Adequacy Of Earnings Replacement In Workers' Compensation by H. Allan Hunt

By H. Allan Hunt

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Extra info for Adequacy Of Earnings Replacement In Workers' Compensation Programs: A Report Of The Study Panel On Benefit Adequacy Of The Workers' Compensation Steering Committee

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See Williams and Barth (1973, Chapter 2) for a brief account of the historical development of workers’ compensation. 10. There are now, however, six jurisdictions that use the spendable earnings approach, and eight others that use a gross wage replacement rate other than twothirds. 11. The original Model Act was drafted by an Advisory Committee on Workmen’s Compensation, which consisted of 21 members who represented important constituencies of the program. In addition to Arthur Larson, a Duke University professor who chaired the committee, members included representatives from employers and employer associations, unions, state workers’ compensation agencies, other government agencies, universities, insurance carriers and associations, and the American Medical Association.

Thus, workers with severe impairments who nevertheless succeed in the labor market would receive low benefits. But these workers may still have significant loss of quality of life, loss of earnings, or other noneconomic losses. In other words, potentially large noneconomic losses are ignored by a strict wage loss model. The Social Adequacy Model Social adequacy measures the extent to which benefits provide a “socially adequate” standard of living. 4 Unlike the loss of earnings model, social adequacy presumes that the purpose of benefits is to provide a minimum level of support.

5 percent of preinjury wage). 5 percent for each dependent, up to a maximum of five dependents. 12 The original Model Act also provided that all types of cash benefits were subject to a maximum weekly benefit that was two-thirds of the state’s average weekly wage. 14 The commission also recommended that a worker’s benefits for total disability be subject to a maximum weekly benefit of at least 200 percent of the state’s average weekly wage. The commission was unable to reach an agreement on recommendations for permanent partial disability, other than recommending that each state and the federal government examine these benefits.

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