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California Legislature Passes Measure to Up Disability Payments

The California Legislature has passed a measure that would increase permanent disability payments to injured workers. Supporters say the bill would restore some of the benefits workers have lost in re

California Legislature Passes Measure to Up Disability Payments

The California Legislature has passed a measure that would increase permanent disability payments to injured workers. Supporters say the bill would restore some of the benefits workers have lost in recent years. KPBS reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

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State lawmakers passed a series of workers comp reforms in 2003 and 2004. Since then, workers comp premiums have gone down dramatically, but so have permanent disability benefits.

Attorney David Dugan represents injured workers in San Diego. He says benefits in California are now the fourth lowest in the nation. He offers an example.

<b> Dugan </b> : Loss of a foot, amputated. National average: $80,997. California: $28,820.

The pending measure would phase-in increases in permanent disability benefits over a three-year period. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year.

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Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.