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Calif. bill aims to expand mental health treatment access for injured workers

Posted On: Feb. 15, 2022 11:37 AM CST


A bill was introduced in the California state Senate on Monday that would expand the meaning of medical treatment for workers compensation benefits to include the services of a licensed clinical social worker.

The existing law requires a referral from a licensed physician and surgeon before an injured worker may treat with a licensed clinical social worker. S.B. 1002 would eliminate that requirement and require an employer to provide an employee with access to a licensed clinical social worker for assessment, evaluation and treatment of a work-related injury.

The bill would prohibit a licensed clinical social worker from determining disability, as specified, and authorize an employer to request an appropriate medical consultation when a licensed clinical social worker provides assessment, evaluation, or treatment. This bill would make legislative findings and declarations in support of allowing licensed clinical social workers to treat work-related mental and behavioral health issues.

S.B. 1002 was introduced by Sen. Anthony Portantino and referred to the Committee on Rules for assignment.