Newsline No. 48-07
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June 19, 2007

Division of Workers' Compensation posts uncompensated wage loss study to its online forum for public comment

The Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has posted the third report in its study of wage loss for permanently disabled workers to its online forum for public comment. The forum can be accessed by clicking on current forums from http://www.dir.ca.gov/WCJudicial.htm. Members of the public may comment on the report until June 28.

"We received a great deal of valuable feedback at our Los Angeles and San Francisco forums," said DWC acting Administrative Director Carrie Nevans. "Posting the study to our online forum gives us the opportunity to receive comments from people all over the state who may not have been able to attend in person."

The report details wage loss experienced by disabled workers in recent years, along with comparisons of permanent disability rating information, by part of body, under the 1997 and 2005 permanent disability rating schedules, and is part of a three phase research initiative designed to evaluate the effects of the 2005 permanent disability rating schedule (PDRS).

The regulations establishing the 2005 PDRS require the DWC to compile data for at least 18 months, analyze the data to determine the effects of the 2005 PDRS and revise the diminished future earning capacity adjustment, if necessary, based on the data. To properly evaluate the cumulative effects of the 2005 PDRS on wage loss, a comprehensive wage loss study using three years of post-injury wage data is needed. In order to more swiftly evaluate the effects of the 2005 schedule, DWC developed a research plan to analyze the PDRS and other factors impacting wage loss. This plan was laid out in three phases and included a study of return-to-work rates, which was released in January, along with a retrospective wage loss study, released in March. This report constitutes the second and third steps of DWC's second phase of research. The third phase is ongoing research and analysis to continuously update return-to-work and wage loss data.

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