Economy contributes to lower workers’ comp costs and benefits: report

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Washington – The economy’s slow recovery is the likely cause of a drop in employers' workers’ compensation costs and the lower amount of benefits injured employees receive, according to a new report (.pdf file) from the National Academy of Social Insurance.

The employer cost for workers’ comp in 2010 was $71.3 billion – 2.7 percent less than it was in 2009, according to the report, which was released Aug. 2.

“This decline is probably due to the slow pace of the recovery, with many jurisdictions still experiencing relatively high unemployment rates,” John Burton Jr., who chaired the study panel that oversaw the report, said in a press release.

On the employee side, total benefits paid dropped slightly (0.7 percent) between 2009 and 2010. Medical benefits – which have steadily grown in the past 40 years due to rising health care costs – dropped 2.1 percent to $28.1 billion in 2010.

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