How Much is an Arm Worth in Idaho?


  • ProPublica
Idaho gets criticized for not valuing a lot of things: high-quality education, equal rights, access to affordable health care, livable wages, decent infrastructure... But what about our bodies? According to a wide-ranging research project by nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica, Idaho lags behind the national average there, too.

Combing through laws from across the country, ProPublica put together a handy database comparing what kind of compensation workers are entitled to based on a range of permanent on-the-job injuries.

For instance, if you lose an arm while working in Idaho, you can expect to be compensated $113,685—about $56,000 less than the national average. In neighboring Oregon, that number jumps to $234,080—about $64,000 more than the national average. Lose an arm in Montana and you're looking at $120,360 in compensation; in Washington, expect to get $118,266; in Utah, $98,549. Be careful in Wyoming: You're only entitled to $90,581 if you lose that arm in the workplace.

Worker's comp benefits in Idaho rank below the national average for every body part except the index finger, which is worth $26,527—$2,053 more than the average. Does that mean we rank among the top finger-wagging states in the country? We'll refer readers to the Idaho Legislature for the answer to that question. 

In the meantime, be sure to read this penetrating package on "The Demolition of Workers' Comp" published by ProPublica on March 4.