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SB 863 Calif.
Greetings, I am new to this forum so here's the story and question(s): I was injured in 2003. Went to a chiropractor for 2 years until Comp decided I should see a "real" doctor. Did that and at the time, was rated at 14% disabled in the upper body. The injury was a slip & fall, striking my head, neck, shoulders, elbow and hip. The real docs sent me to a specialist. I had a herniated disc at C-5/C-6. No choice but to have a fusion. After that, the shoulders flared up. Long story short, after the fusion, I had to retire because I could not shoot a shotgun with a fusion. This was 2006. After that, I had surgeries to both shoulders, twice on the right due to tearing the rotator cuff during PT. Been to court, I am Permanent & Stationary rated at 82% disabled. So much for surgery helping. Pain is constant at 7, increasing very quickly with activity using the shoulders and arms.
Got my settlements and future Permanent benefits paid in lump sum.
Now comes SB 863. Section 4453 of the Labor Code is amended for permanent disabilities, increasing compensation. They adjusted the rates for injuries since Jan. 1, 1983.
I have been advised these are NOT retroactive. This seems silly to me, as I bet very few, if any, cases more than 10 years old are still unsettled by a Permanent & Stationary status. What is the point of increasing the rates if the injured worker cannot collect on the difference?
So the question is: Is anyone aware of any legislation making these changes retroactive? Are they really NOT retro? If not, what was the point?
And I agree that the new review process sucks. I am still at their mercy when it comes to medical care. Approvals are real slow now, as my case worker got promoted and while she is learning her new job, she is also training her replacement. I recently pulled a muscle doing PT. More pain. Doc wants to do x-ray and injections. Been waiting 3 weeks and nothing yet.
And yes, this is the short story......
the increases to the maximum PD & TD rates are not retroactive and there is no legislation to make them so.
the point is that as wages increase over the years they want those that are injured in the coming years to have their comp payments keep pace.
if the maximum rate is fixed and doesn't change, an ever greater percentage of worker wages are left uncompensated.
with reverse logic it would be very unfair to pay prior claims a much higher percentage of their wages then those who are injured now and need it for today's expenses.
they regularly look at the state wide average weekly wages and adjust the maximums to reflect how they are changing so the ratios remain close.

but I believe the real problem with adding huge unpredictable disability costs to the system retroactively is that past employers have long ago paid their premiums and there is no easy way for carriers to recoup the $$ years after the injury let alone set accurate insurance rates for todays coverage.
the system has to have a dependable and fixed method of collecting the funds to pay for the benefits.

depending on how your PD benefits were settled you maybe entitled however to an COLA type increase in your life pension
for more information see labor code 4659 ( c )
and this bulletin
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
Thank you for your insight. I totally agree that higher rates are needed for future injured workers. I also think it is a waste of time to publish new rates for injuries that are old, up to 30 years ago, and few, if any, are still open. It serves no purpose.

I had my PD benefits paid in a lump sum earlier this year, so not an issue. We are working on a C & R, but not holding my breath.

In court last year, my lawyer failed to have some body parts included that had been accepted by comp. So I went to another lawyer and he tried to have them included. The result was the body parts were not included and the judge reduced my award and PD benefit. Nobody has been able to tell me how or why that happened. The injury was in 2003 and only after the first surgery in 2006 did I lose work and retire. Arnolds changes were in 2004, so not sure if that had anything to do with the change in award and PD.
you are confused about the law.
I don't know what you mean new rates for old injuries. new maximums are published for current injuries regularly (http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/WorkersCompens...nefits.htm)
the new maximums don't apply to old injuries.

and those with lifetime disability payments are still drawing their permanent total or life pensions no matter how old the original injury was.

if your PD was commuted then you need to make sure they factored in the potential Life Pension increases that might accrue.
if they didn't ask them to recalculate the commutation.

if you just needed a place to vent then that's fine.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
For the most part, yes, I am venting. But I was curious about the new law and if it was retro. You said No, which is the same as the lawyer.
When I refer to the new rates for old injuries, I am referring to Labor Code 4453, which sets new rates for TD and PD beginning on Jan. 1. 1983 and Jan. of 1984, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2003 and 2004. For my time frame, I was paid $814 a week and the new rate is $903 a week. The last paragraph of this section says all calculations should be done using the new rates. Nothing says it is not retro and nothing says it is. So to say I am confused would be an accurate statement Smile

Something was factored in my PD commutation, as it was about 17K more than the lawyer expected.
as i posted you are confused about the law and how legislation is done.

every time the legislature changes the maximums they add another phrase or line to 4453.
99% of that section has been repeated exactly that way the every time they update it for a new maximum.
they don't change the rates for the old claims - the law and the words remain the same with just the new additions.
the maximum rate for 1983 injuries has been the same every year since in was first added to section 4453.
in 1984 they just added the new maximum and did not change the rate for 1983.

look at some old labor codes from your atty. you'll see the rates don't change --they just add the new ones.

if you want to see what was changed in 4453 look at the different versions of the bill as it worked it way thru the legislature
the italics are new sections proposed and the strike thru are what they want deleted.
you'll see that most of the pre-sb863 wording never got changed.

SB 863 did not short-change your rates or give better rates to other claims.
you read the law incorrectly.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.
I can read the laws just fine. Been reading them for 30 years without a problem. When I went on TD and settled the PD, I was at the maximum rates for my DOI, which were lower than what 4453 shows now.

My original question was is it retroactive and you say no, same as my attorney.

You don't need to resort to insults. It only shows your ego and egos are not the issue here. Resolving a simple question is.

I am >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>out of here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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