When an employee gets injured on the job, workers’ compensation — a no-fault insurance system that employers are required to have — kicks in. Once an employee’s workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, that individual receives temporary disability benefits while being off work and recovering from the injury’s effects. Each year, those benefit amounts change.
The California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announced that on January 1, 2023, the minimum and maximum temporary total disability (TTD) rates will increase:
- The minimum TTD rate will increase to $242.86 (from $230.95); and
- The maximum TTD rate will increase to $1,619.15 per week (from $1,539.71 per week).
Temporary disability payments typically are two-thirds of the pre-tax wages the employee will lose while recovering from the job-related injury, up to a statutory maximum amount.
California Labor Code section 4453(a) (10) requires the rate for TTD be increased by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) as compared to the prior year.
The SAWW is the average weekly wage in California paid to employees covered by unemployment insurance for the 12 months ending March 31 in the year preceding the injury, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In the 12 months ending March 31, 2022, the SAWW increased to $1,651 (from $1,570) — an increase of 5.15924 percent.
Under Labor Code section 4659(c), workers with a date of injury on or after Jan. 1, 2003, who are receiving life pensions (LP) or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are also entitled to have their weekly LP or PDT rate adjusted based on the SAWW.
SAWW figures may be verified using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance Data Base.
Jessica Mulholland, Managing Editor, CalChamber