A Claims Disposition Agreement—better known as a CDA—is a great tool to settle accepted claims. Once a claim is accepted, the claimant retains rights to medical services for the compensable injury. A CDA does not release a claimant’s right to these services. Over the summer, we saw the Board clarify interpretation of CDAs that contain “full releases,” aggravation and Own Motion rights. The Board examined several CDAs and determined the CDAs could not release the carrier’s obligation to process Own Motion claims for worsened or new/omitted condition or aggravation rights. The Board approved these CDAs, but interpreted them to mean that claimant retained rights to medical service related benefits. As of September 1st, the Board decided to no longer approve CDAs containing provisions which fully released claims for aggravation or new/omitted medical conditions and Own Motion relief. Instead the Board began issuing letters requiring an amendment of the agreement to confirm the claimant’s retention of medical service related benefits.
Be sure to review your CDA language to ensure that it is clear claimant is entitled to retain medical service related benefits. If not, you risk delaying settlement by having to issue an addendum to the CDA. The Board has provided a sample CDA found here.
If you have any questions regarding settling your claims or any other Oregon Workers’ Compensation matters, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.