Illinois Indemnity Benefits Per Claim Rose in 2022: WCRI Study

Indemnity benefits per claim in Illinois increased 5% in 2022, driven by a 4% increase in workers’ wages, a new study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) found.

A 0.8-week increase in the average duration of temporary disability also contributed to the rise in indemnity benefits, the study said.

The study found that Illinois also saw declining medical payments from 2019 to 2022, overall costs remained mostly stable.

“Rising wages and a longer duration of temporary disability can explain Illinois’ rise in indemnity, and decreased utilization of most medical services led to decreased medical payments,” said Sebastian Negrusa, vice president of research of WCRI. “With the decrease in medical costs offset by the increase in indemnity, overall costs did not change much.”

The study, CompScope™ Benchmarks for Illinois, 24th Edition, provides ongoing annual monitoring of how indemnity benefits, medical payments, and benefit delivery expenses in Illinois compare with 16 other study states and how they have changed over time. The following are some other key findings from the study:

  • New hires (workers with job tenure of less than one year at the time of injury) were a key contributor to the increase in the average duration of temporary disability in 2022 in Illinois.
  • With its stability in overall costs per claim, Illinois still ranks high among study states for total costs per claim due to its high indemnity and medical payments.

The analysis in this edition covers injury dates from 2017 to 2022 and payments through the end of March 2023. The study includes non-COVID-19 claims from the three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began (March 2020 through September 2022).

WCRI is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This article was first published in Insurance Journal.

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