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Received worker's compensation


This variable is not available for any of the currently selected samples.


GOTWKCOM indicates whether the respondent received income from worker's compensation during the previous calendar year. For 1976-1979, the variable refers only to what was then termed "workmen's compensation," namely, payments by employers for the cost of injuries or occupational diseases received by employees in the course of their work. Such payments cover medical care and physical (and sometimes vocational) rehabilitation of injured workers, and partially replace lost wages while employees are unable to work. The level of benefits is set by state law, which varies significantly across states. Beginning in 1980, GOTWKCOM also denotes receipt of other payments (excluding sick pay and disability retirement) as a result of job-related injury or illness (see comparability discussion below).

For 1976-1987, dollar figures for income from the worker's compensation program were summed with income from other government programs (such as unemployment compensation, veterans' benefits, and disability payments from government programs other than Social Security) in the INCGOV variable.
Prior to 1988, the amounts received from worker's compensation (or from other payments for job-related injuries) cannot be identified, but researchers can analyze the characteristics of the recipients of such income.


For 1976-1979, respondents were simply asked whether they had received any income from worker's compensation. As noted above, beginning in 1980, the scope of the inquiry was broadened, to cover not only worker's compensation but also "other payments as a result of job-related injury or illness" (not including sick pay and disability retirement). For 1980 and later years, interviewers also asked a follow-up question about the source of such payments (i.e., state worker's compensation, employer or employer's insurance, own insurance, or other); see SRCWKCOM. The data for GOTWKCOM for 1976-1979 thus cover worker's compensation specifically, while the data from 1980-1987 cover payments for job-related illness or injury more generally.

Beginning in 1988, the amount of income received, during the previous calendar year, from worker's compensation and other payments as a result of job-related injury or illness (other than sick pay and disability retirement) is reported in the INCWKCOM variable. Persons with income in INCWKCOM (i.e., those with values between 1 and 99998 in that variable) for 1988-2004 can be compared to persons with a yes response (code 2) in GOTWKCOM for 1980-1987. Users should exercise caution in extending this comparison to the 1976-1979 period since, as noted above, the scope of the inquiry broadened beginning in 1980.


  • 1976-1979: Persons age 14+.
  • 1980-1987: Persons age 15+.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1976 – 1987 - - X - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.

Unharmonized Variables