Potential Changes to Oregon Time Loss Rules Coming?
The Workers’ Compensation Section of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA) is currently in the process of drafting a bill with proposed changes to ORS 656.262, 656.268, and 656.319 which they plan to introduce during the 2022 legislative session. All three statues include rules that are applicable to temporary disability benefits.
OTLA is proposing the following six changes:
ORS 656.262(4)(g): Cap on retroactive temporary disability authorization. Currently, the rule states any temporary disability authorization can only be effective retroactively for 14 days or less prior to its issuance. OTLA wants to change the retroactive cap to 60 days.
ORS 656.262(4)(j): Requirement that the insurer or self-insured employer provide written notice when suspending time loss. The proposed change would require the notice to be mailed within five days of receipt of information that temporary disability benefits will end and include a statement with the reasoning for ending the benefits. This would also preclude stopping payments without the notice being sent.
Language clarifying that the temporary disability rules outlined in ORS 656.262(4) do not apply to denied claims.
ORS 656.268(1)(e): New restriction on back dating medically stationary status. The change would limit an attending provider’s ability to back date a finding of medically stationary to no more than 60 days.
ORS 656.286(16): Insurer or self-insured employer’s recovery of overpayments of permanent partial disability (PPD) awards. The change would limit the recovery of overpayments, offsets, or credits of wage loss to 50% of the total award.
ORS 656.319(6): Removal of the two year statute of limitations for requests for hearing for failure to process or incorrect processing.
The proposed changes related to the 60 day retroactive temporary disability authorization cap, the 50% cap on PPD overpayment recovery, and the removal of the statute of limitations for temporary disability requests for hearing are somewhat concerning for insurers and self-insured employers. However, defense attorneys, including our own Kevin Anderson, as well as SAIF have been involved in ongoing negotiations with OTLA since they first began proposing time loss rule changes back in 2020 to ensure insurer and self-insured employer interests are being considered. There have been several proposals and the current draft includes compromises and concessions from both sides including the 50% cap on PPD. OTLA’s initially proposal included a change that would have eliminate the insurer/ self-insured employer’s ability to assert an overpayment altogether.
Much still needs to happen for these proposed changes to become law but SBH is monitoring OTLA’s proposal closely. If you want to learn more, sign up for the 20th Annual SBH Oregon Workshop on November 12, 2021! Kevin Anderson and Steve Verotsky will be doing a deep dive into these potential changes and as well as other legislative updates. You won’t want to miss it!
If you have any burning time loss questions in the meantime, feel free to contact me at or 503-595-6115.