Maine Workers’ Compensation Alert: New Cost of Living Adjustment Effective July 1, 2015

An injured employee is entitled to an adjustment in  the weekly compensation rate under certain circumstances. This is called a Cost  of Living Adjustment (COLA). Many of these adjustments occur on July 1,  2015.

Claims with dates of injury on or after 1/1/93  are not subject to COLA increases unless an employee has a compensation rate  above the State maximum rate which is adjusted annually on July 1. The  Department of Labor’s new maximum compensation rate for injuries on or after  1/1/93 through 12/31/12 is $687.48. For injuries on or after 1/1/13, the maximum  is $763.87.

Dates of injury before 1/1/93 have many different  rules. The bullet points below provide some additional detail on these  differences, but the best source of information is the Workers’ Compensation  Board publication on COLAs linked below or a call or email to a Preti Flaherty  Workers’ Compensation attorney. For claims where a COLA is necessary the new  multiplier is 1.02899. This is based on a 2.899% increase in the State average  weekly wage.

  • All injuries from 1/1/72 through 6/30/83 receive annual adjustments on July  1st;
  • All injuries from 7/1/83 through 11/19/87 receive annual adjustments on the  anniversary date of the injury (with the exception of those employees who are at  maximum at the time of their injury; they receive adjustments annually on July  1st);
  • All injuries from 11/20/87 through 12/31/92, with the exception of those  employees who are at maximum at the time of their injury, receive annual  adjustments (capped at 5%) beginning on their third anniversary, while they are  entitled to total benefits in accordance with §54-B. Those who are entitled to  maximum at the time of their injury are not subject to the three year wait and  will always have an anniversary date of July 1st.

Please click on the links listed below for more information.