COVID-19 in the California Workers' Compensation System

A Study of COVID-19 Claims and Presumptions Under Senate Bill 1159

by Denise D. Quigley, Michael Dworsky, Nabeel Qureshi, Shannon Prier, Courtney A. Gidengil

Download eBook for Free

This is a pre-publication version of the report. It has completed RAND's research quality assurance process, but has not been edited or proofread. The final version is forthcoming.

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 3.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

The authors use a mixed-methods (qualitative-quantitative) approach to evaluate the overall effects of COVID-19 claims on the workers' compensation system and on the payment of workers' compensation benefits. They also analyze the effects of the different presumptions for COVID-19 established by Senate Bill 1159 and describe patterns of COVID-19 claim filing and claim outcomes by industry and occupation.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Background and Overview of Study

  • Chapter Three

    COVID-19 Claims Volumes, Denial Rates, and Benefit Receipt

  • Chapter Four

    Differences in COVID-19 Claim Outcomes Across Industries and Workers

  • Chapter Five

    COVID-19 Claims and Other COVID-19 Polices About Income Loss and Medical Care

  • Chapter Six

    Health and Safety Impacts of SB 1159

  • Chapter Seven

    Administration of COVID-19 Claims

  • Chapter Eight

    Costs of COVID-19 Claims

  • Chapter Nine

    Conclusions, Policy Implications and Future Research Priorities

  • Appendix A

    Summary of Literature Review Results

  • Appendix B

    Additional Information and Supplementary Results on Quantitative Analyses

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers' Compensation and conducted in the Justice Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.