Morgan’s Tip of the Week- Projecting the impact of a recession


The news these days seems filled with doom and gloom about inflation leading to a looming recession.  The question then is what will be the impact on WC claims.   Looking back at the last major recession, which was officially from December 2007 to June 2009, does give us some idea what the future may hold.

In general, when workers are concerned about job security they tend to file more claims to protect their income.  And after a company has layoffs, the bogus claims come out of the woodwork.  All of a sudden that bumped knee from 3 months ago flares up.

Here are the Florida litigated claim numbers from the last recession.   The number of new claims did not drop that significantly during the recession, but did start to drop during the recovery period.  The timeframe is based on DOAH’s fiscal year reporting of July 1-June 30.   The recession was from December 2007 through June 2009.

Number of new FL files
July 2006-June 200736227  Before
July 2007-June 20083448195%6 months of recession
July 2008-June 20093399599%12 months of recession
July 2009-June 20103052590%Recovery

However, the amount of litigation on open files actually increased during the recession.    This is based on the number of overall Petitions for Benefits filed on all open claims regardless of what year the litigation began.

Number of PFB’s filed/Litigation activity
July 2007-June 200872718 6 months of recession
July 2008-June 200973863102%12 months of recession
July 2009-June 20106797192%recovery

These statistics are from the DOAH 2021 annual report, here is a link but don’t hit print its over 300 pages.

So a short-term recession may not have that much of an impact on the volume of WC litigation, but a prolonged slow recovery may actually have a greater impact.

Join us Friday evening 7/15/22 in Tampa for our 7th annual WC CEU/Dinner/Extravaganza.   RSVP to


Morgan Indek | Managing Partner