CAAA Legislative Director Brad Chalk responded today to RAND’s report on earnings loss by permanently disabled workers
Contact: Steve Hopcraft 916/457-5546, Steve@hopcraft.com; Twitter: @shopcraft
“CAAA has expressed the concern that SB 863 did not adequately address the lost earnings of injured workers who are unable to return to their prior jobs. CAAA worked to include this program in SB 863 to address the grossly inadequate permanent disability compensation for injured workers who can’t return to their prior jobs.
“Gov. Brown’s reform increased permanent disability compensation for injured workers who can return to their jobs. But RAND’s study tells us that for people who can’t go back to their old jobs, their loss of earnings is devastating and permanent.
“The RAND report demonstrates the astoundingly high lost earnings of Californians permanently disabled by work injuries. The most seriously injured lose nearly their entire future earnings. This is further evidence of the outrageously low levels of permanent disability compensation.
“The method suggested by RAND to determine eligibility for this supplemental compensation is the wrong approach, and, we believe, runs counter to what the Legislature intended when enacting this fund. “There cannot be a three- to five-year delay before they can receive compensation from this fund.
“RAND’s approach would force an injured worker into destitution – lose your home, lose your car – and then you are eligible to apply for compensation for your disproportionate lost earnings. And even after that delay, the worker would have to prove how they became destitute. “The simplest, fastest and least disputatious method is for injured workers to qualify for this fund when it is determined they can’t return to their old job.
“We look forward to working with the Administration and all interested parties to identify the most appropriate method of addressing the problem that RAND has identified.”
For more information, visit www.caaa.org.
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