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Posted on: May 22, 2017
In 2012, Governor Brown persuaded California's labor unions that his proposed Workers' Compensation reform would be fair. Injured workers would get a $1 billion increase in disability payments and insurers would get $1 billion in savings.  Labor wasn't alone in buying the proposal.  The Legislature adopted it.

In 2017, the actual numbers contradict the promise.  Injured workers have gotten $650 million while insurers have gotten $1.3 billion.  Two-to-one.

One of the things taken from injured workers in the "reform" legislation was increased compensation when an injury prevents them from ever returning to their old job.  On the final day before enacting the "grand bargain", the California Applicants' Attorneys Association and the Teamsters were able to win a small concession - the Return to Work Fund, a $120 million annual amount of money to be distributed among workers who can't return to their job after getting hurt.

The Return To Work Fund became law in 2013.  So you might expect that $120 million would have been distributed in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 - a total of $480 million.  But DIR hasn't distributed a total of $120 million for ALL FOUR YEARS COMBINED.

Assembly Insurance Committee Chairman, Tom Daly has agreed to carry legislation to fix the fixable.  His bill is simple - every year the entire $120 million will be evenly distributed among the injured workers who qualify.  All of the money to all of the qualified workers.  No loopholes.  No fees.   No exceptions.

CAAA and the Teamsters are committed to get this done.  It's bad enough that the 2012 Workers' Comp reform turned out to be a bad deal... for too many of the most seriously injured workers the Return to Work Fund has turned out to be no deal at all.