Workers' Compensation Annual Report


Each year, the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation publishes a comprehensive report on California’s system for providing medical treatment, cash payments and other benefits to the state's injured workers. WCAN highlights below 10 key statistics from the recently-published 2011 Annual Report.

California's Workers’ Comp System: By the Numbers

  • California’s workers’ compensation system covered 14.4 million workers in 2009, a 6% decline from the 15.4 million workers covered in 2007.
  • Overall costs of California’s workers’ compensation system increased from $13.3 billion in 2009 to $14.8 billion in 2010 – an increase of 11%.
  • Employers paid, on average, a rate of $2.32 per $100 of payroll for workers’ compensation insurance coverage in 2011, an increase of 7% over 2008.
  • The average cost per workers’ compensation indemnity claim in 2010 was $65,495, a 42% increase since 2005.
  • Indemnity (cash) benefits grew to $4.2 billion in 2010, which is more than $100 million over the amount paid in 2009.
  • Medical benefits grew to $6.5 billion in 2010, which is $372 million over the amount paid in 2009 and approximately $1 billion more than medical benefits paid in 2006.
  • Pharmaceutical costs in the state’s workers’ compensation system increased 9% from 2009 to 2010.
  • Since 1998, medical costs in California’s workers’ compensation system have increased 91 percent, much higher than the overall rate of medical inflation (see chart page 88).
  • The state’s workers’ compensation system saw a 46% increase in the number of filed liens from 2009 to 2010, with more than 357,000 filed in 2010. See a special report on liens here.
  • The number of disputed cases filed with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) increased to almost 150,000, an increase of 28,000 disputed cases in the last two years.