The Audit Unit of the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has completed its revision of the Benefit Notice Manual containing the sample benefit notices.
The benefit notice regulations take effect on January 1, 2016. The Division cautions the claims community that the revised notices may not be used before that date.
DWC thanked the workers' compensation community for its suggestions, which improved the quality and clarity of the benefit notices.
The "safe harbor" provision of Title 8, California Code of Regulations, section 9810(f) provides that "Benefit notices using the sample notices devised by the Administrative Director and available on the Division's website are presumed to be adequate notice to the employee and, unless modified, shall not be subject to audit penalties."
The revisions to the recently approved benefit notice regulations include:
Elimination of the requirement to provide Fact Sheets as attachments to notices
Reduction of the requirement to provide a QME panel request form with notices
Elimination of the warning notice language at the top of notices
Allowance for employees and their attorneys to choose to receive electronic service of notices.