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.