News

Court denies Interpreter’s constitutional challenge to SB1160 Lien Declaration Provision

 

A couple of months ago, CWCIA embarked on a constitutional challenge of the recently passed AB 1160 requirement to attach a declaration to all liens. The interpreter community felt the declaration does not allow for interpreters to file liens for medical treatment services.  It imposes a crippling deadline to file the declaration on thousands of existing liens.  If this declaration is not filed by July 1, 2017, current liens will be dismissed by operation of law.

Unfortunately, the court denied the interpreter’s petition on the grounds that irreparable harm as yet to be shown. Despite no definitive answer, our challenge did force the DWC to clarify how interpreters providing legitimate services can still file liens.

So, even though interpreters WILL have to file the declarations, the news is not all bad.

In their Opposition Brief, the DIR’s Attorney Kim Card said that when filing liens in treatment-denied cases, we can check box (E) and need only have documentation that the treatment was “neglected or refused” (not “unreasonably refused”).  She said no particular documentation is required, but gave as an example a claim denial letter from the carrier (see Opposition Brief at 32-33).

Ms. Card also said that we can select category (C) stating we have “provided treatment authorized by the employer or claims administrator under Section 4610 for liens where medical treatment was authorized.  She said that interpreting is considered part of the “treatment” at medical treatment appointments (see Opposition Brief at 13, 31-32).

Lastly, and more importantly, Card said that a simple declaration from the interpreter describing the circumstances justifying the provision of the services will suffice. Meaning we don’t have to petition for the WCAB for medical records.

So what does this mean for you? File your liens, call the doctors and ask if their services are authorized, keep any denial letters and document, document, document. Be prepared to show these at time of lien conference and point to the brief for support.

CWCIA will make this opposition brief available for active members. You can sign up or renew membership online at www.cwcia.com. To find out the status of your membership, please create an account on our website.