The first $500.4 billion in California workers compensation payments to retirees, survivors, children and others were reported by the California Human Resources Department on Wednesday, according to a report from the California State Controller’s Office.
The payments represent a record for California and are a reflection of the state’s record economic performance, the California Labor Commission said.
California workers’ comp payments reached $500m in fiscal year 2018, the third consecutive year of higher payments.
The state has the highest per capita workers’ benefits in the nation at $5,600 per person, according the American Institute for Economic Research.
The California Legislature approved a $2,000 surcharge on wages for workers with certain disabilities in 2019.
The surcharge was a $300,000 cash payment, but it was later scaled back to $1,500.
The state’s workers’ claims commission also reported on Wednesday that claims payments were up 2.7 percent to $5.5 billion for fiscal year 2019.
Claims were up by $1.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 and $1 million in 2021, the report said.
The number of workers’ insurance claims has been trending downward since the early 1990s, the governor’s office said.
But the governor had said in January that claims had been trending up in the last several years.
The numbers are still up, but the trend is declining, he said at the time.
California has about 5 million people on disability, the lowest in the country, the commission said.