Confusion continues for carriers on the new statute wording that changed the game for re-employment services in Florida. Some carriers discontinued filing forms when notified the Bureau of Re-employment and Rehabilitation (BRRS) was stripped of its regulatory powers and lost 2/3’s of its funding.
But, non-compliance could be costly. Willfully ignoring a statutory requirement could cost carriers up to $100k in penalties on audit.
Here are three things carriers should review very carefully:
- Form Filing Compliance Remains: The Re-employment Status Reports (DWC-22) are still required but they don’t go to the state. Now they must be sent to the claimant.
- New Sheriff with Penalty Power: Regulatory powers were transferred to Department of Financial Services (DFS) and until new rules are written to enforce the 7/1/2011 changes, carriers are wise to keep all compliance measures in place. This includes the timely payment rules for DWC-21’s. The electronic filing of DWC-21 to Department of Education is over but DFS will take over audit and enforcement duties. Best not to take chances.
- Retraining Budget Cuts Means New Game Plan For Adjusters: The BRRS is in turmoil and carriers requesting state retraining services should anticipate denials. The bureau was inefficient and ineffective before and they won’t improve with less money. Obtaining a re-employment assessment first that outlines re-employment or training objectives is money well spent. Seeking state re-training assistance without one is unwise.