Article 5. Subsequent Injuries Payments of California Labor Code >> Division 4. >> Part 2. >> Chapter 2. >> Article 5.
If an employee who is permanently partially disabled receives
a subsequent compensable injury resulting in additional permanent
partial disability so that the degree of disability caused by the
combination of both disabilities is greater than that which would
have resulted from the subsequent injury alone, and the combined
effect of the last injury and the previous disability or impairment
is a permanent disability equal to 70 percent or more of total, he
shall be paid in addition to the compensation due under this code for
the permanent partial disability caused by the last injury
compensation for the remainder of the combined permanent disability
existing after the last injury as provided in this article; provided,
that either (a) the previous disability or impairment affected a
hand, an arm, a foot, a leg, or an eye, and the permanent disability
resulting from the subsequent injury affects the opposite and
corresponding member, and such latter permanent disability, when
considered alone and without regard to, or adjustment for, the
occupation or age of the employee, is equal to 5 percent or more of
total, or (b) the permanent disability resulting from the subsequent
injury, when considered alone and without regard to or adjustment for
the occupation or the age of the employee, is equal to 35 percent or
more of total.
Such additional compensation is not in addition to but shall
be reduced to the extent of any monetary payments received by the
employee, from any source whatsoever, for or on account of such
preexisting disability or impairment, except as to payments being
made to the employee or to which he is entitled as a pension or other
compensation for disability incurred in service in the armed forces
of the United States, and except as to payments being made to him or
to which he is entitled as assistance under the provisions of Chapter
2 (commencing with Section 11200), Chapter 3 (commencing with
Section 12000), Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 12500), Chapter 5
(commencing with Section 13000), or Chapter 6 (commencing with
Section 13500) of Part 3, or Part 5 (commencing with Section 17000),
of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and excluding
from such monetary payments received by the employee for or on
account of such preexisting disability or impairment a sum equal to
all sums reasonably and necessarily expended by the employee for or
on account of attorney's fees, costs and expenses incidental to the
recovery of such monetary payments.
All cases under this section and under Section 4751 shall be
governed by the terms of this section and Section 4751 as in effect
on the date of the particular subsequent injury.
In any hearing, investigation, or proceeding, the state
shall be represented by the Attorney General, or the attorneys of the
Department of Industrial Relations, as appointed by the director.
Expenses incident to representation, including costs for
investigation, medical examinations, other expert reports, fees for
witnesses, and other necessary and proper expenses, but excluding the
salary of any of the Attorney General's deputies, shall be
reimbursed from the Workers' Compensation Administration Revolving
Fund. No witness fees or fees for medical services shall exceed those
fees prescribed by the appeals board for the same services in those
cases where the appeals board, by rule, has prescribed fees.
Reimbursement pursuant to this section shall be in addition to, and
in augmentation of, any other appropriations made or funds available
for the use or support of the legal representation.
The appeals board shall fix and award the amounts of special
additional compensation to be paid under this article, and shall
direct the State Compensation Insurance Fund to pay the additional
compensation so awarded. Such additional compensation may be paid
only from funds appropriated for such purpose. Out of any such
appropriation the fund may reimburse itself for the cost of service
rendered in payment of compensation awards pursuant to this article
and maintenance of accounts and records pertaining thereto, which
cost shall not exceed 5 percent of the amount of award paid.
Nothing in this article shall impair the right of the
Attorney General or the Department of Industrial Relations to release
by compromise any claims brought under the provisions of this
article. No such compromise and release agreement is valid unless it
is approved by the appeals board; however, the provisions of Sections
5000 to 5004, inclusive, of this code, shall not apply to such
compromise and release agreements.
(a) The State Compensation Insurance Fund may draw from the
State Treasury out of the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund for
the purposes specified in Section 4751, without at the time
presenting vouchers and itemized statements, a sum not to exceed in
the aggregate fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), to be used as a cash
revolving fund. The revolving fund shall be deposited in any banks
and under any conditions as the Department of Finance determines. The
Controller shall draw his or her warrants in favor of the State
Compensation Insurance Fund for the amounts so withdrawn and the
Treasurer shall pay these warrants.
(b) Expenditures made from the revolving fund in payments on
claims for any additional compensation and for adjusting services are
exempted from the operation of Section 16003 of the Government Code.
Reimbursement of the revolving fund for these expenditures shall be
made upon presentation to the Controller of an abstract or statement
of the expenditures. The abstract or statement shall be in any form
as the Controller requires.
(c) The director shall assign claims adjustment services and legal
representation services respecting matters concerning subsequent
injuries. The director or his or her representative may make these
service assignments within the department, or he or she may contract
for these services with the State Compensation Insurance Fund, for a
fee in addition to that authorized by Section 4754, except insofar as
these matters might conflict with the interests of the State
Compensation Insurance Fund. The administrative costs associated with
these services shall be reimbursed from the Workers' Compensation
Administration Revolving Fund, except when a budget impasse requires
advances as provided in subdivision (d) of Section 62.5. To the
extent permitted by state law, the director may contract for audits
or reports of services under this section.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that it is in the best
interest of the State of California to provide a person, regardless
of his or her citizenship or immigration status, with the benefits
provided pursuant to this article, and therefore enacts this section
pursuant to Section 1621(d) of Title 8 of the United States Code.
(b) A person shall not be prohibited from receiving compensation
paid or payable from the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund
solely because of his or her citizenship or immigration status.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to override Section 15740
of Article 1 of Subchapter 2.1.1 of Chapter 8 of Division 1 of Title
8 of the California Code of Regulations.
(d) The provisions of this section are declaratory of existing