Aug
14
2009
0

ANOTHER NEW Calculator!

PDRater: Making EAMS more user friendly!

PDRater: Putting a friendly face on EAMS!

I’ve just built  another new workers’ compensation calculator.  Actually, it is a look up tool that will help workers’ compensation professionals file documents with EAMS.[1]

While I think the recent Verify!® social security number validator may be more intriguing for defense attorneys and claims examiners, I think this new EAMS tool will probably be more useful to Applicant attorneys.

Interested?  Just drop me a line to become a beta tester!

  1. Photo courtesy of Irene on the run []
Mar
26
2009
1

Improve the Ogilvie Calculator!

Could THIS be the elusive Ogilvie formula?

Could THIS be the elusive Ogilvie formula?

So, here’s the deal:  I want to build the absolute most comprehensive suite of calculators and tools for workers’ compensation professionals. [1]  I also want your help to making them better.

In the last few days several people have sent me questions about the Ogilvie DFEC workers’ compensation calculator:[2]

  1. Is it possible to get an Ogilvie DFEC adjusted whole person impairment above 100%?
    • I believe it might be theoretically possible to achieve an adjusted whole person impairment above 100% using the Ogilvie DFEC formula.  I could easily include a small variation on the calculation that would prevent it from exceeding 100, but I have not done so because I wanted to replicate the the formulas set forth in Ogilvie as exactly as possible.
  2. Why can’t I use post-injury earnings of $0.00?  What if they have no earnings at all?
    • That’s an extremely valid point.  If you try to use a post-injury earnings of “zero”, it will cause division by “zero” which is not a mathematically legal operation.  Try post-injury earnings of $1.00 or $0.01.  Doing so will give you an answer VERY close to what you need. [3]
  3. When do you round each calculation when performing the Ogilvie DFEC calculation?
    • The WCAB en banc in Ogilvie rounds to three decimal places at one step and to four decimal places at a second step.  The only way we know what they actually did is by extrapolating from the examples in the decision – they never actually state “round to four significant digits here, round to three significant digits there.”  I have rounded exactly as they did in their examples.
    • At the end of the day, there are two ways to perform the Ogilvie DFEC calculation:  the exact way the WCAB did it (sometimes four, sometimes three decimal places) and the way they probably intended to do it (four decimal places until the end).  I made the judgment call to use the formula as they performed it, warts and all.
    • Why did I choose to round as the WCAB did?  I think it is more defensible to calculate exactly as the Board did, rather than as I think the Board should have calculated.
  4. How do you put the Ogilvie DFEC adjusted whole person impairment into the rating calculator?
    • At this point, you can’t use a different FEC Rank or an Ogilvie DFEC adjustment factor in the 2005 PDRS rating calculator on this site.  In order to accomodate this, I would need to either rewrite the entire calculator or write a new calculator.  One other possibility is that I could modify the Ogilvie DFEC calculation to provide one extra line of information – where it “runs the FEC numbers backwards.”
    • Let’s take this example:  Suppose the body part FEC rank is 1 and whole person impairment is 10.  The normal FEC adjusted whole person impairment would be 11.  Let’s suppose after applying the Ogilvie DFEC formula it turns out you should have an FEC rank of 8 instead.  This would give you an Ogilvie DFEC adjusted whole person impariment of 14%.  I could write a modification of the current Ogilvie DFEC calculator to put 14% into the FEC Rank chart and look up what whole person impairment you would need with an FEC rank of 1 to arrive at 14%.  Would you find this a helpful interim fix?  Please let me know by sending me an e-mail.
  5. Jay, why in the world did the Ogilvie DFEC calculator reference “standard disability”?  Shouldn’t it say “whole person impairment”?
    1. You’re totally correct.  I’ve fixed this.  Mea culpa.

Here’s my request for your help.  In order to make an Ogilvie calculation valid, you need to put in valid post-injury earnings of similarly situated employees.  The WCAB in Ogilvie suggests several possible sources:[4]

What do you use for post-injury earnings of similarly situated employees?  If I had a better idea where people were looking it is possible that I might be able to automate the inclusion of this informaiton as well.  Please drop me a line and let me know.   If there is a general consensus, I’ll look into the possiblity of having this informaiton automatically imported from an external website.

  1. Why?  Some people have wacky hobbies.  Maybe you build hockey arenas out of toothpicks.  I build workers’ compensation calculators and give them away for free.  If it will put you at ease, I hope to make money from advertising in the future. []
  2. Photo courtesy of nerissa’s ring []
  3. I know it has a less than friendly error message about this. I’ll see what I can do about fixing that. []
  4. I’ve copied the links directly from Ray Frost‘s Ogilvie spreadsheet/calculator.  Ray has been kind enough to allow me the use of his extensive work restrictions lists.  So, thanks Ray! []
Mar
17
2009
0

500 Registered Users!

Indy 500

Indy 500

Wow!  500 registered users!

Last month I mentioned that this website had a record number of new visitors.  I honestly thought that was an anomalous one day spike in traffic.  Instead we’ve had a sustained increase in new visitors and people signing up to use the workers’ compensation calculators for free.

Since February 13, 2009[1] I’ve enjoyed posting about:

Ever since I relaunched this website I’ve had this idea in the back of my mind that getting to 500 users would be a big deal.  There are literally hundreds of workers’ compensation professionals who rely on this website and its calculators to make their lives a little easier.  This certainly feels like a big deal to me.

  1. When the 400th user registered. []
  2. I am keeping this calculator in beta testing until I get a little more feedback.  If you want to try it out, just drop me a line! []
Mar
09
2009
4

Don’t Believe The Hype: Almaraz/Guzman is the law!

Get your head out of the sand!

Get your head out of the sand!

UPDATE 9/3/2009:  Download the new en banc Ogilvie II and Almaraz/Guzman II decisions here!

There are numerous workers’ compensation professionals who are incredibly unhappy with Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman.  Vocational experts are unhappy with Ogilvie, and somewhat hopeful with Almaraz/Guzman.  Impairment rating specialists are not happy with Ogilvie or Almaraz/Guzman.  These people may be unhappy with these new cases, but at least they’re starting to adapt.

As Julius Young of WorkCompZone.com just reported, some people are dealing with Almaraz/Guzman by putting on “webinars.”  Phil Walker and Christopher Brigham have each announced “webinars.”  According to Walker’s promotional e-mail, he charges $2,000.00 to appear for a one day seminar – and now he’s giving it away for free.

People will try to convince you that Almaraz/Guzman is not the law or “just” a WCAB decision.  Do not believe these people.  Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman are both en banc cases.

En banc decisions of the Appeals Board are binding precedent on all Appeals Board panels and workers’ compensation judges. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 10341; City of Long Beach v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (Garcia) (2005) 126 Cal.App.4th 298, 313, fn. 5 [70 Cal.Comp.Cases 109, 120, fn. 5]; Gee v. Workers’ Comp. Appeals Bd. (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 1418, 1425, fn. 6 [67 Cal.Comp.Cases 236, 239, fn. 6]; see also Gov. Code, § 11425.60(b).)

Ogilvie and Almaraz/Guzman are binding precedent on judges and the WCAB itself.  Don’t believe the hype and don’t stick your head in the sand. [1] If you argue it is not the law or not binding precedent, you will lose.  Yes, these cases may be appealed and may even be overturned.

I think it likely they will be appealled and highly unlikely they will be overturned.

  1. Photo courtesy of blakeimeson []
Sep
05
2008
0

Top five PDRater.com features that make your life easier

I am constantly trying to think of ways in which to improve this website and to make it a better resource for California Workers’ Compensation professionals.  If you’ve got an idea as to how I can improve this site, drop me a line and let me know.

  1. Links to online Medical Provider Network lists of physicians for a lot of different carriers
    • Click on “Medical Provider Network Links”
  2. The ability to search for occupational codes by the occupational title or to search for an occupational title by occupational code
    • Click on “Rating Calculator” and then “Occupation”
  3. Links to free searchable versions of the California Labor Code and California Code of Regulations
    • Click on “Workers’ Compensation Resource Links”
  4. Links to the State of California search pages for medical doctors, chiropractors, osteopaths, podiatrists, accupuncturists, optomotrists, psychologists, and dentists
    • Click on “Physician Search Links”
  5. Downloads for numerous Permanent Disability Rating Schedules1988, 1997, 2005, and the draft for 2009
  6. Combined Values Chart / Multiple Disabilities Table calculators
    • Click on “Rating Calculator” and then “CVC” or “MDT”
  7. A list of Commonly Used Terms in California Workers’ Compensation law

What’s that?  I only promised the top five PDRater.com features?  Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the first rule of business:  Under promise and over deliver.

Happy Friday!

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