Workers Comp Zone


My last post covered Tuesday’s Oakland hearings on the DWC proposal for a small increase in benefits for permanently disabled workers.

What’s the position of the applicant attorneys on the issue? Is CAAA setting forth a proposal of its own?

After all, interest groups are often reluctant to set forth policy proposals for fear that such proposals will set up a negotiating disadvantage. When’s the last time you heard a proposal for meaningful immigration reform from either the Federalist Society or FAIR (on the right) or La Raza or ACLU (on the left)? I’m a non-doctrinaire ACLU member, so I can say that. Sometimes it’s easier to harp on the most extreme abuses of the system than it is to suggest the hard choices neccesary to create workable reform.

CAAA was basically excluded from the table during negotiations on comp reform in 2005 and from meaningful participation in design of the 2005 PDRS.

But this week CAAA took the leap, setting forth a proposal for revise of the 2005 permanent disability schedule.

Below I’ve posted a pdf of the CAAA position papers.

If you’re not a workers’ comp groupie, put on your thinking cap. There’s a lot of jargon. RAND report. Concept of diminished future earning capacity. Crosswalk factors. FEC modifiers.

A good place to start is the piece by insurance consultant Mark Gerlach which explains the background of the diminished future earning capacity concept:

Diminished Future Earning Capacity

Here is the July 2008 PDRS revise proposal by CAAA (in pdf format):

Proposed Regulation

For more background on the issue, here’s the link to my recent piece in the California Progress Report: … ork_2.html

Those wanting more background might want to look at the 2006 CHSWC report on PD schedule reform: … 3-2006.pdf

Ultimately, action on the PD schedule will be political. Now that hearings are done, Ms. Nevans (DWC AD) must take a stand.

The outcome may determine whether Nevans is confirmed or whether she becomes a casualty of the ongoing comp wars in one of the last acts of the Perata period.

More later on details of the CAAA proposal.

Julius Young
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Category: Political developments