Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Market tightens for mo worker's comp

The number of reported injuries and claims filed in Missouri continued to dwindle in 2011. There was only 13,577 new filed claims in Missouri.

The industry sector with the highest concentration of claims remains health care, manufacturing and retail. Arm/shoulder injuries remains a source of many claims. The highest percentage of claims originate from St. Louis, Jackson County, and St. Louis City.

Only about 1 in 8 injured workers pursues a claim for compensation from a reported job injury. It is not clear which direction this is trending.   People who want their day in court usually do not get it. There is a backlog of about 26,000 outstanding cases against employers. About 96% of claims are resolved without a hearing. Among resolved claims last year, about 18% of claims against employers and about 80% of claims against the second injury fund were dismissed. One explanation for the high percentage of dismissed Fund claims may be the Fund’s fiscal uncertainty despite its annual revenue of nearly $41,000,000.

Last year the Division issued 587 awards, on  about 20% of the 3125 cases which were set for hearing. The second injury fund had nearly twice as many hearings to resolve cases as it did the previous year. The Fund was found liable in 2011 for about 70 new claims of PTD.
The highest concentration of reported injuries originated from men ages 40-49 and women ages 50-59.  There may be some correlation between age and the high concentration of carpal tunnel claims among occupational diseases.