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Benefit Increases Take Effect Jan. 1

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | 357 | 0 | 0 min read

Legislation increasing the cap on permanent total disability benefits to 133% of Oregon’s average weekly wage takes effect for injuries occurring on or after Jan. 1, the Workers’ Compensation Division said in an industry notice regarding benefit changes ordered by lawmakers.

The Legislature this year passed House Bill 2337, which raised the cap on PPD benefits to 133% of the state’s average weekly wage, from 100%.

While the increase applies to injuries occurring after the start of the new year, the division said workers injured before 2018 will become eligible in October 2019 for reimbursement from the Retroactive Program. The Retroactive Program supplements payments to injured workers to bring benefit levels up to what is currently being paid for similar injuries.

The WCD also said death benefit changes in House Bill 2338 will also apply for fatalities occurring on or after Jan. 1. HB 2338 set death benefits at 25% of the state’s average weekly wage for all children and eliminated a statute under which the benefit varied from 10% to 25% of the average weekly wage depending on whether the child was substantially dependent on the surviving spouse.

But while the death benefit increase kicks in at the start of the year, the division said there was no provision in HB 2338 to increase benefits for claims filed before 2018.

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