As part of a cadre of bloggers that write about workers' compensation, one of the questions we are often asked to address is, "what is wrong with workers' compensation?".
The California Division of Workers' Compensation largely answered that question by announcing that they have issued a new, mandatory, Form 105 for unrepresented workers to request a panel qualified medical examination.
The new form is at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/FORMS/QMEForms/QMEForm105.pdf. Take a look at it, and tell me if you were not savvy about workers' compensation if you would not be intimidated and/or befuddled by this monstrosity of bureaucratic irrationality.
I know what the administration was thinking when this form was developed - that claims administrators would be the primary users.
But if it is an unrepresented injured worker the amount of data required, the exact procedure to be used, and the terms contained within the form all conspire against a fair outcome for the claimant.
For instance, is an injured worker going to understand that the reason for a QME panel request is based on Labor Code section 4060, 4061 or 4062?
And unless your claim is relatively simple, are you, as an unrepresented, likely unsophisticated consumer of workers' compensation resources really going to know which medical specialty should be performing the services?
And how about this daunting, foreboding warning: "If you do not select a QME from the panel, schedule an appointment with the QME and inform the...