Oregon WCD issues Temporary Rules Clarifying Claim Closure Requirements

In our efforts to keep you apprised of the latest developments regarding the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision in Brown (see Andrew’s blog on the case here.) and how the decision could affect claim processing (see Megan’s blog on the issue here.), we are forwarding the temporary administrative rules issued by the WCD.

As expected, the rules confirm that medically stationary status, permanent impairment, and permanent work restrictions must relate to the accepted condition or to a direct medical sequela of the accepted condition. The temporary rules remove the phrase “a condition directly resulting from the work injury.” The WCD also revised Bulletin 239, the claim closure guide provided to medical arbiters. The bulletin provides useful information to ask the attending physician or a closing examiner on your claim.

The temporary rules and revised bulletin apply to all Notices of Closure issued on or after April 11, 2017.

A link to all the WCD materials is included below.

OAR 436-010, Medical Services http://wcd.oregon.gov/Rules/div_010/10-17052t_ub.pdf
OAR 436-030, Claim Closure and Reconsideration http://wcd.oregon.gov/Rules/div_030/30_17053t_ub.pdf
OAR 436-035, Disability Rating Standards http://wcd.oregon.gov/Rules/div_035/35_17054t_ub.pdf

Bulletin 239, “Claim closing and other impairment-focused examinations and forms for reporting impairments.” http://wcd.oregon.gov/Bulletins/bul_239.pdf.

If you have any questions about how Brown or the new closure rules could impact your claim processing obligations, please contact me at kanderson@sbhlegal.com.