DWC Adopts User-friendly Benefit Notice Forms

A plan to simplify workers' compensation paperwork initiated by DIR's Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) nearly a year ago has produced a significant product, user-friendly benefit notice forms.

Recently enacted reforms, coupled with the statutory requirement for providing notices to injured workers, produced a paperwork nightmare for claims administrators. Simplifying the benefit notices became a priority in DWC's overall effort to streamline the workers' compensation claims process.

Representatives of employers, employees and claims administrators participated on the committee led by Peggy Jones, DWC chief deputy director, and Mark Johnson, manager of DWC's audit unit. This committee developed a series of check-off forms and two fact sheets to satisfy the benefit notice requirements.

The fact sheets for temporary and permanent disabilities give workers information that is applicable to their circumstances.

The new, easier-to-use forms require no regulatory changes. Previously adopted DWC regulations permit maximum flexibility in providing benefit notices to employees.

The forms were introduced at the DWC educational conferences in February, and minor changes were made after feedback was received from the industry.

The new forms, fact sheets and manual will soon be available on the DIR Home Page at www.dir.ca.gov.