Washington State Announces 2020 COLA Increase; Affects Temporary Disability Payments Starting July 1st
Under RCW 51.32.075 temporary disability benefits are recalculated July 1st of each year to reflect changes in the states average wage. According to the Washington State Employment Security Department, the statewide average wage for 2019 was $69,700. This represents a 6.7% increase from 2018 average wage of $65,301; the largest increase since 1999. The Department of Labor and Industries has provided updated information on how to apply the COLA here. Please note the COLA does not apply to temporary disability payments until the second July after the date of injury, unless a worker’s temporary disability rate is set at the minimum or maximum temporary disability rate. Have questions about this year’s COLA increase? Feel free to contact me at 503-595-6110 or email@example.com.
Sather Byerly & Holloway, LLP is excited to announce its Workers’ Compensation Online Certification Program for claims examiners, employers, insurance brokers, and medical providers or anyone else interested in learning more about Oregon’s workers’ compensation system. The course includes eight online modules where students will learn about several key issues, such as: • Compensability • Claims Administration • Temporary Disability • Medical Services • Claim Closure • Vocational Benefits • Litigation & Settlement • Board’s Own Motion Jurisdiction • Third-Party Actions • The Workers’ Benefit Fund Students will also be provided with a coursebook, which covers these and many more topics. As an added bonus, each student will be assigned an attorney mentor who they can use as a resource… Continue reading
Changes to Oregon rules regarding Employer/Insurer Coverage Responsibility effective as of January 1, 2017
OAR 436-050 governs the responsibility of employers and insurers to provide workers’ compensation coverage to subject workers for compensable injuries and illnesses. Many changes to an employer/insurers coverage responsibility went into effect at the start of the New Year. Some of these changes were stylistic and meant to provide improved clarity through better organization and use of plain language. Other changes were more substantive and are outlined below. OAR 436-050-0110/OAR 436-050-0210: Requires insurers/self-insurers to process and maintain claim records in the State of Oregon. However, insurers can receive claim reports and issue payments from outside the state so long as records are forwarded to or payments are directed from Oregon. OAR 436-050-0150(3): Requires employers to maintain a financial rating of… Continue reading
Workers’ Compensation Board confirms permanent impairment is awarded based on accepted conditions or their direct medical sequelae; distinguishes recent Court of Appeals case.
The Workers’ Compensation Board recently ruled that permanent impairment awarded based on the accepted conditions and their direct medical sequelae. See William Snyder, 68 Van Natta 199 (2016). Although Board’s ruling is nothing new, Snyder is significant given a footnote in the recent Court of Appeals case Magana-Marquez v. SAIF, 276 Or App 32 (2016). In Magana-Marquez, claimant was seeking a permanent disability award for reduced range of motion and sensory loss in her low back; findings she acknowledged were unrelated her workplace injury. The Court ultimately held claimant was not entitled to a permanent impairment award, because there was no causal connection between her compensable injury and claimed impairment. 276 Or App at 37. The Court’s opinion… Continue reading