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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:

Effective November 9, 2015 at 8 a.m. lien activation fees will be collected by the Division of Workers’ Compensation in compliance with a ruling issued by Judge George Wu of the US District Court for the Central District of California in the matter of Angelotti Chiropractic, Inc., et al. v. Baker, et al. Based on Judge Wu’s order, any affected lien claimant who files a Declaration of Readiness or appears at a lien conference between November 9, 2015 and December 31, 2015 will be required to pay the activation fee if it has not previously been paid.

The order also provides that lien activation fees must be paid by December 31, 2015 or the affected lien will be dismissed by operation of law. Activation fees will no longer be accepted after midnight on December 31, 2015.

The fee for filing liens remains in effect and was not affected by Judge Wu’s ruling.


November 2015