At the end of last year, the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) adopted new regulations governing benefit notices that claims administrators must provide to injured workers (www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/DWCPropRegs/BenefitNoticeRegulations/BNU_FinalRegulations.doc). The regulations took effect April 9, 2008.
Included in the regulations is a new requirement that California workers’ compensation claims administrators send “DWC fact sheets” along with notice letters that go out at various points in the life of a claim. These include fact sheets on temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and on the Agreed Medical Evaluator/ Qualified Medical Evaluator process for resolving medical disputes.
The regulations [CCR 9810(i)] also require that “All benefit notices shall be made available in English and Spanish, as appropriate.” While the DWC posted English versions of the fact sheets on its website (www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/iwguides.html) prior to the April 9 effective date, Spanish versions were not posted until recently.
California workers’ compensation claims administrators may now download a Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat file of a Spanish fact sheet (Hoja de información) from the Injured Worker Guides section of the DWC website: www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/iwguides_Spanish.html.
• The Spanish version of the Temporary Disability fact sheet is: Hoja de información C “Respuestas a sus preguntas sobre los beneficios de incapacidad temporal”
• The Spanish version of the Permanent Disability fact sheet is: Hoja de información D “Respuestas a sus preguntas sobre los beneficios de incapacidad permanente”
• The Spanish version of the AME/QME fact sheet is: Hoja de información E
“Respuestas a sus preguntas sobre evaluadores médicos calificados y evaluadores médicos acordados“