CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – During last night’s State of the State address, Governor Jim Justice announced that the Worker’s Compensation Old fund’s deficit of $3.5 billion has been replaced with a net positive balance.

In 2005, the Worker’s Compensation Old Fund had a deficit of $3.5 billion. During this time, a special session of the West Virginia Legislature also established the framework for the privatization of the program. Old Fund claims were placed in a fund for all claims that occurred before July 1, 2005, and a payment plan was established to pay those claims down over a period of time.

In 2008, West Virginia became a truly open and competitive market for workers’ compensation. Since then, the program has succeeded by taking care of injured workers, while simultaneously reducing premiums for West Virginia businesses.

“We are now running the Workers’ Compensation program like a private insurance company would and it’s on the right path. This once-enormous problem for our state has finally been resolved. Now, when a company is looking at moving to or expanding in West Virginia, we can add to our sales pitch that our Workers’ Compensation program is solvent and able to cover our hardworking West Virginians.”

Governor Jim justice

The Governor’s leadership resulted in the Old Fund’s assets generating over $170 million during 2021 alone. That meant that there was a 17.6% return for the year.

“Governor Justice always seems to be pushing the right buttons when it comes to our state’s finances. Our Workers’ Compensation Old Fund, which plagued us with a massive deficit for years, is now an asset for us. It really is a landmark achievement. We had been trending in the right direction for awhile, but it’s no coincidence that the Old Fund went positive while Governor Justice was in charge. Everything that has been done to make West Virginia a desired location for businesses to set up shop or expand put us on the path to make this announcement. We’re really humming across the board in West Virginia, and I thank Governor Justice for helping to make it all possible.”

West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Allan McVey