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How the Changing Workforce Impacts Workers’ Compensation

September 07, 2017

How the Changing Workforce Impacts Workers’ Compensation

As the baby boomers age and more immigrants enter the workforce, all aspects of labor and employment in the United States are facing significant changes. Workers’ Compensation is and will continue to experience changing demands as the American workforce’s demographic evolves.

Changing economic realities are forcing older Americans to remain in the workforce longer. Today, workers age 65 and older are staying in the workforce longer than they have in previous generations, and they are expected to be the fastest growing worker demographic through 2024. In contrast, the population of available workers between the ages of 25 and 54 is expected to slow during that time, largely due to being a smaller population of Americans in general. Another significant change to the workforce is the increasing percentage of Latino workers. In 2011, Latino workers comprised approximately 15 percent of the United States workforce. By 2020, that percentage is expected to reach 19 percent.

Older Workers and Workplace Injuries

As we age, our bodies become more restricted. Injuries do not heal the way they did at younger ages, and when a worker has a preexisting condition, their likelihood of suffering a workplace injury can increase. With an aging workforce, the Workers’ Compensation industry is seeing an increase in the number of injury cases reported. It must adapt to meet the needs of workers who may have preexisting conditions.

According to the vice president of Travelers Insurance, approximately 50 percent of Workers’ Compensation claims involve some instance of the claimant suffering from an existing condition, which can complicate their claim and increase its cost. Examples of existing conditions that can complicate injuries and potentially increase the cost of a Workers’ Compensation claim double or up to five-fold include:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Smoking

Adapting to the Workforce’s Changing Language Needs

With the increase of Latino workers comes an increased need for employers and Workers’ Compensation providers to provide Spanish-language aid. By providing injured workers with help they need in languages they understand, Workers’ Compensation providers can reduce the overall cost of each claim. This help can be to file a claim, to obtain the necessary medical care, and to comply with the terms of the worker’s restricted return to work. It has been reported that 84 percent of Spanish-speaking workers who have access to Spanish-language aid with their claims return to work within 30 days.

One way insurance providers are working to serve Spanish-speaking workers better is by providing language lines, modes of communication that connect them with nurses and claim professionals who can discuss their claims with them in Spanish. This goes beyond simply translating Workers’ Compensation information from English to Spanish – it involves connecting people through a shared culture to communicate important issues effectively.

Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Workers of All Ages Pursue Their Claims

No matter how old you are or how you were injured in your workplace, an experienced Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you pursue your Workers’ Compensation claim. To learn more, fill out our online form or call 856-414-0010 to schedule your initial consultation with our team of experienced Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law. Our office is located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and we serve clients from Philadelphia and South Jersey.

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