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The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division adopted permanent rules, effective Dec. 4, that clarify when apportionment is still acceptable for a denied condition, based on a state Supreme Court decision issued earlier this year.
Oregon’s highest court, in Johnson v. SAIF Corp., held that a worker is entitled to the full value of the total impairment, including a portion attributed to a denied condition, when a compensable injury is a material cause.
The new rules will clarify that apportionment for a denied condition is not allowed unless the denied condition is a combined condition denied for a major contributing cause or a combined condition denied entirely. The rules also establish that a worker’s residual function capacity cannot be adjusted due to a denied condition without a denial of a combined condition for either major contributing cause of a condition in its entirety.
The rules also allow for apportionment of irreversible findings of impairment or surgical values if the loss is caused in part by a superimposed condition or a preexisting condition that is part of a denied combined condition.
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