A bill proposed by the California Senate could reduce the time for workers 'compensation claim administrators to investigate work damages and lead to increased employer liability, according to a report released Thursday by the California Workers' Compensation Institute.  SB 335, introduced in February, would reduce the investigation time for damages to 45 days from 90 and increase employers' liability for medical benefits during the investigation by 70% to $ 17,000, CWCI said.
CWIC researchers compiled a set of claims between 2015 and 2019 to examine the percentage of a decision made within 30, 45 and 90 days, and the percentage of claims that reached or exceeded the current treatment limit of $ 1
The study found that on average, more than 97% of claims had a compensation decision after 90 days, but only 85% did so after 45 days. However, the study noted that of claims that were ultimately denied, only 37% were decided within 45 days and 63% remained under investigation, although almost 94% were decided within 90 days.
Researchers also found that 1.4% of claims exceeded the $ 10,000 limit and 0.8% reached or exceeded the proposed limit of $ 17,000.
The CWCI analysis concluded that "it is unlikely that tortfeasors could unilaterally speed up much of the investigation" and that "reducing the investigation period by half and increasing employers' liability for medical treatment benefits during the investigation period" would "likely" generate unintended consequences . ”