Special Adjudication Unit

SB 1160 and AB 1244 added sections 4615 and 139.21 to the California Labor Code to eliminate fraudulent practices by medical providers in the state’s workers’ compensation system. In order to fulfill the additional adjudication duties imposed upon the DWC by these sections, a separate litigation unit composed of workers’ compensation judges and designated as the Special Adjudication Unit (SAU) was created.

Section 4615 requires certain liens to be stayed upon the filing of specified criminal charges against the provider. The DWC posts a list of lien claimants whose liens are potentially subject to a stay under the statute. The provider may request a hearing to determine whether section 4615 has been erroneously applied to their liens, which may then be held by the SAU.

Section 139.21 requires the DWC to suspend certain medical providers from participating in the workers’ compensation system. If the suspension is disputed, a hearing is held before the SAU. The section also created a special lien proceeding to address the pending liens of those providers who are suspended based upon a criminal conviction. These hearings are held before the SAU. The SAU also conducts hearings on other issues as appropriate. SAU hearings may be held at any DWC district office.

The online SAU calendar is comprised of two sections. One page shows calendaring for special lien proceeding consolidation hearings required under section 139.21. A second page shows calendaring of all other matters handled by the SAU, which may include other consolidated matters. In any consolidated matter, the designated master file will be the case listed on the calendar.  If you believe a matter is scheduled before the SAU, check both calendar pages.

Special adjudication unit calendars

February 2023