Penalty payment under section 5814 awarded for unreasonable delay or denial of advance of disability pension payment

This is a published case

This is a very significant case for workers’ compensation principles.

The applicant was a deputy sheriff who had a job related injury and applied for industrial disability retirement. The applicant also requested an advance on her disability pension payment while her application was being processed.

She applied for the benefit on March 6 and the county claimed they did not receive notice for benefits under labor code section 4850.4 until June 11. The applicant claimed there was an unreasonable delay and requested penalties under labor code section 5814 from the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCAB).

The case went to trial. The County contended they objected to the request for benefits and that the WCAB had no jurisdiction for making payments on the disability pension amounts.

The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found that section 5814 did apply to an unreasonable delay of advancement of disability pension amounts. The county petitioned for removal.

The WCAB reversed the WCJ because it believed the advancement of disability retirement payments were not equivalent to workers compensation benefits. The applicant filed a writ.

The court of appeal reviewed labor code sections 4850 and specifically labor code section 4850.4. They reviewed numerous cases and determined that a section 5814 may be appropriate and remanded the case.

Case: SCIF v. Urgent Nursing Resources

Harvey Brown
3501 Jamboree Rd. Suite 602
Newport Beach, CA 92660

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