Disability Payments; Permanent Disability; Determining the Percentage
This section shall apply to injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013.
(a) In determining the percentages of permanent partial or permanent total disability, account shall be taken of the nature of the physical injury or disfigurement, the occupation of the injured employee, and his or her age at the time of injury.
(b) For purposes of this section, the "nature of the physical injury or disfigurement" shall incorporate the descriptions and measurements of physical impairments and the corresponding percentages of impairments published in the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (5th Edition) with the employee's whole person impairment, as provided in the Guides, multiplied by an adjustment factor of 1.4.
(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), there shall be no increases in impairment ratings for sleep dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, or psychiatric disorder, or any combination thereof, arising out of a compensable physical injury. Nothing in this section shall limit the ability of an injured employee to obtain treatment for sleep dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, or psychiatric disorder, if any, that are a consequence of an industrial injury.
(2) An increased impairment rating for psychiatric disorder shall not be subject to paragraph (1) if the compensable psychiatric injury resulted from either of the following:
(A) Being a victim of a violent act or direct exposure to a significant violent act within the meaning of Section 3208.3.
(B) A catastrophic injury, including, but not limited to, loss of a limb, paralysis, severe burn, or severe head injury.
(d) The administrative director may formulate a schedule of age and occupational modifiers and may amend the schedule for the determination of the age and occupational modifiers in accordance with this section. The Schedule for Rating Permanent Disabilities pursuant to the American Medical Association (AMA) Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (5th Edition) and the schedule of age and occupational modifiers shall be available for public inspection and, without formal introduction in evidence, shall be prima facie evidence of the percentage of permanent disability to be attributed to each injury covered by the schedule. Until the schedule of age and occupational modifiers is amended, for injuries occurring on or after January 1, 2013, permanent disabilities shall be rated using the age and occupational modifiers in the permanent disability rating schedule adopted as of January 1, 2005.
(e) The schedule of age and occupational modifiers shall promote consistency, uniformity, and objectivity.
(f) The schedule of age and occupational modifiers and any amendment thereto or revision thereof shall apply prospectively and shall apply to and govern only those permanent disabilities that result from compensable injuries received or occurring on and after the effective date of the adoption of the schedule, amendment, or revision, as the case may be.
(g) Nothing in this section shall preclude a finding of permanent total disability in accordance with Section 4662.
(h) In enacting the act adding this section, it is not the intent of the Legislature to overrule the holding in Milpitas Unified School District v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (Guzman) (2010) 187 Cal.App.4th 808.
(i) The Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation shall conduct a study to compare average loss of earnings for employees who sustained work-related injuries with permanent disability ratings under the schedule, and shall report the results of the study to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature no later than January 1, 2016.
(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 363, Sec. 60.)