How Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation ACT 232 Impacts Workers

How Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation ACT 232 Impacts Workers

Wisconsin Governor Evers signed the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act 232 in April 2022. This law changes essential parts of the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Act. Some of the changes were to Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) calculations and allowing for independent medical examinations (IMEs) to be observed by a third party. Learn more about Act 232’s changes below, then contact our Antioch workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert. T. Edens, P.C., if you have questions about a claim.

Workers’ Compensation Act 232 Boosts Maximum PPD Payment

One of the most-needed changes in the Act is to boost the maximum PPD benefit from $362 to $415 per week. Also, the maximum PPD  benefit is $430 for employees hurt on or after Jan. 1, 2023. This change was long overdue; it was the first increase in the benefit since 2017.

Observers Now Allowed At Independent Medical Exams

Section 102.13(1)(b) has been changed to allow a worker at an IME ordered by the company doctor to have a neutral observer present at the examination. It is expected that the state government will soon publish guidance on the observer issue. However, our Antioch workers’ compensation attorneys say that letters sent to the worker about an IME should say the employee has the right to a neutral observer at the exam.

Wage Expansion For Employees Was Eliminated

Next, sections 102.11(1)(am) and (f1) were eliminated. Section 102.11(1)(ap) was made in its place to take out wage expansion for workers working part of a class if those injuries occurred on or after April 10, 2022. Under this rule, when the worker works less than 35 hours per week, part-time earnings have been expanded to 40 hours to calculate workers’ compensation benefits.

This rule applies when the injured employee works for another company. It also applies when the injured employee worked under 40 hours per week for under 12 months before the injury occurred.

The company can contest the wage expansion if there is evidence that a worker volunteered to work only part-time. Evidence might include when a worker writes a statement indicating they want to work part-time. However, if the worker is working for another company, the wages from the other employer should not be used to calculate workers’ compensation wages. Other rules enacted in Act 232 include:

  • Providing sole rule-making authority to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to execute workers’ comp laws.
  • Stating that the Department can select alternative dispute resolution in some workers’ comp cases.
  • Transferring from the DWD to the Department of Hearings and Appeals (DHA) authority to grant a license to a non-attorney to appear in a workers’ comp case.

Speak To Our Antioch Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

If you were hurt in your workplace, you might wonder if you should simply go to HR and handle the claim independently. Of course, you can, but you might not get as many benefits if you hire a Wisconsin workers’ compensation attorney. Please contact our Antioch workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. today at (847) 395-2200 for assistance. Our attorneys also can assist you in Palatine, Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock, and Lake County.

Call today for a free consultation

(847) 395-2200