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High Wage Earners Stay Out Of Work Longer? – NCCI Study


Do High Wage Earners Have Longer TTD Duration? – New NCCI Study

Do high wage earners stay out of work longer? A recent study by NCCI points to adding age to the study variable mix.  That makes sense to add in an age factor.  We all know that older workers usually earn more than their younger counterparts.  I like NCCI’s thinking here.

You can find the study here.  If you are running short on time, a two-minute video was included for clarity.  I decided to add it at the bottom of this article.  It is worth two minutes of your time.

From what I have seen in files over the years:

  • Older workers take longer to heal
  • Older workers have a higher earning capacity than younger workers

The question is though, do higher wage workers stay out of work longer?  I am not sure.


From NCCI – 

Typically, older workers earn more than younger ones on average. Also, an older injured worker may take longer to heal. The question of whether or how wages impact duration is thus an interesting one.

Our investigation reveals that answering the question, “Do wages influence temporary disability duration?” requires a closer look.

Key Findings: The overall impact of wage on temporary disability (TD) duration is not a simple relationship. It is a result of intricate interactions with multiple factors, notably the injured worker’s age.

  • The average duration for high wage earners is the longest and that of low wage earners is the shortest.
  • The difference in duration among age groups is smallest for high wage earners.
  • The proportion of wage earners in the low and high wage earner groups varies by age.
  • The influence of wage on duration depends on claimant’s age. Keeping other factors constant,
    • For workers aged 29 years and younger, low wage earners have a meaningfully shorter duration.
    • For workers in the age group 30 to 34, and those in the 64 and older age group, wage does not meaningfully influence duration.
    • For workers in age groups between 35 to 64, high wage earners have a meaningfully shorter duration.

The Influence of Wage on Temporary Disability Duration—A Modeled View

Please note that you will be taken to the article where the video will open in some browsers.


Bottom Line

One cannot assume that the higher the TTD payment, the longer someone wants to stay out of work.   Many factors go into TTD period length.  Looking at the three bullet points above, many variables have to be taken into account.

The high wage earner study is worth your time.   Check out the video and follow the link to the study.  It is data wonkish.



James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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