Nov
12
2009
0

Ogilvie: Building the Case Part I

Building the case for a DFEC rebuttal

Q: How do you build the case for a DFEC rebuttal? A: One step at a time.

There’s a lot of conflicting information about what Judge’s are requiring to making a finding of a DFEC rebuttal under Ogilvie v. City and County of S.F.. [1]  The Board in Ogilvie II is explicit that all you need is post-injury earnings information for the injured worker and similarly situated employees and “simple mathematical calculations with that wage data” using a “non-complex formula.”[2]

Unfortunately, calling a process “simple” and “non-complex” doesn’t necessarily make it so.  Apparently some Judges are requiring some additional showing beyond wage data and “simple calculations.”

What are Judges in your area requiring?

  • Just wage data and calculations?[3]
  • Vocational testimony/evidence regarding earnings?
  • Proof of attempts to seek employment/motivation?
  • Something else?

Share your insight with an e-mail or comment.

  1. Photo courtesy of eliaspunch []
  2. Ogilvie II, p1-2. []
  3. Perhaps just a print-out from PDRater?  ;) []
Apr
01
2009
1

Suggestions for the Ogilvie Calculator

Thank you for the feedback!

Thank you for the feedback!

I was recently sent feedback about the Ogilvie DFEC rebuttal calculator on this website. [1]  Here’s how I’ve incorporated that feedback:

  1. Inputs. The calculator results repeats the inputs with the results.  This ensures that the answer provided gives you enough context when showing the calculation to the other side or when you go back to review your file.
  2. Email. You can now e-mail your calculations to yourself.
  3. Links. I’ve added a link to the various Employment Development Department and U.S. Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics inside the calculator itself.  It doesn’t automatically obtain the information, but hopefully you will find this helpful.

There are two other issues I’m thinking about:

  1. An easy way to pull up the FEC rank of a particular body part.  Its kind of a pain to look up the body part, find the FEC rank, and then enter that into the calculator.  I’m thinking ways to simplify this process.  This shouldn’t be too bad to write.
  2. Rating using the Ogilvie DFEC adjusted whole person impairment.  This one will prove to be a difficult one to write in an intuitive fashion.

How would you change these calculators?  What else would you like to see?  What do you hate about them?  Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment!

  1. Photo courtesy of biketrouble []
Mar
28
2009
2

New Ogilvie DFEC Rebuttal Calculator feature!

Getting an upgrade!

Getting an upgrade!

Late last week a user asked for a new feature.[1]  He wanted to be able to perform the Ogilvie DFEC rebuttal calculation and have the results e-mailed to him.[2] Well, I built it![3]

To e-mail yourself a calculation, perform the calculation as normal.  When the website returns your calculation, it will say “E-mail Me!”  Just click that button and it will send an e-mail to the address you used to register for this website.

However, here’s the cool part:  I’ve installed this new e-mail system into every calculator! [4] No more having to copy and paste!  Just click one button and your calculation will show up in your inbox![5]

Although I intend this to be a paid-subscription-only feature, I am going to leave it open for all users while I get some feedback.  So, what do you think?  Please leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail!

  1. Thanks Dennis! []
  2. Photo courtesy of Vernhart []
  3. Why, what did you do with your Saturday morning? []
  4. I haven’t installed it in some of the EAMS lookup functions []
  5. If you filled in the boxes for Applicant, WCAB #, and File #, it will include this information in your e-mail as well.  This is only for your convenience and not a requirement. []
Mar
23
2009
0

How has Almaraz/Guzman changed workers’ compensation?

AMA Guides 5th Ed.

AMA Guides 5th Ed.

Clearly, Almaraz/Guzman has been a boon to the U.S. Postal Service.  I’ve been receiving Almaraz/Guzman letters from Applicant attorneys on my files ever since the en banc decision came out.  These letters typically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Increased demands for settlement
  2. Demands for additional discovery per Almaraz/Guzman
  3. Letters to the PQME/AME requesting their opinions on impairment outside the AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition

I’ve also heard of some doctors completely abandoning the AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition, in favor of just analogizing impairment.  This is not what was intended by the en banc panel in WCAB in Almaraz/Guzman.

Here’s what Almaraz/Guzman means for workers’ compensation practitioners:

So, remember:

  1. Whether you agree with the AMA Guides or the 2005 PDRS they’re still the law of the land and must be addressed.
  2. Whether you agree with Almaraz/Guzman, it’s still good law and must be addressed.
  3. Almaraz/Guzman does not absolve a doctor from the responsibility to generate a medical report which addresses the AMA Guides and constitutes substantial medical evidence.
Feb
19
2009
2

How does Ogilvie change 2005 ratings?

Workers Compensation Calculator

Workers' Compensation Calculator

I had an interesting e-mail exchange with a friend (and fellow workers’ compensation professional) the other day.[1]

We were discussing the impacts of Ogilvie on 2005 schedule ratings.  He had asked me whether I intended to update the 2005 permanent disability rating calculator to include FEC Ranks after the scheduled 8.  I believe he had suggested FEC Ranks 9 through 20.

I have no intention of manufacturing FEC Ranks 9 through 20 for the following reasons:

  • Maintaining Standards. The entire point of a rating schedule is to allow a standardized method for calculating disability and expressing those disability calculations.   If I invented my own FEC Rank system beyond the scheduled 1-8 Ranks, I would essentially be creating my own rating calculation system.  I’ve gone to considerable lengths to ensure that the rating strings produced by these permanent disability calculators are as standardized, recognizeable, and universal as possible.
  • FEC Ranks are Irrelevant. The FEC Rank system is a simplified method of applying DFEC adjustment factors.  When you use the FEC Rank of a particular body part to adjust the standard using the charts on pages 2-6 and 2-7 of the 2005 PDRS (permanent disability rating schedule), what you’re really doing is essentially multiplying your standard disability against the FEC adjustment factor associated with the particular FEC Rank for the body part in question.  An FEC Rank is only useful for telling you the appropriate FEC adjustment factor to apply to the standard disability.  Thus, FEC Ranks are irrelevant and FEC adjustment factors are all important.
  • Arbitrary FEC Ranks. FEC Rank 1 has an FEC adjustment factor of “1.100”.  However, using the Ogilvie DFEC rebuttal formula, it is possible to end up with very low FEC adjustment factors.  In extreme circumstances it would be possible to have a negative FEC adjustment factor.  The only way to resolve this would be to have several possible negative FEC Ranks.  Besides being somewhat silly, worrying about additional FEC Ranks[2] misses the point.  If you’re using the Ogilvie DFEC rebuttal formula properly, the result will be a new FEC adjustment factor.  If you already have the FEC adjustment factor, you have no need for the FEC Rank!

When I had discussed the impact of Ogilvie earlier, I had pointed out that in some cases the resulting formula will dictate that you use a different FEC Rank than the one indicated by the affected body part.  In other cases you will need to use an entirely new FEC adjustment factor.  In order to keep the 2005 disability calculator current I will eventually have to create a way for the user to override a body part’s standard FEC Rank and specify a new FEC Rank or their own FEC adjustment factor.

I’m not in any particular rush to develop this feature since Ogilvie seems to require three years of post-injury earnings.  I doubt we’re going to see litigation begin in earnest over Ogilvie issues for another 18 to 24 months.

  1. Photo courtesy of Street Fly JZ []
  2. Both higher and lower than the normal 8 []

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