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ERIC Number: ED522262
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 98
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-3673-2
The Occupationally Injured Worker: Investigating the Decision to Settle a Workers' Compensation Claim
Nay, Andrew Paul
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Michigan State University
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2007), a total of 4.2 million work-place injuries were reported within the United States in 2005, nearly half of which resulted in days away from work, job transfer, or restriction. In the majority of workers' compensation claims, wage-replacement benefits are paid voluntarily by the employer or insurance provider, and upon the individual's full recovery or return-to-work, benefits are stopped (Wolkinson and Block, 1996). And while the majority of workers who sustain an occupational injury or illness eventually return to their previous job, there are those non-routine cases where individuals are unable to return to their previous job, or may never return to work due to the nature of their disability and resulting functional limitations. Previous studies have shown that a significant portion of workers who require recuperation away from work never return to the workplace (Hester, Decelles & Gaddis, 1986; National Institute of Handicapped Research [NIDR], n.d.; Tate, 1992; Blackwell et al., 2003) and tend to experience continued injury-related pain. Those workers unable to return to the workplace in a timely manner typically rely on statutory workers' compensation systems for medical and financial support while they recover from various illnesses or injuries and cope with existing pain. The purpose of this study was to investigate and examine a variety of individual and contextual variables that may affect settlement outcome in workers' compensation systems using data maintained by the State of Michigan Workers' Compensation Agency (WCA). The focus of this study centers on more complex or non-routine workers' compensation claims in which the worker has or continues to report a significant impairment or disability and is unlikely to return to their pre-injury occupation. The social context and relationship model proposed by Dembe (2001) was utilized to conceptualize both individual and contextual factors associated between various individuals, groups, and social institutions that contribute to the overall experiences of the injured worker. This study empirically examines a sample (N = 3,111) of occupationally injured workers who filed a workers' compensation claim in the year 2007. This sample identifies both those who have chosen to settle their workers' compensation claim (N = 1,354) and those who have not (N = 1,843) as of January 2010. A variety of demographic, socioeconomic, and environmental variables were compared dependent upon settlement outcome to examine if significant differences exist between the two groups. A binary logistic regression identified pre-injury wage, time between date of injury and initial wage-loss payment, and female gender as negative predictors of settlement, whereas attorney involvement was positive predictor of settlement outcome. Various implications regarding rehabilitation counseling education and research are also discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan