Bulletin 97-3 (attachment)
January 3, 1997
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
DIVISION OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION
P.O. Box 420603
San Francisco, CA 94142
The following is a brief summary of regulations in Title 8, California Code of Regulations that have been adopted, amended, or repealed by Administrative Director Casey L. Young in December of 1996.
Employer's Petition for Order Requiring Employee to Select Employer-Designated Physician: Section 9786
(Amendment Adopted and Effective 12/27/96)
Vocational Rehabilitation, Sections 10001 - 10020, 10131, 10131.1, 10133.4
(Amendments Adopted and Effective 12/27/96)
Collective Bargaining Agreements Under Labor Code Section 3201.5: Section 10203
(Amendments Adopted and Effective 12/27/96)
Permanent Disability Rating , Sections 9732 - 9766, 10154, 10167, 10168
( Amendments Adopted and Effective 12/27/96)
Interpreter's Fee Schedule, Sections 9795.1 - 9795.4
(Amendments Adopted 12/30/96, Revised Fee Schedule Effective for Services on or after 4/1/97))
Schedule for Rating Permanent Disabilities, Section 10151
(Adopted 12/30/96, Rating Schedule Effective for Injuries on or after 4/1/97)
o Expansion of Instructions: In order to provide more help to users of the Schedule additional information about rating principles, with examples, are given to assist in understanding the rating process.
o Occupational Title and Group Changes: About half the 1800 occupations in the schedule have been removed and replaced with contemporary occupations. The occupational titles have been arrayed in a new occupational grouping structure based largely on information in the federal Dictionary of Occupational Titles about the strength and other physical requirements to perform the occupations.
o Reduction in Number of Occupational Variants: In an attempt to reduce the most extreme affects of occupation on disability ratings, the number of possible variants was reduced from 12 to 8 (previously "A" through "L", now "C" through "J".) Few disability/occupation combinations were assigned the letters which are eliminated. o Consolidation of Age Groupings: In order to simplify the rating process the age modification chart was redesigned to group ages in 5 year increments rather than 2 year increments.
o Rounding Disability Percentages to Whole Numbers: To further simplify the appearance of formulas and the mathematical calculations required to perform ratings, disability ratings will now be calculated to the whole number.
o Renumbering and Rearrangement of Disabilities: To simplify, modernize and clarify disabilities listed in the Schedule, several disability sections were reorganized and renumbered. In many cases renumbering was necessary to produce sequential numbers. In other cases, disabilities were assigned numbers that provide information about the nature of the disability. The substance of the disability, including the standard rating, was not changed.
o Work Capacity Guideline for Lower Extremity Disabilities: A new set of lower extremity guidelines is added incorporating the two current scheduled benchmarks in the "Guidelines For Work Capacity" and unscheduled values commonly given for lower level disabilities.
o Loss of Near Vision:: The vision section was enhanced by the addition of loss of near vision to bring consistency to an area previously rated on a non-scheduled basis.
o Additional Guidelines for Spine and Torso Disabilities: Two intermediate disability levels are added to the Guidelines For Work Capacity, which are renamed the Spine and Torso Guidelines to better reflect their use.
o Preclusion From Emotional Stress: The common unscheduled value of 20% for disability which precludes an employee from emotional stress is added to the schedule.
o Preclusion From Dust and Fumes: The common unscheduled value of 10% for a preclusion from working in environments with exposure to dust and fumes is added to the schedule.
o Wet Work and Outside Work: The common unscheduled value of 25% for preclusion from wet or outside work is added to the schedule.
o Finger Disabilities: The provisions governing the rating of finger disabilities are simplified and made consistent with current rating practices.
o Outdated Disability Descriptions: In several areas, outdated disabilities or descriptions of disabilities have been eliminated or revised to account for advances in medical science and terminology. For example, the title "mental deterioration" has been replaced with "cognitive disorders," and "immobility of one knee joint in 90 degrees flexion," which is no longer seen because of medical advances, is removed from the schedule.
o New and Expanded Tables: New and expanded tables are added to the schedule to assist in rating several disabilities, including vision, jaw, shoulder, hip, thigh, calf, and knee.
Schedule for Inpatient Hospital Services, Sections 9790.1 , 9792.1
(Amendments Adopted 12/31/96, Inpatient Hospital Fee Schedule Effective for Admissions on or after 4/1/97)