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The Department of Industrial Relations is pleased to announce the recent release of “Workers’ Compensation in California: A Guidebook for Injured Workers.”

“This fourth edition of the injured workers’ guidebook helps workers and others understand the sometimes complicated process of workers’ compensation,” said DIR Director Christine Baker. “The guidebook has been updated to reflect the latest changes to California’s workers’ compensation system.”

The guidebook gives an overview of the California workers’ compensation system. It is meant to help workers with job injuries understand their basic legal rights, the steps to take to request workers’ compensation benefits, and where to seek further information and help if necessary. Also included are references to important laws and regulations and a glossary.

The fourth edition includes important changes since 2006 in the following areas:

  • Pre-designation of one’s treating physician or a medical group
  • Treatment under the medical treatment utilization schedule (MTUS) adopted by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC)
  • Independent medical review (IMR) to resolve disputes over denial of treatment
  • Extension of time limits on receiving temporary disability (TD) benefits
  • Return-to-work procedures
  • Permanent disability (PD) benefits
  • Supplemental job displacement benefits (SJDB)

The guidebook is available online in English, with a Spanish translation available soon. Because the workers’ compensation system is undergoing many changes with the implementation of Senate Bill 863, workers using the guidebook are urged to check updates posted at the DIR’s Division of Workers’ Compensation website. Injured workers may also obtain a printed copy at a local DWC district office.

The California Department of Industrial Relations enforces the state’s labor laws to improve the workplaces of over 18 million wage earners and their employers. Its mission is to improve working conditions for California’s wage earners, and to advance opportunities for profitable employment in California. DIR administers and enforces laws governing wages, hours and breaks, overtime, retaliation, workplace safety and health, medical care and other benefits for injured workers, and apprenticeship training programs.