One of Governor Brown’s greatest landmark reforms, Senate Bill 863 passed on August 1, 2012, and was signed into law on September 18, 2012.
This particular bill made wide-ranging changes to California’s worker’s compensation system. The Bill took effect on January 1, 2013, though some of its provisions take effect at a later date.
SB 863 was the outcome of months of intense negotiations between representatives of employers and labor employers, who focused on two equally significant goals:
Increasing the permanent disability benefits paid to any injured workers to compensate for the long-term effects of workplace injuries.
Enhancing the efficiency of the California workers’ compensation system by decreasing the costs and period it takes to deliver those benefits and resolve disputes.
SB 863 made major changes in the following areas:
- Updates the Official Medical Fee Schedule
- Simplifies the permanent disability method of rating
- Simplifies the supplemental job displacement voucher system.
- Boosts medical provider networks
- Resolves any bill payment disputes through independent bill review
- Resolves any medical treatment disagreements via independent medical review
- Develops fee schedules for copy services, vocational experts, interpreters, and in-home health care.
- Requires activation fee of payment of filing for liens.
- Increases permanent disability values
- Provide extra payments for workers with disproportionate wage loss.
Senate Bill 863 received high resistance from medical doctors, injured workers and labor organizations citing several significant reasons. They claimed this bill dramatically changed the conditions for underpaid and unpaid medical-legal providers.
It means that those who relied on pre-2013 strategies most likely discovered that their legitimate charges have been entirely dismissed due to failure to follow the remedies mandated by SB 863.
In fact, the effects of SB 863 on those injured on the job worsen than those of SB 899, the 2004 Workers’ Compensation “Reform Act.”
Reasons why many injured workers, doctors, and labor organizations firmly opposed the bill:
- Even though it purported to raise permanent disability (PD) compensation, this bill actually makes it so difficult for any injured workers to qualify for the disability required to get the increased compensation.
- SB863 would also make it impossible for several injured workers to receive accurate disability ratings and enough PD compensation.
- It forces several injured workers-those who are extremely injured as well as those who are unable to go back to the job- to lose compensation. This includes several works who suffer from psychological, sexual and sleep disturbances resulting from their injuries.
- Extremely injured workers who are unable to go back to their job would get a lower money award than under the current system.
- Injured workers would not be able to qualify for PD compensation depend on the exact harm their work injury causes to their future earning capacity. Geklaw advices that there would be no definitive way to measure the level of disability, thus turning it into an entirely arbitrary system.
- SB 863 was trying to be forced through the legislature without sufficient public hearings to address the concerns of medical doctors, injured workers, and their attorney advocates.
- The proposed legislation is over 250 pages and hasn’t been formally introduced for the all-state legislators to review thoroughly. This is the same thing which occurred in 2004 that resulted in a devastating effect on injured workers and their families.
As the end of the year approaches, you will need to finish your tax planning so that you can be prepared for the next tax season but for this you will need to know the 6 ways to prepare for tax season. This is the best way of ensuring that you will get the biggest tax refund in the next year and hence you will need to prepare for the tax season properly.
Contribute to your IRA- it is very important that you make contributions to the individual retirement account as it is a tax deduction that you can get. You will need to establish to the regular contribution to your IRA from your bank account on monthly or quarterly basis. You can also get the amount deducted from your account as you will not have to face any hassle of depositing the money yourself at regular intervals.
Review your W-4 withholding- if you have got a large tax refund this year then you will also want to adjust your withholding for the present year. The Hillhurst Tax Group explains that withholding is the tax that is deducted by your employer every month from your pay check. You can also update your withholding by filing for W-4 form with the payroll department and you can do this anytime of the year but you also need to know about the exemptions that you are entitled to.
Undertake ongoing account maintenance- you should never forget ongoing account maintenance and for this your IRA custodian needs to have to recent contact information. This is a way of ensuring that your assets are always in good standing so that you can avoid any kind of potential unexpected taxable events.
Contribute to retirement funds- it is the best way of lowering your taxable income and it also helps you to reduce your potential tax burden for the coming year. You will need to start planning your future retirement as it helps in making reduction in your taxes.
Make charitable donations- before the end of the year, you should make charitable donations as it is the best way of reducing tax liability when you file your tax next year. You should also keep track as well as value your donated items and charitable giving throughout the year.
Update financial information- you should also update your financial information in health insurance marketplace as it enables you to get a tax credit that will be used for paying for the insurance coverage.
If you have sustained work related injury then understanding your rights to medical treatment in work-related injuries is of utmost importance for you. According to the workers compensation laws, you are entitled to certain benefits and rights that you should be aware of so that you can get maximum amount of compensation for the injuries that you have sustained. You also have the right to pursue the claim against third party apart from your employer, if that person was negligent and have caused your injuries.
You are also entitled to receive your workers compensation claim which is an insurance that is paid by your employer for compensating you when you get injured on job site or in scope or course of your employment. “Understanding your rights to medical treatment in work-related injuries enable you to get the benefits that you are entitled to after you have been injured in your job which includes permanent disability payment, temporary disability payments, hospital bills and medical expenses, medically necessary treatments, lost wages, physical therapy and orthopedic treatment and lump sum settlement,”. You will also get temporary disability benefits during your period of rehabilitation after you have been injured because of anyone’s fault. After you experience work related injuries, you have the right of obtaining appropriate and necessary medical treatment, hospitalization services and prescriptions that are paid by the insurance carrier of your employer. You will also be treated by the authorized treating physician for all work related injuries.
You also have the right to make a claim for temporary disability benefits if you have become temporary disabled and you are unable to work due to your injury for a period of more than 7 days then you are eligible for receiving temporary benefits for seventy percent of your average weekly wage. You also have the option to file a claim for partial permanent disability award as the amount of compensation can be very crucial for helping you to recover quickly after you have been injured at work. After you have been injured, the first thing that you will need to do is to notify your employer and the notice should be given to the personnel office, supervisor and other person in authority of your place of employment. Even if you need medical treatment, you will need to make a request to your employer at the earliest so that you can get workers compensation benefits after being injured.…