Commission Says Calif. Gov. Cut Permanently Disabled Comp in Half

February 10, 2006 and the California Applicants Attorneys Association reacted to a report adopted by the State of California’s Commission on Health & Safety & Workers’ Compensation finding that the Schwarzenegger Administration’s new workers’ compensation permanent disability schedule reduces permanent disability benefits by more than 50 percent, and was not based on empirical evidence, as required by SB 899.

The commission’s findings reportedly confirm several prior studies showing that Schwarzenegger’s schedule reduces permanent disability compensation by an average of 50 percent to 70 percent.

“The Commission’s findings confirm severe harm to permanently disabled workers,” said David Rockwell, president of the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, whose members represent injured workers. “The governor’s regulations deny injured workers adequate care and compensation, as guaranteed by the California Constitution. The new permanent disability rating schedule does not comply with the statutory mandate. The ratings under this schedule do not provide fair or adequate compensation for injured workers. We will continue to pursue our legal challenge through the WCAB, the State Legislature and the courts.”

Peggy Sugarman, executive director of, said “There was ample evidence prior to this study to show that there would be significant reductions in benefits to injured workers beyond what legislators intended in SB 899. This study now confirms what we already knew: that injured workers are paying the price while record profits are being made.”

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