MEMORANDUM NO. 2002-05

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

NOTE: This memo is superseded by Memorandum No. 2002-08.

 TO: Commissioners, District Administrators, Self-Insureds, Insurance Carriers, Attorneys, Unions, Legal Advisory Panel and Advisory Board Members FROM: John A. Mastropietro, Chairman DATE: August 26, 2002 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 decedents’ 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, 2002 will be \$909.00. Therefore, the maximum compensation rate for total disability and decedent’s dependents will also be \$909.00 for injuries occurring on or after October 1, 2002.

The maximum compensation rate for partial disability (incapacity), i.e., benefits pursuant to Sec. 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, 2002 will be \$687.00.

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 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. To calculate each year's COLA, divide each year's maximum rate by the 10/1/90 maximum rate to obtain a % for each year between 1991-2002. For injuries on or after 10/1/91 and before 7/1/93, to calculate the 10/1/02 COLA, divide the current maximum compensation rate for partial incapacity (\$687) by the maximum rate applicable on the date of injury.

(e.g. \$687 ÷ \$479 = 1.434 or a 43.4% increase)

4. Multiply the % for each year times the adjusted base compensation rate to get the COLA for each year between 1991 and 2002.

(e.g. adjusted base compensation rate of \$371 x .434 for the 10/1/02 COLA = \$161.01)

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

(e.g. adjusted base \$371 + current COLA \$161.01 = \$532.01)

** 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 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)

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. To calculate each year's COLA, divide each year's maximum rate by the 10/1/90 maximum rate to obtain a COLA % for each year between 1991 through 2002. To calculate the 10/1/02 COLA, divide the current maximum for Injuries Through 12/31/78 (\$458) by the 10/1/90 Maximum in Injuries Through 12/31/78 (\$320).

(e.g. \$458 ÷ \$320 = 1.431 or a 43.1% increase)

4. Multiply the % for each year times the adjusted base compensation rate to get the COLA for each year between 1991 through 2002.

(e.g. adjusted base \$271 x .431 for the 10/1/02 COLA = \$116.80)

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

(e.g. adjusted base \$271 + 10/1/02 COLA \$116.80 = \$387.80)

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)

1. Locate the date of the accident in the table on page 5, "Injuries On or After 7/1/93."

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

(e.g. \$909 ÷ \$638 = 1.425 or a 42.5% increase)

3. Multiply the % for each year times the base compensation rate to get the COLA for each year between the date of injury and 2002.

(e.g. \$450 x .425 for the 10/1/02 COLA = \$191.25)

4. Add this COLA to the base rate to obtain the claimant’s current weekly benefit rate.

(e.g. base \$450 + 10/1/02 COLA \$191.25 = \$641.25)

* 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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$442.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$452.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$458.00 43.3%

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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$564.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$576.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$584.00 43.3%

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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$663.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$678.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$687.00 43.3%

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% 10 - 1 - 2000 \$994.00 38.2% 10 - 1 - 2001 \$1,016.00 41.4% 10 - 1 - 2002 \$1,031.00 43.3%

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 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%