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Consistent with findings over the last couple of years, workers compensation claims continue to drop. Workers Compensation Research Institute has released a report that Minnesota Workers’ Compensation among the lowest of 15 states.

Among the report’s highlights:

  • The total costs per all paid claims were 30 percent lower in Minnesota

  • In claims with more than seven days of lost time, 14 percent lower than the typical or median study state.

  • Payments per claim for lost wages were 27 percent .

  • Minnesota workers returned to work faster and fewer cases received permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits or lump-sum settlements.

  • Fewer workers were off work for at least one week – 17 percent in Minnesota compared to 19.5 percent in the 15-state median.

  • The average duration of temporary disability was also shorter than typical – 14 weeks on average in Minnesota for 2005 claims at an average 36 months of experience, nearly three weeks shorter than in the median study state.

  • Medical payments per claim with more than seven days of lost time in Minnesota were fairly similar to the median of the study states.

  • Defense attorney payments per claim in Minnesota were among the highest of the 15 study states, although defense attorneys were involved in significantly fewer cases than typical.

  • Expenses per claim for delivering medical and income benefits to injured workers were 18 percent lower in Minnesota than in the median study state.

  • The use of vocational rehabilitation was more frequent and more costly. Nearly 17 percent of claims with more than seven days of lost time had vocational rehabilitation services in Minnesota, compared to 3 percent in the typical study state.

  • Injured workers in Minnesota also received their first indemnity payments faster compared to most other study states.

So basically claims are down and the insurance companies seem to be fighting even more. We look forward to seeing the premium reports. As an employer, I haven’t seen a reduction. Hopefully, the defense costs aren’t driving the bus now.

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