California accounted for 20.1% of all cash and medical benefits paid to injured workers statewide in calendar year 2020, according to a California Workers’ Compensation Institute bulletin released Monday that summarizes the findings of a report by the National Academy of Social Insurance.
NASI reported that state and federal job skills programs covered 135.6 million jobs and $8.69 trillion in wages in 2020. Workers’ compensation paid $58.9 billion in benefits in 2020, including $27.7 billion for medical care and $31.2 billion in compensation benefits.
Payouts in 2020 were down 6.5% compared to 2019, largely a result of a reduction in medical benefits in the first year of the pandemic.
“Although California was hit hard by COVID-19 and the subsequent recession in 2020, the state’s workers’ compensation system remained the largest in the nation, with more than 16.1 million covered jobs, nearly $1.28 trillion in covered wages and nearly 11.9 billion dollars in benefit payments — just slightly below the combined total for New York, Florida and Pennsylvania, which ranked second, third and fourth, respectively, and more than 3.6 times the total amount paid to injured workers under federal programs, CWCI said.
The $11.9 billion in benefit payments represents 20.1% of all benefit payments. The $5.9 billion in medical payments in California is about 21.3% of the nationwide medical payments, while the $5.9 billion in compensation was about 19.1% of the nationwide compensation payments.