State News : Wisconsin

NWCDN is a network of law firms dedicated to protecting employers in workers’ compensation claims.

NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.  

Select a state from the dropdown menu below to scroll through the state specific archives for updates and opinions on various workers’ compensation laws in your state.

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On March 22, 2024, Governor Tony Evers signed into law 2023 Wisconsin Assembly Bill 1073, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 213 (the Act), which was originally introduced by the Committee on Labor and Integrated Employment on February 8, 2024. The Act’s effective date was March 24, 2024.

Most notably, the Act provides amendments to Chapter 102 regarding: (1) the weekly permanent partial disability (PPD) rate for the remainder of 2024 and 2025, (2) the statute of limitations run date after compromise agreement approval, and (3) voluntary advancements in PPD.


I.               Weekly PPD Rate

The Act increases the maximum weekly PPD rate to $438 (previously $430) for injuries occurring on or after the effective date of the Act through December 31, 2024. The Act also increases the weekly PPD rate to $446 for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2025.

Therefore, all PPD benefits for injuries occurring on or after March 24, 2024, need to be paid at the rate of $438. Further, all PPD benefits for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2025, need to be paid at the rate of $446.


II.             Statute of Limitations

Previously, Wis. Stat. §102.17(4) was silent regarding the effect of a compromise agreement on the statute of limitations. This Act provides clarification regarding when the statute of limitations (12 years for occupational injuries and 6 years for traumatic injuries) begins to run, stating that it “begins to run on the date an order is issued by the division approving a compromise agreement.”

Previously, the Division had the ability to hold open claims that were settled on a limited basis, thereby halting the statute of limitations, potentially indefinitely. The new language in the Act changes that practice, ensuring that the Division’s holding of claims has no effect on the statute of limitations.  This is a welcome change for all employers and workers’ compensation carriers as it guarantees that the statute of limitations will continue to run even if a claim is resolved on a limited basis.


III.           Advancements in PPD

It remains that the department or the division has the authority to direct an advance on the payment of unaccrued compensation for permanent disability or death benefits if it is determined to be in the best interest of the injured employee or employee’s dependents; the employer or insurer shall be given a 5% interest credit in such situations. Now, the Act also allows advancements on PPD to be made voluntarily by an employer or insurer, without DWD authority, if the claim is undisputed. If an employer or insurer decides to voluntarily advance unaccrued PPD, the employer or insurer cannot impose any interest credit.

This additional provision allows employers and insurers to pay out “lump sum” PPD awards in full, prior to their accrual. This way, employers and insurers can close their files rather than continue to pay out benefits over the accrual period. Nevertheless, it is important to note that opting for advancement in PPD payments will not affect the statute of limitations, as the statute of limitations is based on the date the last PPD payment should have been made, if paid as it accrues. In other words, paying PPD in a lump sum will not speed up the statute of limitations.