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Worker's Compensation Basic Facts

Brief History

Read a brief history of Wisconsin's Worker's Compensation, why it was adopted and an explanation of some of its special funds.

Wisconsin Workforce, Number of WC Policies, Net Direct Earned Premiums and Premium Rate & Program Integrity

As of December 31, 2020, the number of active worker's compensation policies was 131,507 and the number of linked employers and locations was 294,856.

As of December 31, 2020, there were 218 entities with a self-insurance order(this number includes government entities).

During the two-year period ending June 30, 2021:

  • Uninsured Employer Fund (UEF) Investigators completed 47,445 employer investigations and assessed 4,144 penalties for operating without WC insurance. Also, approximately $8.4 million in penalty assessments were collected from illegally uninsured employers.
  • Approximately $5 million in payments were made through the UEF to/on behalf of workers injured while working for illegally uninsured employers.

WC Claim & Indemnity Information

In 2017-20 (claims with 36 months of experience), out of 18 reviewed states, Wisconsin ranked 7th lowest in total percentage of claims with more than seven days of lost time.

From 2018-20, Wisconsin had lower average payments per claim with prescription drugs than typical due to lower utilization; payments for prescription drugs accounted for 0.7 percent of medical payments in Wisconsin, below the median study state.

For 2017-20 claims at average maturity of 36 months, the average indemnity payment per claim with more than seven days of lost time was $11,924 in Wisconsin, 39 percent lower than the median state.

For 2017-20 claims at an average maturity of 36 months, Wisconsin had the lowest percentage of claims with payments to defense attorneys (16 percent).

In 2019 there were 113 fatal work injuries in Wisconsin. Source: United States Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

Information was obtained from the following sources: DWD Worker's Compensation Division; Wisconsin Compensation Rating Bureau; Worker's Compensation Research Institute