DWC Ended Lien Activation Fee Collection on December 31, 2015
The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) ended its collection of lien activation fees at midnight on December 31, 2015. Any liens not activated by that time were dismissed by operation of law.
New liens are still required to pay a filing fee.
Lien fees are one of the components of Senate Bill 863's workers' compensation reforms. SB 863 requires a provider to pay a $150 filing fee for filing any new lien on or after January 1, 2013. For liens filed prior to January 1, 2013, prior to filing a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed (DOR) to request a lien conference or prior to appearing at a lien conference on or before January 1, 2014 were required to pay a lien activation fee. In addition any lien not activated by January 1, 2014 was to be dismissed by operation of law.
Litigation enjoined lien activation fees for two years until the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the fees. DWC resumed collection of the lien activation fees on November 9, 2015 before ending December 31, 2015.
One court provision stated that if between November 9, 2015 and December 31, 2015, the lien activation payment system became non-operational for six or more hours in a 24-hour period, the deadline would be extended by one calendar day for each day of non-operation. However, this was not necessary as the system remained operational.
During this period more than 254,000 liens were activated. A total of 461,650 lien activation fees were filed between January 2013 and December 31, 2015. A total of 536,945 new liens were filed during the same time period.