California Clarifies Rulings on Workers’ Compensation Rating Disabilities

By Staff Report

Sep. 8, 2009

The California Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board has clarified previous rulings in closely followed cases that address rebuttal of a schedule for rating permanent disability claims.

The board ruled earlier in Wanda Ogilvie v. City and County of San Francisco and in the consolidated cases of Mario Almarz v. Environmental Recovery Services and Joyce Guzman v. Malpitas Unified School District that a schedule adopted in 2005 for rating permanent disabilities can be rebutted with certain evidence.

In a clarification of those earlier rulings, the board said Thursday, September 3, that doctors must stay within “the four corners” of the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment when attempting to justify a disability determination other than that stated on the rating schedule.

Filed by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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