Workers’ compensation is not a static legal concept. In California, the benefits available through workers’ compensation and the details of relevant insurance policies are constantly scrutinized and revised by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). Oftentimes, this process will create annual changes that only really interest workers’ comp insurance companies. But for 2022, there are some changes that you should know as a potential recipient of workers’ compensation benefits if you’re ever in a workplace accident.
Temporary Total Disability Rate Increase
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation recently announced that the 2022 temporary total disability (TTD) rates will increase, including both the minimum and maximum amounts available to injured workers.
Starting January 1st, 2022, the following TTD rate changes will occur:
- Minimum weekly TTD payments: Up to $230.95 from the previous $203.44
- Maximum weekly TTD payments: Up to $1,539.71 from the previous $1,356.31
The TTD rate increases are good news for workers who cannot return to work for a while due to their work-related injuries. Specifically, workers making minimum wage and those making well above it will see the greatest improvement to their benefits.
For example, a cashier makes $15 an hour and works 20 hours a week part-time. The average weekly paycheck they earn is $300. Previously, they would only be paid approximately $200 a week through TTD benefits, which is two-thirds of their average weekly pre-injury pay. But with the changes coming in 2022, the same cashier will get at least $230.95. That extra $30 or so can be life-changing, as many people in tough financial spots will say.
Why the TTD Increase?
The TTD increase is good news for Californians who are receiving workers’ compensation after a serious workplace accident. However, the reason for the increase is not very good.
The DWC calculates the TTD rate based on California’s State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). Due to massive job loss during the pandemic, especially among low-income jobs, the SAWW technically went up. Therefore, the TTD rate had to go up to keep up. In other words, there are noticeably fewer Californians working this year than last year, but those who are working tend to make more than last year’s income average.If you have any questions about California’s updating workers’ compensation benefits and how it might impact your claim? You can contact Alvandi Law Group at any time.