September 21, 2010

Are Disability Claims Increasing as the Economy Stabilizes?

by Chuck Dubose, Esq.

In a September 6, 2010 Business Insurance article the author suggests that the number of workers’ compensation disability claims may increase as employees who previously refrained from filing claims due to fear of losing their jobs in the recession begin to feel more security in their job as the economy begins to stabilize. The author contends that as more employees believe their jobs are better protected they are more likely to pursue disability claims. Alternatively, some feel the number of claims is simply returning to a normal level.

In its August 19, 2010 preliminary release of Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) results, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the number of workplace fatalities in 2009 was the lowest it has been since the CFOI program began in 1992. According to the BLS 4,340 workplace fatalities were recorded in 2009, down from the 5,218 workplace fatalities in 2008. The BLS concluded economic factors greatly contributed to this decrease, since total hours worked in 2009 decreased by 6 percent in 2009, compared to a 1 percent decline in 2008. The agency also noted some industries which have typically accounted for a larger share of fatal injuries (such as construction) experienced an even larger decline in employment and/or total hours worked.

Even if the economy shows signs of stabilizing it may be too soon to determine how much of an effect this will have on the number of disability claims filed. How do you feel the economy is affecting the number of workers’ compensation claims? Post your response and let us know.

If you have questions or comments, please contact your David & Rosetti attorney at 404-446-4488 or by visiting our website at Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice or opinion on specific facts. For editorial comments or suggestions, please contact David W. Willis at (404) 446-4491 or at

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