Workers’ Compensation Reform in 2012
Governor Brown changed workers’ compensation in California back in 2012 when he signed Senate Bill 863. Once it became law, the workers’ compensation system had new rules and regulations. It also increased benefits to injured workers. If you are new to the workers’ compensation program, it is important for you to learn about how the system works and what changes began when Bill 863 became law.
If you have been injured on the job, you probably understand the challenges you and your family members are facing. You may be facing medical expenses, physical therapy costs, lost income and other financial challenges. If you need help understanding the law and figuring out what benefits you are entitled to, please call the Kenton Kozsdin Law Office for more information.
Understanding the Changes in California Workers’ Comp
Here are a few of the most significant changes brought on by Senate Bill 863:
- Increased benefits for permanent disability recipients. The minimum and maximum weekly benefit amounts were increased.
- Set rate for job displacement vouchers. Now, injured workers who wish to receive supplemental job displacement vouchers to pay for job re-training will receive $6,000.
- Creation of “Return to Work Fund.” California now has a $120 million annual fund to help injured workers whose disability ratings are low compared to their wage loss.
- Quicker medical reviews. SB 863 created a medical review process in which injured workers have a medical evaluation soon after being injury to determine how badly hurt they are. These reviews can clear up any disputes regarding whether someone is too injured to return to work.
- Self-insured employers. Self-insured employers are now required to pay deposits so that their workers’ compensation liabilities are covered. The new law changes the way the deposit is calculated.
California Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you have been injured on the job, you must notify your employer right away. Let them know you have been hurt and need medical attention. You should also ask if your employer has a preferred medical facility so that you won’t have to see multiple doctors to document your injury. Make sure you tell the health care provider who treats you that your injury was job-related. You can then fill out a workers’ compensation claim form and give it to your employer.
The Workers’ Compensation Program Provides Five Basic Benefits:
- Medical care including all necessary medical treatments related to the injuries you suffered at work.
- Temporary disability benefits for workers who are healing and will be able to return to work eventually.
- Permanent disability benefits for workers who will never recover completely.
- Supplemental job displacement benefits for retraining or skill enhancement if the injuries change the worker’s abilities.
- Death benefits for the victim’s family when the injuries prove fatal.
Contacting an Experienced Ventura Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Make sure you hire a Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorney who stays abreast of the changing laws and knows how to get you the benefits you need. A skilled attorney will fight to get your application approved quickly. Call us at (800) 438-7734 to find out how our workers’ compensation lawyers can help you.