Dec
16
2009
0

SAWW increases for 2004-2010

Putting some teeth in the SAWW

Putting some teeth in the SAWW

We’ve all seen charts with the State Average Weekly Wage (“SAWW”) increases printed on them.1 But, how useful are these when you’re dealing with an opposing counsel who won’t accept your chart or calculations based on that chart?

It sure would be nice to have all the SAWW information from the Division of Workers’ Compensation all in once place.  Well, it just so happens I’ve already done this for you.

Here is a copy of every DWC Newsline from 2003 through 2009 with information on every SAWW increase from 2004 through 2010, all ready to go in one handy-dandy PDF.

[Download not found]

Share and enjoy!

More on Duncan v. WCAB, COLA’s, and SAWW increases tomorrow!

(Don’t forget to download a copy of Duncan v. WCAB here!)

  1. Photo courtesy of Aeioux []
Dec
15
2009
1

Duncan v. WCAB – summarized

Mini version of Duncan v. WCAB

Mini version of Duncan v. WCAB

In the spirit of my recent post summing up Ogilvie II and Almaraz/Guzman II in just three sentences each, I bring you a summary of the recent Duncan v. WCAB decision in just one sentence:1

The COLAs found in section 4659, subdivision (c) should be applied to life pensions or total permanent disability compensation as from January 1, 2004.2

Yes, that’s really it.  The Duncan decision consists mostly of background and discussion.  The actual decision is basically that one line above.

Come back tomorrow for more information about SAWW increases, COLA calculations, and more!

(Don’t forget to download a copy of Duncan v. WCAB here!)

  1. Photo courtesy of MarkAllanson []
  2. Duncan v. WCAB, page 18. []
Dec
14
2009
0

Do-It-Yourself Ogilvie DFEC Analysis

If you can use duct tape, you can perform an Ogilvie DFEC analysis in 5 minutes

If you can use duct tape, you can perform an Ogilvie DFEC analysis in 5 minutes

An Ogilvie / DFEC analysis isn’t really difficult, especially when this website has a free Ogilvie / DFEC calculator.1 The problem comes when you have to prove all the math behind those calculations.  This involves “showing your work.”

The best way to “show your work” is to take the reader through each step of the Ogilvie analysis.  I’ve prepared a sample report (generated using a new service on this website) which provides a clear and easy to understand format for “showing your work.”

The steps are basically this:

  • Step 0:  2005 PDRS rating string
  • Step 1: Post-Injury Earnings of Applicant
  • Step 2: Post-Injury Earnings of Similarly Situated Employees
  • Step 3: Calculate Proportional Earnings Loss
  • Step 4: Calculate Individualized Rating to Loss Ratio
  • Step 5: Compare Individualized Rating to Loss Ratio to range of ratios for the FEC ranks

For those interested, here’s a more detailed explanation of each step in an Ogilvie / DFEC analysis.

When each step of the Ogilvie / DFEC analysis is stated clearly, the reader can see every assumption, step, and perform their own calculations to verify your conclusions.  As long as the parties agree on the numbers used in an Ogilvie / DFEC calculation, they should always arrive at the same result.

Setting forth every single step of your Ogilvie / DFEC analysis lets you to spend less time arguing about the impact of Ogilvie and more time trying to get the case settled.

  1. Photo courtesy of indigotimbre []
Dec
06
2009
1

Duncan (SIF) v. WCAB (X.S.) – Life Pension, SAWW, COLA, and a partridge in a pear tree

It looks like someone took a SAWW to that COLA

It looks like someone took a SAWW to that COLA!!!

You’re probably just here to download the latest workers’ compensation case about the Cost of Living Adjustment and State Average Weekly Wage increases. 12 I’m not going to hold you in suspense – here’s the download link:

[Download not found]

Obviously, you need to read the entire decision for yourself.  Here’s my oversimplification of the case:

Whenever the injured worker is due life pension payments for injuries on or after 1/1/2003, you calculate those benefits, whenever they are due, by increasing them according to the yearly increases in the state average weekly wage starting on 1/1/2004.

If some of this seems familiar, its because this is the same case as XYZZXSJO2 which came out back in February 2009.   I had suggested back in February that the effect of the COLA increases on life pension payments today would be to increase them some 44% or so.

Still having trouble understanding the impact of this case?  Well, you could try my XYZZXSJO2 calculator to tell you what the life pension rate should be during a given year.  (Remember, this just tells you the rate – it is not a commutation calculator.  These are still in the works).

What are your thoughts on Duncan v. WCAB?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79874304@N00/386160373/
  1. Photo courtesy of Sister72 []
  2. I refuse to apologize for that pun. []
Sep
16
2009
0

The Role of Rehab Experts after Ogilvie II

Oh, if only rehab was this easy...
Oh, if only rehab was this easy…

Vocational experts seem to have gotten pretty well trampled by the recent Ogilvie I and Almaraz/Guzman I en banc decisions.  The Ogilvie II and Almaraz/Guzman II en banc decisions didn’t do them any favors either.

As far as I can tell, the WCAB1 in Ogilvie II basically flip flopped on the role of vocational experts.  Under Ogilvie I at least one very entrepreneurial vocational counselor was making money performing the Ogilvie I formula adjustments and offering to testify to support their findings.2

The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board in Ogilvie II has very explicitly stated that vocational experts are not necessary when it comes to performing the Ogilvie I formula adjustment – since it is an objective and retrospective calculation.

This leaves open the question of whether vocational expert testimony is only relevant when defending against an Ogilvie argument.

  1. Well, eight of the commissioners anyhow. []
  2. I received more than one letter demanding agreement to a vocational counselor under Ogilvie I. []

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