Transport Workers Union Local 200
Changes to Workers Compensation Laws
Transport Workers Union Local 200
San Francisco, CA 94115
NOTE: Transport Workers Union Local 200 presents the Workers Compensation resources on this page for the
purpose of educating Local 200 members.  This information is not intended to convey legal advice or to
substitute for information provided by the various responsible agencies.   

Predesignate your
before you get injured.

Download a sample form
2002 California Guidebook
for Injured Workers

Changes to the California
Guidebook for Injured
Workers (5/17/04)
1. Predesignate your doctor before you get injured. If
you have group health insurance, like Kaiser or Blue Cross,
you can choose your doctor to treat your injury. You must
complete and submit a personal physician form to you
employer. Even if you have previously completed such a
form, do it again because the laws have changed. Your
doctor must agree to be predesignated.

2. Injured workers will receive immediate medical
treatment, up to a $10,000 cap, until their workers'
compensation claim is accepted or denied.
injured workers had to wait - sometimes up to 90 days - for
their claim to be accepted prior to getting medical care.

3. The most severely disabled workers will receive
seven additional weeks of benefits for each
percentage of disability rating over 70%.
The least
severely disabled workers will receive one week less of
benefits for each percentage of disability rating below 15%.

4. Injured workers who cannot return to work will get a
15% increase in their permanent disability award.
Injured workers who return to work will get 15% less in
permanent disability benefits, provided that they keep
their jobs for at least a year.
Once back at work, if you
lose your job through no fault of your own, you will once again
get your full permanent disability award.

5. Temporary disability benefits will be limited to two
Although the vast majority of claims receive less than
2 years of TD benefits, injured workers could previously
receive up to 5 years of TD benefits. Injured workers with
specified injuries, like amputations, chronic hepatitis or
severe burns, will remain subject to the 5-year cap.

6. Unions and their employers can pursue alternative
dispute resolution programs (carve-outs) to create an
integrated system of medical treatment, also known as
24-hour care.
Group health coverage and medical
treatment for injured workers would be seamless. They can
also negotiate to integrate temporary disability payments
and non-industrial disability payments to create a seamless
system of temporary wage replacement benefits without
regard to how or where the injury occurred. .

7. Employers will be eligible for financial incentives to
take injured workers back to work.
Worksites with bad
accident records will be inspected by insurance companies
as an additional check for safer workplaces.

8. Permanent disability benefits will be apportioned
between work and non-work related causes. Injured
workers will not get more than 100% disability rating
for repeated injuries to the same body part.
disability benefits and medical treatment will not be affected
by the new apportionment rules. A worker whose cumulative
injury is 30% caused by non-work related factors will receive
only 70% of his/her permanent disability award.

9. A draconian anti-worker initiative, championed by
Governor Schwarzenegger and the Chamber of
Commerce, will not be on the November, 2004 ballot.

This legislative compromise takes away the risk of losing the
heart of our workers' comp system.

10. The big winners of this compromise are
profiteering insurance companies.
Not only did they and
their brokers escape any form of regulation, but they also
exacted specific benefits in this legislation. We must sustain
our efforts to re-regulate workers' compensation insurance
companies or this crisis will never be solved.
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