Summary of California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation Emergency Regulations for Medical-Legal Evaluations and Reporting

As announced yesterday, California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) emergency regulations §§ 36.7 and 46.2 have been extended through October 12, 2021.  Below is a summary of what the emergency regulations provide. This extension is in accordance with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Orders N-40-20 and N-71-20, and is the first 210-day extension of these regulations. The DWC added that if the Executive Orders remain in effect, the DWC may be entitled to a second 210-day extension. The full text of the regulations are available here.

§ 36.7
Allows QME and AME reports to be served electronically where the parties agree to such service.

Electronic service is not permitted on any unrepresented party or unrepresented injured worker.


§ 46.2

QME or AME may reschedule a currently calendared in-person appointment to take place within 90 days after the state-wide stay at home order is lifted.
QME or AME may provide a record review and perform a telephone or video  interview and perform face-to-face after stay at home order is lifted.
QME or AME may complete a med-legal evaluation through telehealth when physical examination is not necessary and conditions described in regulation are met.
If party with legal right to schedule appointment with QME is unable to obtain appointment within 90 days, that party may waive right to replacement and accept an appointment that is no more than 120 days. 
If the QME is unable to schedule within 120 days, either party may request a replacement or both may agree to waive 120 day limit.
All time periods in Section 38 are extended by 15 days.  This includes:
–          Initial or follow-up evaluation report is extended from 30 to 45 days
–          30 day extension for test results or report of consulting physician is now 45 days.
–          60 days for supplemental reports is extended to 75 days.

–          Section 34(b) requiring med-legal exam at only the med office listed on the panel selection form is suspended and first med-legal exam can be conducted at any medical office listed on the panel form or any office listed with the Med  Director by agreement of parties.  Subsequent evals may be performed at another office of the QME if listed with Med Director and is reasonable distance.

SRTK will continue to monitor these developments. As always, please contact us with any questions about what these changes may mean for you.