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2024 Legislative Update

Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation’s 2024 Legislative Update Graphic

Announcements & Reminders

2024 Legislative Updates Webinar

  • Amy Kingston, Manager of Claims and Employer Programs, and Hon. Michelle Sisk, Administrative Law Judge and Manager of Policy and Compensation Compliance, are hosting the 2024 Legislative Updates webinar to cover pertinent changes to workers’ compensation law. The session will start at 1:00 p.m. MT on August 1, and you must register in advance using the link.

Surcharge Rates | July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025

  • Workers’ Compensation Cash Fund: 1.40%
  • Premium Cost Containment Program: 0.03%
  • Subsequent Injury Fund/Major Medical Fund: 0.00%
  • Calculate, File, and Pay the surcharge online using the portal.

2024 Workers’ Compensation Act

  • The 2024 Workers’ Compensation Act (WC Act) will be available on August 1, 2024.
  • Preorder your copy today by completing the WC 134 form.
  • When using the RFS form to place a WC Act order, please do not include a request for a claim copy in the same RFS.

Statutory Changes

This year the General Assembly adopted seven bills that impact workers’ compensation in Colorado. This summary highlights some of the key substantive and procedural changes.

You may view all bills on the Colorado General Assembly website.

Signed: April 4, 2024 | Effective: August 7, 2024

Key Changes:

  • Death benefits will be paid to the widow(er) for life if the deceased was a state employee with a high-risk classification. Classifications include state patrol, peace officer, corrections officer, fire prevention, wildlife officer, and Department of Transportation.

Signed: April 11, 2024 | Effective: August 7, 2024

Key Changes:

  • If injured workers receive FAMLI benefits and workers’ compensation compensation for the same incident and the same time period, then the carrier must repay FAMLI for any duplicate benefits paid by diverting ongoing or unpaid benefits. This is essentially a 100% offset until FAMLI is repaid. FAMLI must notify the carrier of the duplicative benefit. The DOWC will provide FAMLI with claim information in order for them to determine whether a duplicative claim has been made.

Signed: June 7, 2024 | Effective: June 7, 2024

Key Changes:

  • When settling a workers’ compensation claim with a State of Colorado employee, respondents may not suggest or require that the employee resign from employment or be prohibited in any way from seeking employment with the State in the future.
  • The State of Colorado must inquire every three years whether an external carrier would like to assume its liabilities.

Signed: June 6, 2024 | Effective: August 7, 2024

Key Changes:

  • The bill authorizes the licensing of critical access hospitals separately from general hospitals and prohibits the operation of a critical access hospital without a license.
  • Rule 16 will be updated on January 1, 2025, to reflect this change.

Signed: May 29, 2024 | Effective: August 7, 2024

Key Changes:

  • Currently, firefighters are eligible for lump sum payments if they experience a heart or circulatory issue. This program has now been expanded to “covered individuals,” which includes part-time and volunteer firefighters.
  • Employers must also provide cardiovascular screenings for peace officers.
  • Both programs require participation so long as the state is able to fund them.

Signed: May 24, 2024 | Effective: August 7, 2024

Key Changes:

  • Requires all applicable employers to participate in a multiple employer heart and circulatory trust for firefighters.
  • Accident insurance, self-insurance, or self-insurance pools are no longer an option.
  • Exception: a city and county or municipality that has a population of 400,000 or more and is providing the same benefits.

Signed: June 4, 2024 | Effective: August 7, 2024, & January 1, 2025

Key Changes:

  • Modified duty job offers will not be considered valid if driving is required, but the ATP has given a driving restriction
  • “An ear” is added to the non-scheduled body parts
  • Carriers must provide benefit payments by direct deposit if requested by the claimant
  • Effective January 1, 2025:
    • The benefit cap levels have been increased: Lower cap: $185,000, Upper cap: $300,000. Benefits will also continue to increase annually on July 1 of each year as they previously have.

Closure of Claims and Petitions to Reopen

The Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation (DOWC) adopted rule language, effective July 1, 2024, that updated Rule 7. The only changes are to the mortality table.

Division of Workers' Compensation Dispute Resolution

The DOWC adopted rule language, effective January 1, 2024, that updated Rule 9. Specifically, the requirements for discovery and motion filings within the Division were updated, as were the dates and process for scheduling and attending prehearing and settlement conferences.

Key Changes:

  • Discovery processes were differentiated for situations when a hearing application had been filed versus when there was not yet a hearing pending at OAC.
  • Deadlines to schedule and set with the prehearing unit were changed from business days to calendar days.
  • The designated trustee for trust deposits and surety bonds was changed from the Special Funds Unit to the Director’s office.
  • An additional scenario was added to permit the merger of claims without the need to file a motion.
  • The process for requests for disfigurement awards was clarified and updated.

Medical Fee Schedule

The DOWC adopted rule language that updated payment policies, effective January 1, 2024.

Key Changes:

  • Updates policies for global surgery inclusions and hospital transfers of care.
  • Specifies reporting requirements and decreases allowances for services provided by telephone.
  • Decreases the hospital payment multiplier from 170% of Medicare to 160%.
  • Prohibits controlled substances from being dispensed by a provider’s office.
  • Provides cancellation fees for impairment rating appointments.

Updated Forms

You may access all of these forms on the DOWC Forms page.

  • WC6 - Entry of Appearance (Revised January 2024)
  • WC79 - Request for Appointment to the Independent Medical Examination Panel (Revised July 2024)
  • WC112 - Payroll Statement Form (Revised June 2024)
  • WC113 - Surcharge Form (Revised June 2024)
  • WC134 - Request for Services (Email Use Only) (Revised January 2024)
  • WC168 - Notice of Change of Carrier or Adjusting Firm (Revised October 2023)
  • WC193 - Request for Disfigurement Award (Photo) (Revised January 2024)
  • WC202 - Application to the Colorado Uninsured Employer Fund (Revised September 2023)
  • WC204 - Colorado Uninsured Employer Fund Continuation Request (Revised August 2023)

Updated Publications

All publications can be viewed on the DOWC Publications page.

  • Injured Worker Guide
  • Guía del Trabajador Lesionado
  • Employer Guide
  • Guía Para el Empleador
  • Self-Representation Brochure
  • Folleto para Autorrepresentación

Previous Legislative Updates