On October 25, 2021, the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) officially announced that the minimum temporary disability benefit and the maximum temporary disability benefit are rising in 2022. The changes this year are especially significant—a more than 13% jump—given the steep rise in average weekly earnings among workers in California in the previous year. In this blog post, our Central California workers’ compensation defense attorneys discuss the minimum and maximum temporary disability benefit hikes for 2022.
State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) Jumped Dramatically
Temporary disability benefits (TD benefits) are paid to workers who are forced to miss time at their usual job following a work injury or occupational disease. A worker who is reassigned to a lower-paying light duty role may claim TD benefits. As a general rule, TD benefits are calculated at two-thirds of an employee’s pre-tax wages. However, state law sets both a minimum TD benefit and a maximum TD benefit for injured workers. California uses the State Average Weekly Wage or “SAWW” to calculate the minimum and maximum temporary disability benefits.
Each year, minimum and maximum benefits are adjusted accordingly—with the “year” for the purposes of the calculation running from April 1st through March 31st. The DWC has just released the latest SAWW data. The DWC relies on wage and hour data from the Department of Labor (DOL) to make its annual adjustments. There was a significant increase in average wages in California. It jumped by more than 13.5%, spiking from $1,383.00 to $1,570.00. The minimum and maximum temporary disability benefit rates are also being adjusted.
New Minimum and Maximum Temporary Disability Rates for 2022
Employers, claims administrators, and insurance carriers in California should be aware of the new minimum and maximum temporary disability workers’ compensation rates for 2022. This is one of the largest year-of-year changes of the minimum/maximum TD benefit in the entire history of the California’s workers’ compensation program. Here is a brief overview of the changes:
- Minimum Temporary Disability Benefit: An increase from $203.44 per week to $230.95 per week.
- Maximum Temporary Disability Benefit: An increase from $1,356.31 per week to $1,539.71 per week.
Each workers’ compensation applicant’s average weekly wage should be calculated on an individual basis. If two-thirds of their average weekly wage falls between $230.95 and $1,539.71, then that is the appropriate TD benefit. Otherwise, their benefit should be adjusted to the state minimum or maximum depending on their circumstances.
Speak to Our Central California Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorneys Today
At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ compensation defense lawyers are always ready to go above and beyond to provide top quality representation to employers, claims administrators, and insurance companies. If you have any questions about workers’ compensation insurance rates, we can help. Contact us now for a completely private review and assessment of your case. With legal offices in Sacramento, Bakersfield, and Fresno, we provide legal services throughout the Central California.