The Covid-19 pandemic, and not necessarily infections, may explain the increase in the temporary disability benefit that researchers found in 2020, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute said in a report released on Thursday.
Although the figures for the duration of temporary disabilities were fairly stable from 2015 to 2019, 15 states saw an increase in the duration from 3% to 11% for non-COVID-19 claims in 2020, Ramona Tanabe, vice president and chief legal officer of WCRI, said in a statement.
“The economic downturn during the pandemic may be a factor behind this general pattern,” Tanabe said. “For example, the temporary increase in unemployment likely affected workers̵7; ability to return to work and resulted in longer duration of TD benefits.”
WCRI also found that economic conditions related to the pandemic could explain a 4.5% increase in benefits per non-COVID-19 claim in 2020, according to its report.
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