Oakland, CA – California’s State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) rose 4.3774 percent to $1,383 in the year ending March 31, 2020, which the California Workers’ Compensation Institute (CWCI) reports will boost temporary total disability (TTD) and permanent total disability (PTD) rates for 2021 work injury claims and other California workers’ comp benefits that are tied to SAWW increases.
Currently, California’s TTD/PTD maximum rate is $1,299.43 per week, but CWCI notes that the increase in the SAWW reported by the U.S. Department of Labor means the maximum will rise to $1,356.31 per week for claims with injury dates on or after January 1, 2021. State law also ties minimum weekly TTD/PTD rates to SAWW increases, so those minimums will rise from the current $194.91 per week to $203.44 per week for claims with 2021 injury dates. The California Division of Workers’ Compensation has confirmed the new TTD/PTD rates for 2021 injury claims and plans to issue a Newsline this week.
Beginning next January, other workers’ compensation benefits including TTD paid two years or more after injury, life pension and PTD payments for injuries on or after January 1, 2003, and installment payments on death claims also will increase due to the SAWW increase. Underpayment of benefits results in penalties, so CWCI encourages claims administrators to review changes in benefit rates with legal counsel to assure that adjustments are appropriate and accurate.
For reference, the SAWW for the 12 months ending March 31, 2019 and for the 12 months ending March 31, 2020 are posted on the U.S. Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance database. A CWCI Bulletin with more details is also available to Institute members and subscribers at www.cwci.org.