California Workers’ Compensation Law requires that Employers pay surcharges in addition to their regular California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premiums. These Surcharges are very important to Injured Workers. These surcharges fund certain programs which are important for Injured Workers to know about. These Surcharges can help Injured Workers collect benefits from their claims. These surcharges allow Injured Worker to have access to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board so that they can obtain benefits. These surcharges can also be a source of an additional form of compensation for Injured Workers.
What are Surcharges?
California Insurance Carriers are obligated by California Law to participate in the surcharge program by collecting these surcharge funds from Employers. These surcharges are used to fund various programs which involve the workers’ compensation system. See Labor Code Sections 62.5, 62.6 and Insurance Code Section 1063.5.
What are the Programs that the Surcharges fund?
There is a Fraud Assessment Surcharge, a Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund Surcharge, an Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund Surcharge, a Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund Surcharge, an Occupational Safety and Health Fund Surcharge, a Labor Enforcement Compliance Surcharge, and a California Guarantee Insurance Code Association Surcharge.
These surcharges, in many different ways, directly benefit many Injured Workers. I have arranged them in order of importance.
What is the Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund Surcharge?
This Administrative Surcharge is one of the most important. It provides for the funding of the workers’ compensation administration, the return to work program, and for employers’ workers’ compensation coverage compliance enforcement.
In sum, this surcharge pays for the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board offices and their staffing. Injured Workers cannot get their claims adjudicated without this surcharge. Also, this surcharge benefits Injured Workers through the return to work program which includes the job displacement benefit. Finally, this surcharge assists in making sure that Employers are properly insured so that Injured Workers can get benefits.
What is the CIGA Surcharge?
The CIGA Surcharge is another very important surcharge for Injured Workers. The California Insurance Guarantee Association settles unpaid claims of insolvent insurers. In this surcharge, the entire Insurance Industry assumes responsibility for defunct carriers’ obligations to their claimants. In sum, when an Insurance Company goes insolvent, monies from this surcharge help to pay out these claims. In other words, Injured Workers do not lose their entitlement to benefits should the adjusting Insurance Company goes bankrupt.
What is the Uninsured Employer Benefits Trust Fund Surcharge?
The Uninsured Employer Benefits Trust Fund Surcharge is a very important surcharge for Injured Workers. In the event that there is no workers’ compensation insurance, this surcharge assists in creating a fund so that Injured Workers can collect benefits.
In sum, there are times when an Employee is injured at work for which the Employer did not have an insurance policy in effect. This surcharge helps these Injured Workers get the same benefits as if there was insurance.
What is the Subsequent Injuries Trust Fund Surcharge?
The Subsequent Injured Trust Fund Surcharge is another very important surcharge for Injured Workers. For Injured Workers who have pre-existing permanent disabilities and physical limitations, if they meet certain eligibility qualifications, they are allowed to collect additional compensation beyond their ordinary compensation.
What is the Occupational Safety and Health Fund Surcharge?
The Occupational Safety and Health Fund Surcharge is used to promote safe and healthful working conditions by funding state safety and health agencies to implement and enforce occupational health and safety laws.
What is the Labor Enforcement Compliance Fund Surcharge?
The Labor Enforcement Compliance surcharge is used to enforce employer compliance with labor standards and securing workers’ compensation insurance.
What is the Fraud Surcharge?
The Fraud Surcharge funds the investigation and prosecution of workers’ compensation fraud. This is one surcharge that does not necessarily benefit an Injured Worker directly. Fraud Investigation and Prosecution, in the Workers’ Compensation system, can involve Employers, Employees, and Medical Providers.
What if I Need Advice?
If you would like a free consultation regarding your workers’ compensation claim, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. They have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their worker’s compensation cases for 26 years. Contact us today for more information.