The Office of Administrative Law (OAL) has approved the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) revised benefit notice regulations. The regulations are found in Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Sections 9810, 9811, 9812, 9813, 9814, 9815, 9881.1, and 10139.
The final regulations were approved on August 22, 2015, and will be effective for all benefit notices required to be sent on or after January 1, 2016.
The approved regulations, as filed with the Secretary of State, are posted on the DWC website, along with the final statement of reasons for the rulemaking, a summary of public comments regarding the rulemaking and DWC’s responses to those comments.
Significant reforms to the benefit notice process in the amended 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.
Revisions were also made to the Claim Form, Notice of Potential Eligibility and Notice to Employees Poster.
DWC will soon post to the website a revised benefit notice manual containing instruction for drafting benefit notices and sample benefit notices that will satisfy the substantive requirements of the regulations as amended.