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L&I: 3.1% increase for state-fund employers’ COVID-claim relief

The Department of Labor & Industries has announced an overall 3.1% average rate increase for 2022, being driven by cost-of-living adjustments for pensions and an increase in the state’s average wage. See their press release here.

Unlike many states, Washington’s workers’-compensation rates are calculated on worker hours — not wages — so that there is no “built-in” rate increase for insurance as wages increase. While the proposed rate increase for 2022 is 3.1%, many construction-risk class rates decreased. Click here for rates by risk class.

“The efforts of construction companies and their employees to prevent injuries — and in light-duty accommodation to keep people connected to their employers — help to reduce system costs in many of our risk classes,” said Lauren Gubbe, director of the AGC Workers’-Compensation plan and L&I Retro Advisory Committee member. “For employers in the State Fund, the Department also granted relief of costs associated with COVID-19 and Delta-variant claims for both individual experience-modification rates (EMR) and Group Retro impact, which has helped all businesses and their employees.”

As always, AGC continues to advocate for fair and reasonable time-loss rates, no age limit on settlements, a clearer definition of what constitutes an occupational disease — and that cost-of-living increases on pensions and time-loss claims be changed from the state’s average wage to a more accurate and predictable inflation measure, such as the consumer-price index (CPI).

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