The new law that took effect on 1/1/2017 is devastating for medical interpreters!

Are you a medical interpreter?
Do you provide language services for workers’ compensation patients?
If so…
Is medical treatment interpreting part of your livelihood?
Do you ever have to file liens in order to be reimbursed for services?
If so…read on…


Did you hear about SB 1160?
It is a NEW LAW that took effect January 1, 2017
It requires interpreters and Language Service Providers (LSPs) when filing a lien, to sign a declaration, under penalty of perjury, attesting that the lien falls within one of 7 categories under Section 4903.5(c)(1) of the California Labor Code.
Section (G) does NOT provide for interpreters or LSPs to file a lien for interpreting at medical treatment appointments.
It is limited to services provided by “a certified interpreter rendering services during a medical-legal examination.”
Reimbursement for interpreting for medical-legal examinations can be obtained thru a petition NOT a lien…but you knew that right?
What if you are not a certified interpreter? What if certification doesn’t exist in your language pair?
Also…even if you could file a lien, you need documents to support your position. But wait! Interpreters can’t get medical documents without a court order! And you can’t request a court order until you’ve become a lien claimant! WHAT?

If this concerns you, please write to the DIR/DWC HERE by JANUARY 18, 2017 and tell them they got this all wrong. Here is some language you can use:

Download sample letter »

SB1160: A Game changer!

Senate Bill 1160 had been signed into law. It calls for for an additional declaration under penalty of perjury to be filed for all new liens starting 1/1/2017. This declaration also has to be filed on all existing liens by 7/1/2017.  If your declaration is not filed by the deadline, your lien is dismissed by operation of law!  It is expected the DWC will release a standard form for this declaration. Your lobbyists made a valiant effort to fight this new bill.  The part that pertains to interpreters specifically is defective and your lobbyists have called attention to these issues. Nonetheless, this new law is reality and we must evaluate our business model to see if we can fit ourselves into the new system. The portion about the declaration reads:

4903.05.(c) (1) For liens filed on or after January 1, 2017, any lien claim for expenses under subdivision (b) of Section 4903 that is subject to a filing fee under this section shall be accompanied at the time of filing by a declaration stating, under penalty of perjury, that the dispute is not subject to an independent bill review and independent medical review under Sections 4603.6 and 4610.5, respectively, that the lien claimant satisfies one of the following:(A) Is the employee’s treating physician providing care through a medical provider network.
(B) Is the agreed medical evaluator or qualified medical evaluator.
(C) Has provided treatment authorized by the employer or claims administrator under Section 4610.
(D) Has made a diligent search and determined that the employer does not have a medical provider network in place.
(E) Has documentation that medical treatment has been neglected or unreasonably refused to the employee as provided by Section 4600.
(F) Can show that the expense was incurred for an emergency medical condition, as defined by subdivision (b) of Section 1317.1 of the Health and Safety Code.
(G) Is a certified interpreter rendering services during a medical-legal examination, a copy service providing medical-legal services, or has an expense allowed as a lien under rules adopted by the administrative director.
(2) Lien claimants shall have until July 1, 2017, to file a declaration pursuant to paragraph (1) for any lien claim filed before January 1, 2017, for expenses pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4903 that is subject to a filing fee under this section.
(3) The failure to file a signed declaration under this subdivision shall result in the dismissal of the lien with prejudice by operation of law. Filing of a false declaration shall be grounds for dismissal with prejudice after notice.

Read Final version of SB1160