Report: COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims on The Rise in California

August 19, 2020

The number of California workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 continues to climb, according to a new report compiled by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute.

Data from the Division of Workers’ Compensation shows that as of Aug. 10, there were 9,515 claims reported for the month of July, bringing the total for the year to 31,612 claims, or 10.2% of all California job injury claims reported for accident year 2020. Those claims include 140 death claims, up from 66 reported as of July 6.

Updated figures for May and June show sharp increases in COVID-19 claims for each of those months, as the number of COVID-19 claims with June injury dates more than doubled from 4,438 claims as of July 6 to 10,528 claims as of August 10, while COVID-19 claims with May injury dates rose from 3,889 cases to 4,606 claims (+18.4%), indicating a time lag in the filing, reporting, and recording of many COVID-19 claims, according to the CWCI.

Using claim development factors, the CWCI projects there could ultimately be 29,354 COVID-19 claims with July injury dates and 56,082 COVID-19 claims with January through July injury dates.

Healthcare workers continue to account for the largest share of California’s COVID-19 claims, filing 38.7% of the claims recorded for the first seven months of this year, followed by public safety/government workers who accounted for 15.8%. Rounding out the top 5 industries based on COVID-19 claim volume were retail trade (7.9%), manufacturing (7.0%), and transportation (4.7%), according to the CWCI.

The CWCI’s COVID-19 and Non-COVID-19 Interactive Claim Application, an online data tool that integrates data from CWCI, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and the DWC, provides information on California workers’ comp claims from comparable periods of 2019 and 2020. The application is available free to the public at www.cwci.org.

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