Workers' Comp Reform Pays Off in Pa.

Pennsylvania announces increases in the maximum weekly benefits for new workers' compensation claims and new unemployment compensation cases.

Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker yesterday announced increases in the maximum weekly benefits for new workers'' compensation (WC) beneficiaries and new unemployment compensation (UC) claimants, effective the first full week of January 2002.

The increased payments have been made possible through a number of cost-cutting measures in the past, including tax cuts, workers'' compensation reform, reduced red tape and electric deregulation. These savings have helped to create nearly 500,000 new jobs, according to the governor''s office.

"Pennsylvania always has had a workforce of men and women second to none in their dedication and competence," Schweiker said. "These weekly increases will give more money to those who need it when they need it the most."

Workers'' compensation maximum weekly payments will increase by $18, from $644 a week to $662 a week, effective Jan. 1, 2002. Unemployment compensation weekly maximum benefits will increase $12, from $430 a week to $442 a week, effective Jan. 7, 2002.

Gov. Schweiker also noted that unemployment compensation taxes will be cut by an additional $20 million for 2002.

"From 1995 through 2002, we will have cut unemployment compensation taxes in Pennsylvania by $4.2 billion for employers and employees," Schweiker said. "And workers'' compensation savings from 1995 through 2001 are $3.3 billion - a grand total of $7.5 billion going back into the pockets of Pennsylvania employees, employers and families."

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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