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The state of California has amended regulations governing the form that injured workers use to file work injury claims, as well as the basic workers’ compensation notices that employers must use to inform employees of their rights and obligations under California workers’ compensation law. Employers must begin implementation of these new forms by October 8, 2010 says the California Workers’ Compensation Institute, a workers' compensation research organization serving the insurance industry since 1964.
Revisions to the DWC-1 claim form/Notice of Potential Eligibility (NOPE), the new hire pamphlets and the workers’ compensation posting notices that must be displayed at California worksites were included in the recently adopted Medical Provider Network (MPN) notice regulations which take effect October 8 -- 60 days after they were filed with the Secretary of State. Employers should continue to use current versions of these materials until October 8, at which point these materials should be disposed of and replaced with updated versions.Under California law, insured and self-insured employers are subject to workers’ comp notice requirements, and failure to provide current information to employees can lead to some severe consequences -- loss of medical control in work injury cases, civil penalties of up to $7,000 for each violation of the posting requirement and the tolling of the statute of limitations for filing job injury claims. The recently amended regulations not only require employers or insurers that offer MPNs to provide new written MPN notices and posters, they also require changes to the existing workers’ compensation claim forms, pamphlets and posting notices, adding information on MPNs, eliminating references to vocational rehabilitation (which is no longer available), revising the state’s website references, updating Spanish translations and make other changes intended to streamline the forms.
Due to the short time frame for implementation, employers must gear up quickly, the new forms are required to be posted or ready to be distributed to new hires or workers’ with injuries beginning October 8, 2010.
Further information is available on the Institute’s website www.cwci.org in the news, home page or store sections. IBA West members are encouraged to contact your carriers or claim administrators to fully understand the distribution of materials. CWCI offers materials and additional resources on their website.