Oakland, CA – Only 1 in 14 COVID-19 cases involving working-age Californians from May through September of 2020 has been claimed as a job injury, while only 1 in 25 COVID-19 deaths among working age individuals has been claimed to be work-related according to a new California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) analysis.
For the analysis, CWCI researchers compiled data on COVID-19 cases among Californians between the ages of 18 and 65 from the California Department of Public Health (DPH) and COVID-19 workers’ comp claims data from the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The DPH had reliable data on the age of COVID-19 patients beginning in May, which CWCI also was able to obtain from the DWC data, so the analysis focused on COVID-19 cases from May through September of this year, reported to DPH or the DWC as of October 19, with an adjustment factor applied to account for notification delays.
CWCI determined there were 647,196 COVID-19 cases among working-age Californians during the study period, of which 43,490, or 7.2%, resulted in workers’ comp claims.
The analysis also looked at the number of non-occupational and workers’ comp COVID-19 death claims based on the actual number of death claims involving working age individuals with May through September injury dates.
Although more than 17,000 Californians have died from COVID-19 this year, about three quarters of them were over the age of 65, which is beyond the “working-age” parameter used in the analysis.
Over the five-month study period, the DPH data showed that 3,714 working-age Californians succumbed to COVID-19, while the DWC data revealed 151 of those cases – or 4.1% – have thus far resulted in workers’ comp death claims.
While both the workers’ comp COVID-19 claim counts and the number of COVID-19 death claims continue to change, and will likely increase as the state’s economy opens up, the Institute analysis confirms that at this point the vast majority of COVID-19 cases among working-age Californians have not resulted in workers’ compensation claims.
CWCI continues to study the impact of COVID-19 on California’s workers’ comp system and posts detailed data on its interactive COVID-19/Non-COVID 19 Interactive Data Application.