With the recent economic struggles in the U.S. economy, many state and local governments are looking to amend laws in their effort to reduce their bottom line. Few states have felt the effects of the struggling economy more than California. After a recent bill was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, lawmakers are claiming that the state's workers' compensation system has taken a positive step toward being more efficient for both employers and injured workers.
The law will increase the amount of disability benefits that may be paid out to workers who suffer serious injuries. Further, the law may significantly reduce the amount that employers have to pay for workers' compensation insurance premiums. In all, it is estimated that the law will save California businesses around $1 billion.
The law is expected to make additional funds available for the payment of workers' compensation claims. However, it remains unclear exactly how the changes will result in additional benefits. This uncertainty has drawn scrutiny from many who have voiced their opposition to the law.
California workers may gain by keeping abreast with the changing legal landscape in workers' compensation law. By understanding what benefits they may be entitled to, an injured worker may be able to properly advocate for the compensation and services they need to get themselves back on their feet and back to work. Only time will be able to tell whether this new law will benefit workers, but understanding the intricacies of the law may at least give workers an idea of what they can expect if they suffer a workplace injury or illness. Those facing these issues may take comfort in knowing that they do not have to confront them alone, and that help is available to obtain the benefits to which they are entitled by law.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "California governor signs work injury insurance bill," Sept. 18, 2012