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use safety equipment or obey safety orders and regulations. The reduction under current law is 100%. The number of employees that might be affected and the impact is unknown. The bill would increase benefits to some employees.

Worker’s Compensation Benefits Prior Injury: The Worker’s Compensation Board does not have data on the number of people who suffer a later period of disability due to a prior injury that was compensated. The bill would increase the benefits by whatever salary adjustment the person had received since returning to work. The benefits would be subject to the maximum average weekly wage limitations.

Prejudgement Interest: The bill provides prejudgement interest based on a rate of 8% per year accruing from the date of filing of the application of adjustment of claim. The potential impact is unknown. The impact would depend on the amount of the claim and the processing time of a claim that goes to the Worker’s Compensation Board or the courts. Example: If the claim was $600 per week and the claim took six months to be determined by the Board or a court, then the interest for the claim would be about $292.

Permanent Partial Impairment Degrees of Injury


Effective July 1, 2002

Effective July 1, 2003

1-10 Degrees 11-35 Degrees 36-50 Degrees Over 50 Degrees

$1,300 $1,500 $2,400 $3,000

$2,056 $2,706 $3,306 $3,906

$2,406 $3,081 $3,781 $4,531

Permanent Partial Impairment: This bill increases the rates for calculating permanent partial impairment compensation under worker’s compensation and occupational disease law. The rates traditionally vary depending on the degree of impairment resulting from the injury. A different set of rates each year for two years are established by this bill (see Table A below). The rates are effective for injuries and disablement occurring after the date shown in each column.

Table A: Permanent Partial Impairment Rates

Average Weekly Wage: This bill increases the maximum average weekly wage used in the determination of compensation for temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, and total permanent disability (see Table B). Medical benefits are determined by the degree of impairment and are not based on the wage. The bill also increases the maximum compensation (exclusive of medical benefits) that may be paid for an injury under worker’s compensation and occupational disease law. New maximum compensation limits are added for injuries occurring after July 1, 2001, and July 1, 2002 (see Table B below).

FY 2002

FY 2003

FY 2004




Table B: Average Weekly Wage Additions (for worker’s compensation and occupational disease)




Maximum Weekly Wages

SB 71+


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