A pair of recently passed laws will strengthen existing workers’ compensation reforms in California by reducing treatment delays and strengthening anti-fraud efforts. At their core, SB 1160 and AB 1244 are designed to improve worker benefits and to help control employer costs.
SB 1160 requires that liens filed against workers’ compensation claims are verified and filed by the lien holder while also providing protections against liens filed by providers currently involved in criminal proceedings. Liens can call into question the validity of a claim and previously, California law allowed these actions to be taken by companies facing criminal charges or who had been indicted. AB 1244 will allow medical professionals convicted of fraud to be suspended from the workers’ compensation system.
The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) announced in August that approximately $600 million in liens against injured workers claims had been filed from 2011 to 2015 by parties accused or convicted of criminal activity such as fraud. Starting in January of 2017, all parties who file liens must also file a declaration of eligibility under penalty of perjury. Any liens filed without this declaration will be subject to dismissal.
The time immediately following an injury is often the most crucial in terms of treating injuries and laying the foundation for an expedient and efficient recovery. The implementation of these laws will help to protect millions of injured workers across the nation.
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While these two laws are yet to take effect, injured workers still possess many state and federal protections. If you have suffered an injury while at work and believe that your claim is being treated unfairly, contact Humphrey & Associates and tell us about your case. Our Orange County workers’ compensation attorneys possess more than two decades of legal experience and have recovered more than $400 million for our past clients. The claims process can be tremendously complex and you do not have to navigate the legal world alone.
Our legal team is available 24/7. Request a free consultation to learn about your options.