Golden State Division of Workers’ Compensation proposes penalties against laggard insurers

November 5, 2006

California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation has issued a revised proposal of regulations that would penalize insurers and self-insurers that show a pattern of denying or delaying workers’ compensation benefits.

The revised version of the regulations clarifies that abuses that occurred before Senate Bill 899 took effect in April 2004 are not subject to the penalties. In addition, the new version clarifies the definition of “penalty award” to mean a final order or final award.

The DWC deleted a provision that would have allowed awards issued before June 1, 2004, regardless of the injury date, to be considered as evidence of a general business practice.

This is the second revision to the proposed regulations to the workers’ comp penalties since the DWC’s hearing on June 29th. The most recent version is subject to a 15 day public comment period, which is scheduled to end on Nov. 10, 2006.

To view the proposed regulations, visit: dwc/DWCPropRegs/AdminPenalties_LC5814_6Regulations/5814_6__152ndDayTextofregulations.pdf.

DWC’s mission is to minimize the adverse impact of work-related injuries on California employees and employers. It monitors the administration of workers’ comp claims, and provides administrative and judicial services to assist in resolving disputes.

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