MEMORANDUM NO. 1999-16

Average Weekly Wage, Maximum Compensation Rate, and Cost-of-Living Adjustments

 TO: Commissioners, District Administrators, Self-Insureds, Insurance Carriers, Attorneys, Unions, Legal Advisory Panel and Advisory Board Members FROM: Jesse M. Frankl, Chairman DATE: August 17, 1999 RE: Average Weekly Wage, Maximum Compensation Rate, and Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Section 31-309 of the Connecticut General Statutes as amended by Public Act 93-228 now sets the maximum weekly compensation rate to be the same as the average weekly earnings of all employees in Connecticut. This maximum rate applies to total disability benefits provided in Sec. 31-307 and decedent’s dependents benefits provided in Sec. 31-306.

The State Labor Commissioner has determined that the average weekly earnings of all employees in Connecticut effective October 1, 1999 is \$792.00. Therefore, the maximum compensation rate for total disability and decedent’s dependents is also \$792.00 for injuries occurring on or after October 1, 1999.

The maximum compensation rate for partial disability (incapacity), i.e., benefits pursuant to Sec. 31-308, is the same as the average weekly earnings of production and related workers in manufacturing in Connecticut. The State Labor Commissioner has determined that the average weekly earnings of production and related workers in manufacturing in Connecticut effective October 1, 1999 is \$637.00.

I believe this information will assist you in the calculation of cost-of-living adjustments.

Calculating COLAs on Total Disability Benefits for injuries prior to 7/1/93

(Example: Date of Injury - 1/5/1987, Base Rate - \$300)

1. Find the date of the accident using the appropriate table, based on the date of injury.

2. Add the dollar COLA adjustments subsequent to that date, if applicable, to the original base rate. This figure represents the adjusted base compensation rate. (For injuries occurring on or after 10/1/90, there will be no dollar COLA adjustments.)

(e.g. base \$300 + 10/1/87 \$21 + 10/1/88 \$18 + 10/1/89 \$15 + 10/1/90 \$17 = \$371)

3. Divide the current maximum by the 10/1/90 maximum in order to obtain a COLA percentage for the years 1991-1998.

*For injuries on or after 10/1/91, use the maximum applicable on the date of injury.

(e.g. \$628 ÷ \$479 = 1.31 or a 31.0% increase)

4. Multiply that % times the adjusted base compensation rate to get the COLA for 1991-1998.

(e.g. Adjusted base compensation rate of \$371 x 31% for the latest COLA = \$115.01)

5. Add this COLA to the adjusted base rate for the correct total.

(e.g. Adjusted base \$371 + current \$115.01 = \$486.01)

**To calculate COLAs for injuries occurring before 10/1/69, you must add in the appropriate adjustment as provided by 31-307a(b):

-----For injuries between 10/1/68 and 9/30/69 add \$4.
-----For injuries between 10/1/67 and 9/30/68 add \$6.
-----For injuries prior to 10/1/67 add \$15.

Calculating COLAs on Survivor’s Benefits for injuries prior to 7/1/93

** For death benefits resulting from injuries on or after October 1, 1977 refer to and follow the above explanation for Total Disability Benefits.

For death benefits resulting from injuries which occurred before 10/1/77, Sec. 31-306(a)(2)(B) requires the following method be used:

(Example: Date of Injury - 11/21/1975, Base Rate - \$100)

1. Multiply the base rate by 25% to obtain the partial COLA.

(e.g. Base rate \$100 x .25 = \$25.00)

2. Add together all the COLAs which "accrued" between 10/1/80 and 10/1/90 using the table on Page 1 for Injuries Prior to 12/31/78. Add these to the original base rate and the partial COLA to obtain the adjusted base rate.

(e.g. The total is always going to be \$146.00 added to \$25.00 and the base rate of \$100.00 to obtain a figure of \$271.00.)

3. Divide the current maximum by the 10/1/90 maximum in order to obtain a COLA % for the years 1991 through 1999.

(e.g. 1999 Maximum for Injuries Prior to 12/31/78 = \$425 divided by the 1990 Maximum for Injuries Prior to 12/31/78 = \$320 which equals 1.329 or a 32.9% increase)

4. Multiply that % times the adjusted base compensation rate to get the COLA for the years 1991 through 1999.

(e.g. Base rate \$271 x .329 for the current COLA = \$89.16)

5. Add this COLA to the adjusted base rate to get the current compensation rate.

(e.g. Adjusted base \$271 + current \$89.16 = \$360.16)

Calculating COLAs on Total Disability* and Survivor’s Benefits for injuries occurring on or after July 1, 1993

(Example: Date of Injury - 2/27/94, Base Rate - \$450.00)

1. Locate the date of the accident in the appropriate table (the last one on the chart).

2. Divide the current maximum by the maximum weekly wage on the date of injury to obtain a COLA percentage.

(e.g. \$792 ÷ \$638 = 1.261 or a 26.1% increase)

3. Multiply that percentage by the base compensation rate to get the COLA for the years between the date of injury and 1999.

(e.g. \$450 x .261 = \$117.45)

4. Add the COLA to the base rate to obtain the claimant’s current adjusted compensation rate.

(e.g. base \$450 + COLA \$117.45compensation rate of  \$567.45)

* only applies to claimants who are permanently totally disabled or who have been totally disabled for a period of five years or more

Injuries Through   12 - 31 - 1978

 Effective Date Maximum Rate COLA 10 - 1 - 1969** \$80.00 — 10 - 1 - 1970 \$84.00 \$4 10 - 1 - 1971 \$95.00 \$11 10 - 1 - 1972 \$102.00 \$7 10 - 1 - 1973 \$112.00 \$10 10 - 1 - 1974 \$119.00 \$7 10 - 1 - 1975 \$126.00 \$7 10 - 1 - 1976 \$135.00 \$9 10 - 1 - 1977 \$147.00 \$12 10 - 1 - 1978 \$160.00 \$13 10 - 1 - 1979 \$174.00 \$14 10 - 1 - 1980 \$190.00 \$16 10 - 1 - 1981 \$207.00 \$17 10 - 1 - 1982 \$217.00 \$10 10 - 1 - 1983 \$230.00 \$13 10 - 1 - 1984 \$254.00 \$24 10 - 1 - 1985 \$265.00 \$11 10 - 1 - 1986 \$272.00 \$7 10 - 1 - 1987 \$286.00 \$14 10 - 1 - 1988 \$298.00 \$12 % COLA 10 - 1 - 1989 \$308.00 \$10 Increase 10 - 1 - 1990 \$320.00 \$12 Since 1990 10 - 1 - 1991 \$328.00 2.5% 10 - 1 - 1992 \$342.00 7.0% 10 - 1 - 1993 \$353.00 10.3% 10 - 1 - 1994 \$379.00 18.3% 10 - 1 - 1995 \$390.00 21.8% 10 - 1 - 1996 \$393.00 22.9% 10 - 1 - 1997 \$404.00 26.2% 10 - 1 - 1998 \$419.00 31.0% 10 - 1 - 1999 \$425.00 32.9%

Injuries From    1 - 1 - 1979    Through    9 - 30 - 1979

 Effective Date Maximum Rate COLA 1 - 1 - 1979 \$204.00 — 10 - 1 - 1979 \$222.00 \$18 10 - 1 - 1980 \$242.00 \$20 10 - 1 - 1981 \$263.00 \$21 10 - 1 - 1982 \$277.00 \$14 10 - 1 - 1983 \$293.00 \$16 10 - 1 - 1984 \$324.00 \$31 10 - 1 - 1985 \$338.00 \$14 10 - 1 - 1986 \$347.00 \$9 10 - 1 - 1987 \$365.00 \$18 10 - 1 - 1988 \$380.00 \$15 % COLA 10 - 1 - 1989 \$393.00 \$13 Increase 10 - 1 - 1990 \$408.00 \$15 Since 1990 10 - 1 - 1991 \$418.00 2.5% 10 - 1 - 1992 \$436.00 7.0% 10 - 1 - 1993 \$450.00 10.3% 10 - 1 - 1994 \$482.00 18.3% 10 - 1 - 1995 \$496.00 21.8% 10 - 1 - 1996 \$501.00 22.9% 10 - 1 - 1997 \$514.00 26.2% 10 - 1 - 1998 \$534.00 31.0% 10 - 1 - 1999 \$542.00 32.9%

Injuries From    10 - 1 - 1979    Through    9 - 30 - 1987

 Effective Date Maximum Rate COLA 10 - 1 - 1979 \$261.00 — 10 - 1 - 1980 \$285.00 \$24 10 - 1 - 1981 \$310.00 \$25 10 - 1 - 1982 \$326.00 \$16 10 - 1 - 1983 \$345.00 \$19 10 - 1 - 1984 \$381.00 \$36 10 - 1 - 1985 \$397.00 \$16 10 - 1 - 1986 \$408.00 \$11 10 - 1 - 1987 \$429.00 \$21 10 - 1 - 1988 \$447.00 \$18 % COLA 10 - 1 - 1989 \$462.00 \$15 Increase 10 - 1 - 1990 \$479.00 \$17 Since 1990 10 - 1 - 1991 \$491.00 2.5% 10 - 1 - 1992 \$513.00 7.0% 10 - 1 - 1993 \$529.00 10.3% 10 - 1 - 1994 \$567.00 18.3% 10 - 1 - 1995 \$584.00 21.8% 10 - 1 - 1996 \$589.00 22.9% 10 - 1 - 1997 \$605.00 26.2% 10 - 1 - 1998 \$628.00 31.0% 10 - 1 - 1999 \$637.00 32.9%

Injuries From    10 - 1 - 1987    Through    6 - 30 - 1993

 Effective Date Maximum Rate COLA 10 - 1 - 1987 \$643.00 — 10 - 1 - 1988 \$671.00 \$28 % COLA 10 - 1 - 1989 \$693.00 \$22 Increase 10 - 1 - 1990 \$719.00 \$26 Since 1990 10 - 1 - 1991 \$737.00 2.5% 10 - 1 - 1992 \$769.00 7.0% 10 - 1 - 1993 \$793.00 10.3% 10 - 1 - 1994 \$850.00 18.3% 10 - 1 - 1995 \$876.00 21.8% 10 - 1 - 1996 \$883.00 22.9% 10 - 1 - 1997 \$908.00 26.2% 10 - 1 - 1998 \$942.00 31.0% 10 - 1 - 1999 \$956.00 32.9%

Injuries On or After    7 - 1 - 1993     (COLAs as of   10 - 1 - 1997,   including retroactive payment)

 Effective Date Maximum Rate COLA 7 - 1 - 1993 \$628.00 — 10 - 1 - 1993 \$638.00 1.59% 10 - 1 - 1994 \$660.00 5.10% 10 - 1 - 1995 \$656.00 — 10 - 1 - 1996 \$678.00 7.96% 10 - 1 - 1997 \$715.00 13.85% 10 - 1 - 1998 \$764.00 21.7% 10 - 1 - 1999 \$792.00 26.1%