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The costs of injuries in the workplace

Texas workers may wonder about the cost of workers' compensation to employers versus the benefits received by people who are injured on the job. A study conducted by the National Academy of Social Insurance states that employee benefits changed between 2010 and 2014 due to various factors.

For example, because the cost of health care has increased over the past three decades, medical benefits rose from 39 percent of the cost to over 50 percent by 2014. Information in the study reported that most spending for workers' compensation benefits in most states was for medical care.

Higher employer costs were noted in the four-year period of the study due to administrative expenses, reimbursements and insurance premiums. Benefits rose at a much slower rate during the same period. According to the study, the cost to employers was almost $30 billion in 2014, and employer's costs per $100 of payroll was $1.35.

While costs have risen for employers, benefits went up and down for recipients of workers' compensation. In 2006, payments dropped to $0.63 compared to each dollar it cost an employer. Although the payment amounts were higher by 2010, in 2014, the average had dropped to $0.68. Benefits for injured workers decreased in 45 states during the period of the study. According to a spokesman for the National Academy of Social Insurance, there may be various reasons workers' compensation benefit levels are declining. One may be changes in individual state laws that limit worker access to benefits.

Workers' compensation benefits can vary from state to state, so it may be advisable to consult with an attorney for an employee with a workplace injury to ensure that his or her rights are protected. An attorney might assist by filing the appropriate paperwork and help by filing appeal if the claim has been denied.

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