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Statutory Compensation Law

Oakland Workers' Compensation Attorney

In September of 2012, there were changes in workers' compensation law. Benefits were increased and other changes took place under this law, Senate Bill 863. As with any workers' compensation case and state statutes, injured workers or their families can find it difficult to navigate through the process and get benefits paid at the maximum rate possible under law.

At The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Brand, the Oakland workers' comp lawyer share 60 years of combined experience in workers' comp claims, both in the initial filing, as well as appeals and all other matters. The firm is fully up-to-date on all statutory changes, including SB 863.

The recent changes in law came about through many months of negotiations with union representatives and employers. The minimum and maximum benefits were both increased, which are currently being phased in. In 2014, the maximum weekly permanent disability benefit will increase.

Your injury will be rated based upon the body part injured as well as your age at the time you were injured. There are certain disabilities that are no longer covered, including sleep disorders or sexual dysfunction that is the result of a workplace injury. Cases of permanent disability, or catastrophic injuries, still allow for what is termed "add-ons" to your benefits for emotional problems that resulted from the injury.

If you are no longer able to perform your previous duties after an injury, you have the right to be retrained, and the costs related to retraining is part of the benefits you have a right to claim. Our firm can help you to determine if you are eligible for the "Return to Work Fund" and retraining for a new job.

Medical Disputes: Oakland Workers' Comp Lawyer

Medical disputes are addressed differently than prior to the passage of SB 863. Medical disputes are now decided by an Independent Medical Review. The goal was to speed the process of resolving disputes, which in the past, often took 9-12 months. The injured worker would be uncertain whether his or her benefits would ever be paid, waiting for months for an answer. The current process should allow injured workers to have an answer in a dispute within 40 days or less. This is expected to be a positive change for injured workers, as waiting for benefits to be approved can create a great deal of financial stress.

There are other statutory changes that could impact your ability to qualify for benefits, or what type of benefits. You are invited to contact the firm if you were injured at work to get legal advice about the types of benefits you can claim, what to expect and the final value of the benefits that could be sought by the firm.

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