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Most Liens Now Dismissed if the Activation Fee is Unpaid

Assuming the Supreme Court of the United States does not grant the petition for certiorari filed by the plaintiffs in Angelotti, another portion of SB863 is will have a final effect.  Beginning November 9, 2015, lien claimants who filed liens prior to January 1, 2013, had the opportunity to pay the lien activation fees owed per Labor Code section 4903.06 before the end of the year.  The DWC is no longer accepting lien activation fees for liens filed before January 1, 2013.

A few reminders:

  • All of the liens are dismissed by operation of law if no lien activation fee was paid before midnight on December 31, 2015.
  • Medical-legal providers and interpreters who filed liens must have paid their activation fee even though now they can file for reimbursement as a cost.
  • All lien claimants must include proof of payment of a lien activation fee
  • Not all liens are dismissed. Only medical treatment expenses were subject to the lien activation fee.  Also, other lien claimants are exempt from the filing fee.  This means liens that are not dismissed include:
    1. Attorney fee liens
    2. EDD liens
    3. Child support liens
    4. Living expenses liens
    5. Burial expenses liens
    6. Liens of a Health care service plan under Health and Safety Code section 1349
    7. Liens of a Group disability insurer under Insurance Code, section 10270.5
    8. Liens of a Self-insured employee welfare benefit plan under Insurance Code section 10121
    9. Liens of a Taft-Hartley health and welfare fund
    10. Liens of a Publicly funded program providing medical benefits on a nonindustrial basis.

If you are dealing with a lien claimant who is a health plan or health insurance provider, they may be exempt from the lien activation fee.  If it is not a medical lien, they were not required to pay the activation fee, and their lien will not be dismissed.

Bottom line 
(assuming the Supreme Court of the United States does not act):

  • All liens filed before January 1, 2013 are dismissed by operation of law if no lien activation fee was paid before midnight on December 31, 2015.

By Brian Hull. For more information about this post, contact a PHG Shareholder or call (831) 998-7348.

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