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  • Upon Further Review – CA Temporary Total Disability Rates will Increase for 2022

    With absolutely none of the fanfare associated with an NFL review of a controversial referee’s call, the CA Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has emerged from under the sideline review monitor tent (figuratively, of course), and announced that there was in fact conclusive evidence to overturn the original call.

    The original call was a DWC announcement on September 15th saying there would be no increase in temporary total disability rates for 2022. A week later the DWC withdrew that statement and went back to recheck its math before emerging on October 25th with the corrected plan for the coming year which includes an increase in the minimum weekly rate from $203.44 to $230.95, and in the maximum weekly rate from $1,356.31 to $1,539.71.

    For anyone curious as to what caused the reversal, it appears that the DWC originally used preliminary and incomplete data from the US Department of Labor on the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW).

    For the full announcement from the DWC, including the corrected SAWW data, please continue to our blog.

    DWC Announces Temporary Total Disability Rates for 2022

    The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) announces that the 2022 minimum and maximum temporary total disability (TTD) rates will increase on January 1, 2022. The minimum TTD rate will increase from $203.44 to $230.95 and the maximum TTD rate will increase from $1,356.31 to $1,539.71 per week.

    Labor Code Section 4453(a) (10) requires the maximum and minimum weekly earnings upon which TTD is based increase by an amount equal to percentage increase in the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) as compared to 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. In the 12 months ending March 31, 2021, the SAWW increased from $1,383 to $1,570—an increase of 13.5213 percent.

    The calculation of the 2022 SAWW increase is as follows:

    (2022 SAWW – 2021 SAWW)/2021 SAWW

    $1,570 – $1,383 = 187/1383 = 13.5213%

    The calculation of minimum TTD rate for 2022 is as follows:

    Minimum earnings for 2022 x SAWW increase x 2/3 = minimum TTD rate for 2022

    $305.16 x 1.135213 = $346.42 minimum TTD earnings x 2/3 = $230.95 minimum rate for 2022

    The calculation of maximum TTD rate for 2022 is as follows:

    Maximum earnings for 2022 x SAWW increase x 2/3 = maximum TTD rate for 2022

    $2,034.47 x 1.135213 = $2,309.56 maximum TTD earnings x 2/3 = $1,539.71 maximum rate

    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 (PTD) benefits are also entitled to have their weekly LP or PTD rate adjusted based on the SAWW.

    SAWW figures may be verified using the U.S. Department of Labor’s data.