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The West Virginia workers’ compensation system has come a long way since its creation in 1913. Historically, employees relinquished some of their common-law rights to sue employers for injuries they sustained in a work-related accident, and instead received benefits by the employer-funded system. Soon after, West Virginia maintained monopoly control over workers’ compensation. But now that is all about to change. We are rapidly approaching the final stage in the privatization process and West Virginia is on its way to becoming a competitive market.

The history of these changes can be traced to West Virginia Senate Bill 2013, which was passed July 1, 2003. This legislation radically changed the structure of the workers’ compensation system in West Virginia to address the state’s financial crisis, management of the workers’ compensation system, and provisions that were implemented to control disability as well as the health-care issues. Under that system, the West Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) was created and given responsibility for managing the state program.

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