Guide to the State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF)

One of the largest providers of Workers’ Compensation Coverage in California is the State Compensation Insurance Fund.  The State Compensation Insurance Fund is commonly known as the “State Fund” or “SCIF.”

For many workers, it is important that they understand what is SCIF and how it operates.  The reason being is that many Injured Worker’s claims are being adjusted through the fund.

This article will discuss the State Compensation Insurance Fund and how Injured Workers should approach their claims if they are being handled by the Fund.

What are the State Fund’s Goals?

The State Fund’s goal is “to become California’s workers’ compensation carrier of choice.” Their purpose “is to provide fairly priced workers’ compensation insurance, help make workplaces safe, and restore injured workers.”

What are the Origins of the State Compensation Insurance Fund?

The State Fund was established in 1914.  It was created within the California State Constitution.

ARTICLE XIV Labor Relations, Section 4, includes “the establishment and management of a state compensation insurance fund.”

This was part of the Constitutional Mandate to provide a “complete system of workers’ compensation [which] includes adequate provisions for the comfort, health and safety and general welfare of any and all workers and those dependent upon them for support to the extent of relieving from the consequences of any injury or death incurred or sustained by workers in the course of their employment, irrespective of the fault of any party; also full provision for securing safety in places of employment; full provision for such medical, surgical, hospital and other remedial treatment  as is requisite to cure and relieve from the effects of such injury.”

In sum, the State of California has a vested interest in the success and stability of the State Compensation Insurance Fund as a provider of workers’ compensation insurance.  This is interest based upon a constitutional mandate.

What is the State Compensation insurance Fund?

Per their website, the “State Fund is California’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance. Not for profit and funded solely by premiums and investment income, we’ve supported California’s entrepreneurial spirit and played a vital role in the state’s economy for more than 100 years. By innovating in areas such as workplace safety and injured worker care, we’re committed to serving California for the next 100 as well.”

State Fund offers diverse and comprehensive products and services that provide a strong and stable option for employers and injured employees with fast, reliable claims service and medical and indemnity benefits. State Fund’s accident prevention services—provided to policyholders at no additional cost—ultimately help save businesses money.

With approximately 110,000 policyholders, more than $918 million in premiums, and nearly $21 billion in assets, Californians rely on the security and certainty offered by State Fund to the state’s employers, particularly the small businesses and new ventures that are key to California’s economic recovery.

For many Employers, the State Fund is the carrier of “last resort.”  This is the place where they have to get their workers’ compensation insurance.

The Fund has two parts. There is State Fund Policy and State Fund Contracts.   The State Fund Policy is the section which handles private employers.   The State Fund Contracts is the section which adjusts various government agencies which contract with the State Fund to administer their claims.

What are the Core Values of the State Compensation Insurance Fund? Why Should You Be Aware of It?

Per the SCIF Website, the Core Values are “Respect Everyone. Create an environment where all people and perspectives are valued and teams work together to serve the diverse needs of California businesses. Be Innovative. Seek out solutions and consider new approaches to serve our customers and help improve California’s workers’ compensation system. Do What’s Right. Approach every situation with a passion to help, a desire to learn and a commitment to integrity—because doing the right thing isn’t always simple, easy, or clear. Show We Care. Listen to understand and invest the time and resources needed to help California employers and injured workers.”

These are important to know.   If you feel that your adjuster is not following the “Core Values,” they should be reminded of that them.  Most of the times, however, I have found that the SCIF adjusters act is a very professional manner.  Experienced SCIF adjusters are well trained.

How Do You Rate the State Fund as a Carrier?

These comments are from my own personal experience.

The State Fund has tremendous resources. They have lots of assets and monies. They are an innovator within workers’ compensation and have taken steps to claims managements that were ahead of their time.  They were paperless well in advance of others in the industry.

Their claims management approach tends to rely on their adjusters.   Their adjusters can be very good and well trained.  They handle the case management as opposed to counsel.  Their counsel tend to be more appearance oriented rather than directing the case management of the claim.

Overall, I think they do a good job in adjusting their claims.

The State Fund has been known to have an excellent training program for their attorneys. Also, they have a reputation as having very good appellate attorneys.   There are many reported cases involving the State Fund.

Have You Had Any Personal Experience With the State Fund?

Besides handling claims against them, I have had two claims and awards with SCIF as the carrier.   They have been decent in my requests for treatment off of my award.  I am relatively satisfied with their handling.

As an Employer, I have had claims filed against me.   They have done a decent job handling the claim.   I did run into a problem one adjuster on an issue.   It was not easy resolving the issue.   Further, the State Fund offers a number of educational programs for Employers which I attended and found helpful.   Overall, I am satisfied with their insurance.

As an Injured Worker, Should I Be Concerned that the State Fund is the Insurance Company?

No. You should not be concerned.  You should be vigilant concerning your rights and pay attention to the documentation you received.   On occasion, they will make a mistake. Other carriers do so as well.  Unlike other carriers, however, because of their status, they need to be “the standard” as to quality claims handling.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation concerning any workers’ compensation case, 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 28 years. Contact us today for more information.

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