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05Aug 2020

State Fund’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

State Fund is taking action to help our policyholders and California’s workers withstand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. We placed a moratorium on policy cancellations and late payment penalties, and are offering flexible payment plans to help policyholders manage cash flows. We have also extended credit to businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 events.
  2. We are working with our policyholders to reduce their payroll estimates to accurately reflect their actual workforce exposure during this crisis, and to reduce their premiums accordingly.
  3. We expedited the distribution of $160 million in policyholder dividends for the 2019 policy year.
  4. We adopted and implemented the provisions of the WCIRB’s July 1, 2020 Special Regulatory Filing. The changes are retroactively effective from March 19, 2020, which is the date of the Governor’s Stay-at-Home Order.
    • Payroll of an employee mandated to work at home can be temporarily assigned to Class 8810 effective 3/19/20 until 60 days after the stay-at-home order is lifted.
    • Payments made to employees who are on paid leave, including sick and family leave, due to an employer’s disrupted operations can be excluded from the basis of premium.
    • Claims directly arising from a diagnosis of COVID-19 will be excluded from the calculation of an employer’s experience modification.
  5. We took action early on in our Claims Operations to support workers of essential businesses with regard to compensability of valid claims, and expanded that to other businesses as required by the Governor’s Executive Order on rebuttable presumption.
  6. Our Safety and Health department created a COVID-19 Resource Center on SafeAtWorkCA.com. The resource center includes information about preventing the spread of the virus, work-at-home ergonomics, and links to official COVID-19 resources.
  7. In an effort to support our policyholders in maintaining a safe workplace and to comply with re-opening protocols, we established two grant support funds:
    • The Essential Business Support Fund – a $50 million relief fund designed to help policyholders operating “essential” businesses to defray the costs of protecting workers from COVID-19. This fund provides reimbursement for workplace safety expenses related to preventing the spread of the virus, by providing grants of up to $10,000 or twice the amount of the policyholder’s estimated annual premium, whichever is less.
    • The Returning California to Work COVID-19 Safety Protocol Fund – a $50 million fund supporting businesses that were not deemed “essential” by Governor Newsom’s executive order. This fund helps policyholders who have re-opened businesses or are planning to resume operations, and covers the cost of implementing safety measures in the workplace that will protect employees from the virus. Individual grants are available up to a maximum of $10,000 or twice the policyholder’s estimated annual premium, whichever is less.

If your client is interested in applying for either grant fund, please have them visit www.StateFundCA.com to review program guidelines and submit an application before the  September 30, 2020 deadline.

State Fund is dedicated to doing all that we can to support California employers and injured workers during these unprecedented times.

 

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