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November 16, 2022

In September, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 1002, which is intended to address the mental health needs of injured workers. The law will allow medical provider networks, workers’ comp insurance carriers, self-insured employers and agents of employers to include licensed clinical social workers in order “to assess, evaluate and treat the behavioral and mental health needs of injured workers.”

A licensed clinical social worker includes a person with a Master’s degree in clinical social work, or a degree deemed equivalent for licensure by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, as well as either at least two years of clinical experience or who has met the standards from the Association of Social Work Boards.

Social workers are only authorized to treat or evaluate injured workers via physician referral.  They are not authorized to determine disability.

The law amends Labor Code section 4600(a) to add “licensed clinical social worker” to the list of medical services injured workers are entitled to receive when needed to help cure or relieve the effects of a work-related injury.

SB-1002 takes effect January 1, 2023.


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