DWC Reminders

Deadline for Lien Claimants to File Labor Code Section 4903.05(c) Declaration

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) is reminding lien claimants that they are required to file a declaration for any lien filed between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016 for which a filing fee was paid. Labor Code section 4903.05(c) provides: lien claimants shall have until July 1, 2017. DWC recommends that lien claimants complete their submission by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30 in order to ensure a timely filing.

Senate Bill 1160, which became effective January 1, requires all lien claimants who filed a lien between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2016, and paid a filing fee, to file the "Supplemental Lien Form and 4903.05(c) Declaration" form. Labor Code section 4903.05(c)was amended as part of the bill's reform measures to combat fraud in the workers' compensation system. To comply with SB 1160's requirements, DWC made available an e-form declaration and the WCAB promulgated regulations requiring the use of this form by e-filers and JET filers. Lien claimants who fail to file the "Supplemental Lien Form and 4903.05(c) Declaration" will have their liens dismissed.

As with any court document, the declaration must be served on the parties in the case. Rule 10324 states: No document, including letters or other writings, shall be filed by a party or lien claimant with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board unless service of a copy thereof is made on all parties together with the filing of a proof of service as provided for in Rule 10505.

DWC is currently reviewing and evaluating filed declarations for compliance with the legislation, and will be holding hearings to determine whether the declarations are accurate and comply with the requirements of section 4903.05(c).

Lien claimants should be aware that the filing of a false declaration is grounds for dismissal of the lien. The DWC has posted frequently asked questions on use of the new form, which can be found on the DWC website.

Temporary Total Disability Rates for 2018

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) announces that the 2018 minimum and maximum temporary total disability (TTD) rates will increase on January 1, 2018. The minimum TTD rate will increase from $175.88 to $182.29 and the maximum TTD rate will increase from $1,172.57 to $1215.27 per week.

Labor Code section 4453(a) (10) requires the rate for TTD be increased by an amount equal to percentage increase in the State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) as compared to the prior year. The SAWW is defined as the average weekly wage paid to employees covered by unemployment insurance as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor for California for the 12 months ending March 31 in the year preceding the injury. In the 12 months ending March 31, 2017, the SAWW increased from $1,164.51 to $1,206.92-an increase of 3.642 percent.

Under Labor Code section 4659(c), workers with a date of injury on or after January 1, 2003 who are receiving life pension (LP) or permanent total disability (PTD) benefits are also entitled to have their weekly LP or PTD rate adjusted based on the SAWW.

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