The Workers Compensation Research Institute released its 14th study on the workers’ compensation programs in 16 states and Minnesota’s was one of them. The study looked at how they all compare to one another and how they have evolved over time.
The purpose of the report is to help policymakers and others involved in state workers compensation programs with benchmarks for their systems. The benchmarks serve as a baseline for tracking how effective policy changes and other important trends are.
The study looks at how income benefits, costs, medical payments, the use of benefits, the duration of the disability, benefit delivery expenses, litigiousness, system performance, timeliness of payments, and other metrics are doing.
The 16 states that were studied make up almost 60 percent of the workers’ compensation benefits in the U.S.
In the workers’ compensation Minnesota report, the findings did not show any major differences compared to a number of other states in the study. There was no major decline or increase in the medical payments per claim, the overall cost per claim did increase some, and there were no previous increases or declines that moderated.
The report looks at a wide range of factors, such as the period between the time of injury and payor notice of injury, as well as the time between injury and when the first payment is received. It also looks at the total cost per claim, the average payments for claims, average payment per claim for medical benefits, lump sum settlements, temporary disability payments, permanent partial disability costs, and vocational rehabilitation costs. Defense attorney involvement is also observed, as is how long temporary disability lasts.
In regards to the amount of time it takes to receive payments, it has been rather consistent in Minnesota with the process taking upward of a year if claims are initially denied and need to be appealed.