MEMORANDUM NO. 2021-06

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: Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman DATE: September 27, 2021 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 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 C.G.S. § 31-307 and decedents’ dependents benefits provided in C.G.S. § 31-306.

The State Labor Commissioner has determined that the estimated average weekly earnings of all employees in Connecticut effective October 1, 2021 will be \$1,446.00. Therefore, the maximum compensation rate for total disability and decedents’ dependents will also be \$1,446.00 for injuries occurring on or after October 1, 2021.

The maximum compensation rate for partial disability (incapacity), i.e., benefits pursuant to C.G.S. § 31-308, is equivalent to 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, 2021 will be \$1,140.00.

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 July 1, 1993

(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 the injury date, if applicable, to the original base rate. This sum 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 maximum rate for the year in question by the 10/1/90 maximum rate to obtain a % for each year between 1991 and 2021. For injuries on or after 10/1/91 and before 7/1/93, divide the current maximum compensation rate by the maximum rate applicable on the date of injury.

(e.g. \$1,140 ÷ \$479 = 2.37996 or a 137.996% increase)

4. Multiply that percentage by the adjusted base compensation rate to get the COLA for each year between 1991 and 2021.

(e.g. adjusted base compensation rate of \$371 x 1.37996 for the 10/1/2021 COLA = \$511.97)

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

(e.g. adjusted base \$371 + 10/1/2021 COLA \$511.97 = \$882.97)

** To calculate COLAs for injuries occurring before 10/1/69, you must add in the appropriate adjustment below 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 July 1, 1993

** 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 October 1, 1977, § 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)

2. Add together all the COLAs that “accrued” between 10/1/80 and 10/1/90 using the table on page 3, “Injuries Through 12/31/78.” Add these accrued COLAs to the original base rate and to the partial COLA to obtain the adjusted base rate.

(e.g. Total of 10/1/80-10/1/90 is always \$146 + partial COLA \$25 + base rate \$100 = \$271)

3. Divide the maximum rate for the year in question by the 10/1/90 maximum rate to obtain a % for each year between 1991 and 2021.

(e.g. To calculate the 10/1/2021 COLA, divide the current maximum for injuries through 12/31/78 (\$760) by the 10/1/90 maximum for injuries through 12/31/78 (\$320). This equals 2.375 or a 137.5% increase.)

4. Multiply that percentage by the adjusted base compensation rate to get the COLA for each year between 1991 and 2021.

(e.g. adjusted base \$271 x 1.375 for the 10/1/2021 COLA = \$372.63)

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

(e.g. adjusted base \$271 + 10/1/2021 COLA \$372.63 = \$643.63

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

(Example: Date of Injury - 2/27/2001, Base Rate - \$650)

1. Locate the date of the accident in the table, find “Injuries On or After 7/1/93.”

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

(e.g. \$1,446 ÷ \$838 = 1.72554 or a 72.56% increase)

3. Multiply that percentage by the base compensation rate to get the COLA for each year between the date of injury and 2021.

(e.g. \$650 x .72554 for the 10/1/2021 COLA = \$471.60)

4. Add this COLA to the base compensation rate to get the current weekly benefit rate.

(e.g. base \$650 + 10/1/2021 COLA \$471.60 = \$1,121.60)

* 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 Approximate 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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$442.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$452.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$458.00 43.3% 10 - 1 - 2003 \$484.00 51.3% 10 - 1 - 2004 \$501.00 56.7% 10 - 1 - 2005 \$524.00 63.8% 10 - 1 - 2006 \$544.00 70.0% 10 - 1 - 2007 \$569.00 77.8% 10 - 1 - 2008 \$595.00 85.9% 10 - 1 - 2009 \$615.00 92.2% 10 - 1 - 2010 \$640.00 100.0% 10 - 1 - 2011 \$664.00 107.5% 10 - 1 - 2012 \$667.00 108.4% 10 - 1 - 2013 \$657.00 105.3% 10 - 1 - 2014 \$661.00 106.6% 10 - 1 - 2015 \$666.00 108.1% 10 - 1 - 2016 \$709.00 121.5% 10 - 1 - 2017 \$682.00 113.1% 10 - 1 - 2018 \$698.00 118.1% 10 - 1 - 2019 \$772.00 141.3% 10 - 1 - 2020 \$783.00 144.7% 10 - 1 - 2021 \$760.00 137.5%

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 Approximate 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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$564.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$576.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$584.00 43.3% 10 - 1 - 2003 \$617.00 51.3% 10 - 1 - 2004 \$639.00 56.7% 10 - 1 - 2005 \$668.00 63.8% 10 - 1 - 2006 \$693.00 70.0% 10 - 1 - 2007 \$725.00 77.7% 10 - 1 - 2008 \$758.00 85.8% 10 - 1 - 2009 \$783.00 91.9% 10 - 1 - 2010 \$815.00 99.8% 10 - 1 - 2011 \$847.00 107.6% 10 - 1 - 2012 \$851.00 108.6% 10 - 1 - 2013 \$837.00 105.1% 10 - 1 - 2014 \$842.00 106.4% 10 - 1 - 2015 \$849.00 108.1% 10 - 1 - 2016 \$904.00 121.5% 10 - 1 - 2017 \$870.00 113.2% 10 - 1 - 2018 \$890.00 118.1% 10 - 1 - 2019 \$985.00 141.4% 10 - 1 - 2020 \$998.00 144.6% 10 - 1 - 2021 \$969.00 137.5%

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 Approximate 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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$663.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$678.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$687.00 43.3% 10 - 1 - 2003 \$726.00 51.3% 10 - 1 - 2004 \$751.00 56.7% 10 - 1 - 2005 \$786.00 63.8% 10 - 1 - 2006 \$816.00 70.0% 10 - 1 - 2007 \$853.00 78.1% 10 - 1 - 2008 \$892.00 86.2% 10 - 1 - 2009 \$922.00 92.5% 10 - 1 - 2010 \$959.00 100.2% 10 - 1 - 2011 \$996.00 107.9% 10 - 1 - 2012 \$1,001.00 109.0% 10 - 1 - 2013 \$985.00 105.6% 10 - 1 - 2014 \$991.00 106.9% 10 - 1 - 2015 \$998.00 108.4% 10 - 1 - 2016 \$1,063.00 121.9% 10 - 1 - 2017 \$1,023.00 113.6% 10 - 1 - 2018 \$1,046.00 118.4% 10 - 1 - 2019 \$1,158.00 141.8% 10 - 1 - 2020 \$1,174.00 145.1% 10 - 1 - 2021 \$1,140.00 138%

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 Approximate 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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$994.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$1,016.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$1,031.00 43.3% 10 - 1 - 2003 \$1,088.00 51.3% 10 - 1 - 2004 \$1,127.00 56.7% 10 - 1 - 2005 \$1,178.00 63.8% 10 - 1 - 2006 \$1,223.00 70.0% 10 - 1 - 2007 \$1,279.00 77.9% 10 - 1 - 2008 \$1,338.00 86.1% 10 - 1 - 2009 \$1,382.00 92.2% 10 - 1 - 2010 \$1,438.00 100.0% 10 - 1 - 2011 \$1,494.00 107.8% 10 - 1 - 2012 \$1,501.00 108.8% 10 - 1 - 2013 \$1,477.00 105.4% 10 - 1 - 2014 \$1,486.00 106.7% 10 - 1 - 2015 \$1,497.00 108.2% 10 - 1 - 2016 \$1,595.00 121.7% 10 - 1 - 2017 \$1,535.00 113.5% 10 - 1 - 2018 \$1,569.00 118.2% 10 - 1 - 2019 \$1,737.00 141.6% 10 - 1 - 2020 \$1,761.00 144.9% 10 - 1 - 2021 \$1,710.00 137.8%

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

 Effective Date Maximum Rate Approximate % Increase since   7 - 1 - 1993 7 - 1 - 1993 \$628.00 — 10 - 1 - 1993 \$638.00 1.59% 10 - 1 - 1994 \$660.00 5.10% 10 - 1 - 1995 \$656.00 4.46% 10 - 1 - 1996 \$678.00 7.96% 10 - 1 - 1997 \$715.00 13.85% 10 - 1 - 1998 \$764.00 21.66% 10 - 1 - 1999 \$792.00 26.11% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$838.00 33.44% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$887.00 41.24% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$909.00 44.75% 10 - 1 - 2003 \$911.00 45.06% 10 - 1 - 2004 \$931.00 48.25% 10 - 1 - 2005 \$1,005.00 60.03% 10 - 1 - 2006 \$1,038.00 65.29% 10 - 1 - 2007 \$1,077.00 71.50% 10 - 1 - 2008 \$1,141.00 81.69% 10 - 1 - 2009 \$1,138.00 81.21% 10 - 1 - 2010 \$1,134.00 80.57% 10 - 1 - 2011 \$1,168.00 85.99% 10 - 1 - 2012 \$1,172.00 86.62% 10 - 1 - 2013 \$1,184.00 88.54% 10 - 1 - 2014 \$1,175.00 87.10% 10 - 1 - 2015 \$1,256.00 100.00% 10 - 1 - 2016 \$1,292.00 105.73% 10 - 1 - 2017 \$1,287.00 104.90% 10 - 1 - 2018 \$1,298.00 106.7% 10 - 1 - 2019 \$1,328.00 111.5% 10 - 1 - 2020 \$1,373.00 118.6% 10 - 1 - 2021 \$1,446.00 130.3%