Every field of knowledge or endeavor has its own vocabulary. If you file for workers’ compensation benefits here in California, you’ll discover some new phrases as well as some common words that are used in a very precise way. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney will explain the details to you, but to get you started, here are a few terms commonly used in connection with workers’ compensation in California, followed by their definitions.
1. AOE/COE – This is short for “arising out of employment” and “occurring in the course of employment.” An injury must arise out of or occur in the course of employment for an injured person to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
2. Claim form – Also called a DWC-1; you use this form to report a work injury or illness to your employer.
3. Findings & Award – Also called F & A, this is a decision about your case, written by an administrative law judge. The F & A is usually issued at the end of a workers’ compensation hearing.
4. Impairment rating – You impairment rating is the measure of how much of the normal use of an injured body part you have lost. It’s typically expressed as a percentage.
5. Permanent and stationary – Also called P & S, the phrase refers to a medical condition that has reached the best possible medical improvement level.
6. Petition for reconsideration – Also called a “recon,” this is a legal request to appeal a ruling by an administrative law judge.
7. Utilization review – A procedure that insurers conduct to determine if they will pay for the treatment your physician recommends.
Anyone who has been injured in the workplace should speak to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as quickly as possible. A good workers’ comp lawyer can explain the legal complexities you will face, guide you through the process, and fight for the compensation you deserve. If you are applying for workers’ compensation, or if you don’t know whether you’re eligible, talk with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney right away.