enacted major changes to its workers’ compensation statutes in 2002. One of the more significant provisions included increasing the maximum weekly benefit for temporary disability and permanent total disability to $602 for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2003; to $728 for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2004; and to $840 for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2005. Beginning January 1, 2006, and each January 1 thereafter, the maximum weekly benefit will be increased by an amount equal to the percentage in the State average weekly wage. Also, effective January 1, 2006, death benefits will be increased from $125,000, $145,000, and $160,000 to $250,000, $290,000, and $320,000, respectively, according to the number of surviving dependents.
In Florida, the Division of Workers’ Compensation was transferred from the Department of Labor and Employment Security to the Department of Insurance. Workers’ compensation medical services were transferred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and workers’ compensation rehabilitation and reemployment services to the Department of Education.
In Kentucky, certain presumptions of disability were created for claimants diagnosed with pneumoconiosis on the basis of x-ray and spirometric test values.
Maximum burial expenses were increased from $5,000 to $15,000 in Rhode Island and from $2,500 to $5,000 in Wyoming.
In New Jersey and New York, coverage issues resulting from the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were addressed.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 2003 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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