WASHINGTON D.C. - The following statement regarding the recent U.S. Department of Labor study on the state workers compensation system can be attributed to Rita Nowak, vice president, policy development and research for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“While the Department of Labor report highlights some of the challenges state workers compensation systems are facing, in many sections it provides an inaccurate assessment of how the system really works for the vast majority of injured workers.
“Overall, today’s work environment is safer which means fewer workplace accidents. When workers are injured, on average they are receiving higher benefits than in the past, and health outcomes for injured workers have improved. This means workers are able to return to work sooner and resume productive employment. These improvements to the state workers compensation system have all been achieved without federal involvement.
“While no system is perfect, the state-based system has significantly evolved and will continue to evolve. For over a century, state workers compensation laws have successfully sought to strike a balance between the interests of employers and their employees while promoting safe workplaces. State workers compensation systems guarantee that injured workers receive medical treatment at no cost to the worker and compensation for lost wages and permanent injury, while avoiding cost shifting to families and public assistance programs.
“Employers and insurers are dedicated to supporting reforms that will improve the effectiveness of the state workers compensation system for all stakeholders. PCI and its members will continue to support reforms at the state level that are targeted to maintain an effective and balanced system for all stakeholders.”