New Tool for Comparing Workers’ Comp Laws Across U.S. and Canada

March 2, 2012

A tool for researching and understanding the distinctions among workers’ compensation laws in all U.S. states and certain Canadian provinces is now available from the International Association of Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) and the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI).

The tool, Workers’ Compensation Laws as of January 2012, is a key resource for policymakers and other stakeholders to identify the similarities and distinctions between workers’ compensation regulations and benefit levels in multiple jurisdictions in effect as of January 1, 2012.

“In Canada and the United States, workers’ compensation is entirely under the control of sub-national legislative bodies and administrative agencies,” said Ramona Tanabe, WCRI’s deputy director and counsel. “As a result, it is easy to misunderstand subtle differences between jurisdictional laws and regulations. This survey gives you the ability to understand those differences.”

The publication is best used to understand macro-level differences and general tendencies across jurisdictions, such as:

  • How many states/provinces allow individual or group self insurance?
  • How do the maximum and minimum payments for temporary and permanent total disability benefits vary?
  • How many states cover mental stress claims, hearing loss and cumulative trauma?
  • How many jurisdictions allow the worker to choose the treating physician and how many allow the employer to do so?

“The comparative tables presented in this report provide an excellent reference for understanding legislative and administrative differences in workers’ compensation systems,” noted Jennifer Wolf Horejsh, IAIABC executive director. “It’s a useful tool for individuals and organizations looking for a quick way to compare jurisdictions.”

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