Resource available for comparing Workers’ Compensation laws

Cambridge, Ma. – An essential tool for policymakers and other stakeholders to identify the similarities and distinctions between workers’ compensation regulations and benefit levels in U.S. states and Canadian provincesis now available from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) and the International Association of Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC).

“In Canada and the United States, workers’ compensation is entirely under the control of sub-national legislative bodies and administrative agencies,” said Ramona Tanabe, executive vice president and counsel with WCRI. “The differences between jurisdictional laws and regulations can be subtle and this survey gives you the ability to understand those differences.”

The study, Workers’ Compensation Laws as of January 1, 2019, is best used to understand macro-level differences and general tendencies across jurisdictions, such as the following: 

  • How many states/provinces allow individual or group self-insurance?
  • How do the maximum and minimum payments for temporary and permanent total disability benefits vary?
  • How many states cover mental stress claims, hearing loss, and cumulative trauma?
  • How many jurisdictions allow the worker to choose the treating physician, and how many allow the employer to do so?

The study builds on many years of valuable work by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) that pioneered the use of a standard set of tables to promote uniformity in responses across states and consistency in reports from year to year. Although the USDOL suspended its production of these tables for budgetary reasons, WCRI and IAIABC agreed to work together to continue publishing this important resource.

“This publication is a must-have reference for workers’ compensation professionals. I am frequently asked about different jurisdictional characteristics and this report often provides the answer,” comments Jennifer Wolf, executive director of IAIABC.

For more information about this study, visit WCRI’s website at https://www.wcrinet.org/reports/workers-compensation-laws-as-of-january-1-2019.