Workers’ comp payments fall steadily over 4 years

Workers’ compensation benefit payments have fallen steadily for four years now, according to a new report issued by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) in Washington, DC.

Benefit payments fell 2.4% between 1995 and 1996, from $43.4 billion to $42.4 billion, according to the report. Employers’ workers’ comp costs fell 3.3%, from $57 billion to $55.2 billion.

In a statement accompanying the study report, NASI chairman John Burton said the decline probably stems from a variety of factors, including fewer workplace accidents, improvements in the operations of workers’ comp programs, and "a reduction in the generosity of these programs."

The study determined that medical payments accounted for about 41% of workers’ compensation benefits in 1996 — about $16.8 billion.

[For more information, contact: NASI, 615 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, DC 20036. Telephone: (202) 452-8097.]