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WCRI study compares comp systems across US, Canada

A new report identifies the similarities and distinctions in workers compensation regulations in various states in the U.S. and Canada.

The study, Workers Compensation Laws as of January 1, 2019, released Wednesday by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute, outlines differences between jurisdictions and covers everything from which states mandate comp coverage and allow workers to choose their own physicians to whether a state covers claims for mental stress, hearing loss or cumulative trauma.

According to the report, Texas is the lone state to not make workers compensation insurance compulsory, though the majority of states do allow for waivers and the use of self-funded insurance. All states except Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Hampshire and New Jersey had a fee schedule in place as of Jan. 1, 2019.

Maximum benefit payments for certain selected permanent partial disabilities varied widely, from $375,000 in Nevada for an arm amputation to $48,000 in Rhode Island.

The report also includes substantial data on each state’s calculation of temporary total disability and permanent total disability benefits, with most states calculating based on 66 2/3% of the workers’ weekly preinjury wage.

Information on payments after a fatality, attorneys fees, rehabilitation, coverage of mental stress, and details on disfigurement claims are also included in the report.