Kevin Anderson

New Administrative Rules Regarding Claim Closure effective March 1, 2015

By: Kevin Anderson Kevin AndersonThe WCD has published new administrative rules responding to two recent court cases (Brown v. SAIF, 262 Or App 640 (2014); Schleiss v. SAIF, 364 Or 637 (2013)). The WCD initially proposed a broad-sweeping change that would link all claim benefits to the “work injury” instead of “accepted conditions.” Based on the input received from many in the industry, the WCD approved these narrower changes. While there are significant changes throughout the administrative rules, I highlighted the two major changes below. These new rules govern any claim closed on or after March 1, 2015. Closing Reports In initial injury claims only, a closing report will need to “include objective findings of any… Continue reading

WCD Seeks Input on Significant Changes to OAR 436

By: Kevin Anderson Kevin AndersonOver the last few months, the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division was considering making significant changes to OAR 436 in light of two recent court decisions. (Brown v. SAIF, 262 Or App 640 (2014); Schleiss v. SAIF, 364 Or 637 (2013). The WCD has decided to move forward with a formal rulemaking hearing. While there are many changes to administrative rules, I have highlighted some of the more significant aspects below: Impairment will be awarded for the accepted conditions, direct medical sequela, and now for any condition directly resulting from the work injury; If the compensable injury resulted in permanent impairment, the impairment is only apportioned to denied, superimposed, or legally preexisting conditions (as long… Continue reading

Workers’ Compensation Division Proposes Drastic Overhaul to OAR 436

Kevin AndersonBy: Kevin Anderson Back in May, we let you know about a Court of Appeals decision that could have drastic changes to processing combined conditions. Brown v. SAIF (2014). After Brown, the proper inquiry in analyzing a combined condition is whether the work injury ceased being the major cause of the disability and need for treatment, as opposed to looking at the accepted condition. The Oregon Supreme Court has just agreed to review the Brown decision.   The Supreme Court also issued a decision significantly affecting the impairment rating process. Schleiss v. SAIF (2013). After Schleiss, if the work injury materially contributed to claimant’s impairment, then all of the impairment is due to the… Continue reading