Flash Report: Average Weekly Wage Up Over 5%

The 2023 minimum and maximum weekly benefit rates for temporary total disability (TD) and permanent total disability (PD) are increasing by 5.159% for 2023. The weekly minimum for will be $242.86 while the weekly maximum will be $1619.15, according to the California Workers’ Compensation Institute. Department of Industrial Relations unit, Division of Workers’ Compensation has not yet but is expected to issue a notice about the increase at some point. 

The 2023 increase is down significantly from last years 13.5% the industry absorbed this year. The 2022 rate was based mainly on wage data from the heart of the shutdowns that generated a sharp decline in low-wage employment while higher-wage employees continued to work from home.  

California Labor Code Section 4453(a)(10) requires the minimum and maximum weekly TD rates to increase by an amount equal to the percentage increase in the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) from the prior year. The SAWW is defined as the average weekly wage paid to employees covered by unemployment insurance as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor for California for the 12 months ending March 31 in the year preceding the injury.  

Under Labor Code Section 4659(c), workers with a date of injury on or after January 1, 2003, who are receiving life pension (LP) or permanent total disability (PD) benefits are also entitled to cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) to their weekly LP or PD rate adjusted based on the SAWW increase of 5.159%. 

The weekly minimum is also applied to the weekly rate for death benefit installment payments under Labor Code section 4702(b).