Below are links that will be useful for both the Peer Advocates and injured public safety personnel to help them understand the workers compensation system.
Who is advocating for the injured worker? That’s the question this consultant who works for the employers’ best interest answers very truthfully.
Pro Publica has published an outstanding series on the state of the workers compensation system. It’s a must-read.
It would not be fair to see this as only one-sided. Everybody has problems with the system. By understanding our employer’s problems, we can work together to solve them.
Through our political strength, we have achieved a tremendous accomplishment by establishing laws where certain illnesses or injuries are “presumed” to be work-related. These claims are rebuttable by the employer but hanging tough and being persistent will usually result in the injured worker prevailing. Here are the links from CPF and PORAC discussing presumptive injuries.
What we are seeing though, is a continuous attack on California’s public safety workers and their unions. Workers compensation protections are directly linked to the strength of our labor organizations. Even though a recent supreme court ruling granted organized labor a reprieve, the attack is not over.
Understanding the rules of the game is the key to successfully negotiating your way through the workers compensation system.
Once you are able to understand the language, process, and laws you will be much more able to defend yourself or your coworkers.
Utilization review (UR) and it’s friend Independent Medical Review (IMR) have formed a special partnership designed to deny you needed medical care. This is often the main source of difficulty in the workers compensation system. Understanding how UR works and understanding why injured workers’ treatment is denied nearly 90% of the time by IMR is key to navigating these tricky waters. Attached are links for IMR decisions for firefighters, police officers, sheriff deputies, and correctional officers. WARNING! It’s not pretty.
Here are links to some great workers compensation resources.
Get it straight from the DIR website.
NOLO Press has a great workers compensation guidebook.
Did you find any other helpful links? Shoot us an email and we will put it here for others to use.