Using Cheat Sheets to Learn New State Laws

One of the scariest parts of expanding a business into a new state for the self-insured employer is learning the workers compensation laws and state mandates in the way of forms, filings, hearings, etc. While an employer can hire a third party administrator (TPA) to handle claims, or a law firm to guide you through all the steps of workers comp claims handling, it is in your best interest to learn the basics of the workers comp system in the new state quickly. Or, get a good resource that has such information. Ask your TPA what resources they use. Even though they have professional resources, similar resources can be very helpful for the self-insured company.
Self-insured employers have two choices: spend weeks/months learning the new workers comp system or, to borrow a video game phrase, get “cheat sheets” to speed up the learning process. (WCxKit)
Many law firms specializing in insurance defense work sometimes offer “cheat sheets” to new adjusters and potential new clients as a way of building business. Instead of the employer spending “forever” learning the basics of the new state’s workers comp law, the cheat sheets give a synopsis of important information the self-insured employer needs to know.
If you want a jump of learning this information and don't want to rely on free cheat sheets, excellent information – in easy to use tables — is available from
Common cheat sheets/reference tools include:
1.      A list or a table of state forms and when each is to be filed.
2.      Explanations of state forms and rules associated with each form.
3.      Table of temporary total indemnity benefits by calendar or fiscal year.
4.      Table of temporary partial indemnity benefits by calendar or fiscal year.
5.      Table of permanent partial disability benefits.
6.      Table of scheduled injuries.
7.      Charts for combining two or more impairment ratings.
8.      Death benefit tables.
9.      Table on statutes of limitations on filing claim, appealing claims, etc
10. Calculation of indemnity benefit guidelines.
11. Checklist of defenses to claims.
12. Charts or tables on how the judicial system works.
13. Claim settlement guidelines.
14. Guidelines on the selection of medical providers.
15. Guidelines on posting a panel of physicians
16. Forms for:
·        New employees/transferred employees to sign acknowledging the selection of a physician.
·        Injured employees to acknowledge the attending physician requirement(s).
·        Requesting a new physician.
·        Employee to decline medical treatment.
17. Samples of required state notices for posting.
18. Recent changes in the state law.
In addition to the cheat sheets, get a glossary of workers compensation jargon and terms as used in a particular state. This type of glossary also assists you in understanding the abbreviations often used within the state, for example – DOAH (Florida Division of Administrative Hearings), BRC – Benefits Review Conference, or IW – injured worker. (WCxKit)
A new employer in a state can spend time learning the workers comp system, contact some of the law firms specializing in insurance defense work or consider as eventually learning the system in the new state definitely has it benefits, but quickly learning the basics summarized by experts speeds up the learning curve and assists in understanding the workers comp system.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See for more information. Contact:

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

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