You may recall last month’s dismissal of over 292,000 unresolved liens by California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The DWC closed the lien cases for failure to comply with new declaration requirements mandated by SB 1160. On August 14, 2017, the DWC dismissed the liens on procedural grounds “by operation of law." The dismissed liens are now publicly available through a searchable database posted on the DWC website.
SB 1160 amended Labor Code §4903.05, requiring lien claimants to file a declaration asserting the validity of their claims. All liens must now satisfy at least one of the seven lien categories listed in sections (c)(A) through (G) of the amended Labor Code.
The supplemental lien declaration requirement went into effect for all new liens filed as of January 1, 2017 and retroactively applied to liens filed on or after January 1, 2013. Lien claimants who filed a lien between January 1, 2013 and December 31 of 2016 were required to file a retroactive supplemental lien declaration on or before July 1, 2017.
Without the supplemental declaration, a lien claim is not entitled to examination by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). Accordingly, lien claimants that failed to timely file the retroactive lien declaration file found their liens — and the $2.7 billion these liens collectively represented— dismissed regardless of merit.
The DWC database of dismissed liens can be downloaded in its entirety, or searched by ADJ case number, lien reservation number, claimant name, or the name of the injured worker. THe DWC reported that some companion cases associated with the 292,000 dismissed liens have yet to be identified. Once identified, these companion cases will be added to the database.
The DWC made no attempt to notify claimants individually. In addition to the database, the DWC website features an overview of SB 1160 and its effects, complete with a Frequently Asked Questions page and sample pdf versions of the declaration forms.
We’re here to help with any questions regarding SB 1160 and Labor Code §4903.05. Start with our FAQ Article about the new DWC forms, or watch our lien declaration webinar. As always, feel free to contact us with any further concerns, or request a full demonstration of what DaisyBill can do to ensure proper reimbursement for your office.