MORGANTOWN, WV - A new report shows workers' compensation benefits and costs in West Virginia have dropped sharply compared to the rest of the U.S. but still remained proportionately higher.
The nonprofit National Academy of Social Insurance says those benefits paid to injured workers decreased almost 21 percent from 2011 to 2015, compared with a 1.1 percent increase nationally.
That decline from $523 million to $415 million in medical and cash benefits followed policy changes in 2008 from an exclusive state fund to a private insurer system, along with reductions in the statutory benefit levels.
According to the report, West Virginia benefits paid in 2015 were $1.55 per $100 in covered payroll, down from $2.07 five years earlier.
Meanwhile, the rate nationally per $100 in payroll declined from 98 cents to 83 cents.