The long-awaited benefit notice regs adopted by the state last week take effect 1/1/16 and will require a number of changes to the info that employers and claims organizations must provide to workers before & after a work injury, including the general information that must be provided to all employees; the benefit notice letters that are sent to injured workers at various points in the life of a claim; and the DWC-1 Claim Form/Notice of Potential Eligibility (NOPE).
According to a DWC representative, the Division is working on sample benefit notice letters and may convene a small working group to provide feedback once the sample letters are drafted, but they do not yet have a timeline. In the meantime, CWCI has already revised its general workers’ compensation posting notice (If A Work Injury Occurs), our new hire pamphlets (Facts About Workers’ Compensation), and the non-mandatory injured worker pamphlet (Facts For Injured Workers) to reflect the recent regulatory changes, obtained the necessary approvals from the DWC Administrative Director, and translated them into Spanish per CCR 9883. These updated materials and the new multi-page DWC-1/NOPE have been typeset and are now at the printer. CWCI is taking pre-orders in the online store at http://www.cwci.org/ and will begin shipping orders for all of the updated pamphlets, posting notices and claim forms starting this month to allow claims organizations time to put their claims kits together & distribute them to policyholders before the Jan.1 effective date. For the rest of 2015, claims organizations and employers may continue to use current versions of the claim forms, posting notices and pamphlets, though CWCI’s updated pamphlets and posting notices reflect current law, so if inventories run low, they do not need to wait until 2016 to use the new versions. The updated claim forms however, should not be used until January 1, 2016.
CWCI members are eligible for discounts on orders over $1,000. The updated new hire pamphlets are now in stock, and we will notify our member companies’ designated claims contacts and our publication customers as soon as the rest of the updated materials are ready for shipment, which is expected before the end of this month.