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Lien filing fees

California’s workers’ compensation law allows certain claims for payment for services or benefits provided to or on behalf of injured workers to be filed as a lien against an  the employee’s claim for workers’compensation benefits.  Payment of those claims can only be allowed by order of the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

Requests that can be filed as a lien against the injured employee’s claim include:

  • Attorney fees
  • Burial expenses
  • Living expenses of the employee’s spouse or minor children
  • The amount of unemployment compensation disability benefits paid pending a determination of a work-related injury
  • The amount of unemployment compensation benefits and extended benefits or family temporary disability insurance benefits to the extent such benefits duplicate period of the injured employee’s entitlement to temporary total disability
  • The amount of indemnification granted by the California Victims of Crime Program
  • The reasonable expense incurred by or on behalf of the injured employee for reasonable medical treatment to cure or relieve the effects of the industrial injury except medical treatment disputes subject to independent medical review or independent bill review.

Filing a lien

How to file a lien for medical treatment expenses and pay the lien filing fee:

In compliance with a preliminary injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in the matter of Angelotti Chiropractic, Inc., et al. v. Baker, et al., the Division of Workers’ Compensation will no longer collect lien activation fees as of Nov. 19, 2013.

Lien claimants whose liens were subject to the activation fee requirement will not be required to pay the $100 fee in order to appear at a hearing or file a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed (DOR) regarding a lien.

DWC is reconfiguring its computer systems to facilitate the filing of DORs on lien claims. The fee for filing liens remains in effect. Only the lien activation fee is affected by U.S. Judge George H. Wu’s ruling.

Unless the preliminary injunction is reversed, the Jan. 1, 2014 deadline to pay activation fees will not be enforced. Further updates on changes will be posted on the DWC SB 863 pages.


November 2013