Workers’ compensation benefits were realized and put into law to protect workers if injured while on the job. Employers are required by law to pay for these benefits if an employee were injured. Although required by law, states vary in their benefits. Some states provide the best workers compensation benefits while others provide the worst. This article explores the best and worst states for workers filing workers compensation claims.
The factors that contribute to rank the best and worst states for workers' compensation benefits
There are many things that contribute to what ranks a state to be good or bad for workers’ compensation. The firs factor is the waiting period. If you were injured at work, the majority of states require a waiting period before you can file a claim to receive disability benefits. Depending on which state you live or which state you were injured in, waiting periods vary. It is no surprise that longer periods affect injured workers and increases their distress. Usually, the waiting period varies between 3 to 7 days based on the state. Second, the duration of temporary disability benefits. What that means is that states have different limits to the amount of time a worker can receive total disability benefits, if the disability is temporary. Depending on the state, this duration can be short as 2 years or as long as 20 years.
The third ranking factor is the duration of permanent partial disability benefits. If your work-related injury resulted in a partial permanent disability, you are entitled for assistance. However, the duration for how long you can receive this varies from state to state. For example, some states have a maximum of 156 weeks while others have longer duration periods. Finally, states vary on the amount of wage replacement payments. This is the amount an employer is required to pay to replace an injured employee's wages. The wage replacement payment is one of workers' compensation most important features. Through this benefit, you can judge the quality of your state's workers' compensation benefits. The wage replacement payment is a percentage of the employee's normal pay. It ranges between 60% to 80% depending on the state. In addition, a lot of states set a limit for weekly payments for the injured worker.
The best states that offer quality Workers' Compensation benefits
Based on the factors identified above, the following is a list of the best states for quality workers' compensation benefits.
Alaska has a high wage replacement payment percentage of 80%. It is the highest in all of America. It also has a high weekly maximum payment of more than $1200. This makes Alaska one of the most worker-friendly states in the United States of America.
Iowa has the shortest waiting period for a worker to file a claim. It requires only 3 days before an injured worker is able to file a workers compensation claim. Iowa also has the highest maximum weekly payment for wage replacement payment of $1628.
Wisconsin is one of the best states for the duration of disability benefits. Injured workers may receive both temporary and permanent disability benefits for 1000 weeks.
The worst states for injured workers
Unfortunately, Mississippi is one of the worst states for workers to file a claim. The state has a weekly maximum of only $469. That means that their wage replacement payment is very low and will put workers at significant stress.
Massachusetts has the one of the shortest duration of permanent partial disability benefits. It only provides assistance to injured workers with partial permanent disability for 156 weeks. This makes Massachusetts be on the bottom list of worst cases to pursue workers'c compensation claims.
Similar to Massachusetts, Minnesota has a short duration for temporary complete disability. They only allows for for 104 weeks of disability benefits for workers with temporary disability. The rest of the costs are expected to be taken care of the injured worker.