Uncategorized Mar 30, 2018

The Administrative Director has a required form that starts the time clock on Supplemental Job Displacement procedure, Physician Return-To-Work & Voucher Report DWC AD Form 10133.36:

This form is to be completed by the primary treating physician, an agreed medical evaluator or a qualified medical evaluator finding that the disability from conditions for which compensation is claimed has become permanent and stationary and that the injury has caused permanent partial disability. The voucher report shall be forwarded by the carrier to the employer in order to fully inform the employer “of work capacities and activity restrictions resulting from the injury that are relevant to potential regular, modified, or alternative work.”  Labor Code §4658.7(b)(1)(B).

The employer has no more than 60 days after receipt of the voucher report to make an offer for regular, modified or alternative work lasting at least 12 months. If no valid job offer is made,...

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Helping Someone with Depression

Uncategorized Mar 30, 2018

"When depression sufferers fight, recover and go into remission we seldom even know, simply because so many suffer in the dark…ashamed to admit something they see as a personal weakness…afraid that people will worry, and more afraid that they won’t...I celebrate the fact that each time we go through this, we get a little stronger.  We learn new tricks on the battlefield.  We learn them in terrible ways, but we use them.  We don’t struggle in vain."

- Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: a Funny Book About Horrible Things

If someone you care about is depressed, you may be experiencing any number of difficult emotions, including helplessness, overwhelm, frustration, anger, guilt, and sadness. It’s not easy dealing with a friend or family member’s depression. Below you will find suggestions for how you can help others and how to talk about depression without increasing the risk of harm.

  • Be a compassionate listener rather than...
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Meeting with Director, Christine Baker and $16 Million Delivered to Injured Workers

Uncategorized Mar 28, 2018

Why was I so persistent? Because this is what I know for sure:

I see first-hand the stress, heartache, and struggle of injured workers.

I am excited about the Return to Work & Supplement Fund and I know that with just a few very small changes we could massively increase the amount of support and how quickly injured workers receive it and get back to work.

In 90 days the impact of being injured can result in loss of home, destroyed relationships, debt, and sometimes suicide. If we can simplify this process we can save lives!

I was recently invited to Oakland to meet with Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, State of California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. We discussed various points impeding injured workers' access to their job loss benefits.  First, we went over what is going right with the current system and we agreed that there is a lot! Then I shared a few items that need help such as Missing Physician Return to Work &...

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Let’s Help Injured Workers to a Better Future...a Better Life

Uncategorized Mar 27, 2018

OCC is a firm believer in education. We know that education creates choice and possibility in life. We want to be part of the choice and possibility for your clients and make you look like the superheroes you are.

When an injured worker comes to you after they have lost their job, their self-esteem has taken a beating and they may be feeling worthless. They are probably hurting physically as well. They look up to their attorney as the person who can guide them to the other side of this. You are in a unique position to encourage them to do something they may have never considered before.

People who have only learned one way to make a living are going to have a hard time seeing other possibilities. They generally go back to the kind of work they were doing when they were injured because they don’t know what else to do.  But if they train to do something different, say computers, they have all new choices. If they want to learn about other parts of the world, they could work...

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One Person Can Make a Difference!

Uncategorized Mar 21, 2018

Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history.

After her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a repeat drunk driving offender, Candy Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980. Before MADD, there were little to no legal consequences for driving while intoxicated; her organization transformed American attitudes about drunk driving and successfully fought for stricter laws across the country.

Union leader and labor organizer Cesar Chavez began as a migrant farm worker and formed a Latino civil rights group which brought attention to the appalling working conditions. This led to the creation of the United Farm Workers of America which has improved treatment, pay and working conditions for farm workers.

As you can see from these examples, speaking up is the most powerful way one person can make a difference.  Speaking up is not only about the words you use...

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What Choice and Possibility does OCC Bring Compared to What Else is Out There?

Uncategorized Mar 20, 2018

As an attorney, you have your choice of many different vocational counselors. At OCC, we know you are approached by new vendors all the time. We want you to know what we bring to the table that you will probably not find elsewhere.

We update you on your clients’ progress every step of the way. Our dynamic tracking practices tell you when your client has enrolled in a program and we keep you in the know with a monthly update as well. We follow when they begin their training, all the way through graduation, and any issues in between. If a client has a change of address or a major life incident such as a car accident or a death in the family, we will be in touch with you to keep you informed.

Another benefit to working with us is that all of your clients’ information will be in one place. With other services, once the client is enrolled in school, they are often forgotten. You may call a competitor of ours to get information about your client and you’ll hear...

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Success Story: Luis Martinez

Uncategorized Mar 16, 2018

Luis Martinez was working as an HVAC Technician when he was injured. He knelt to check a leaky air conditioning unit and when he stood, his back seized up on him, leaving him unable to move.

He knew a few days of rest was not going to make this pain go away. He had just bought a home and the injury made what should have been an exciting time sad and stressful.

After Luis’ case settled he made self-employment his goal. He came to OCC and learned about his options, choosing to re-train to get his contractor’s license.

“If I hadn’t received training and certification, I would probably still be working for that HVAC company and be risking re-injury daily,” Luis said.

Luis also completed refrigerator licensing and got more experience working with a new company. He became independent in managing his time and works with customers to solve problems. He even bought a service van to further his dream of being his own boss.

Luis used to miss out on family time due...

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The Past, Present, and Future of Getting an Education

Uncategorized Mar 01, 2018


noun  ed·u·ca·tion  \ ˌe-jə-ˈkā-shən \

  1. the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
  2. the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession.
  3. a degree, level, or kind of schooling: a university education.
  4. the result produced by instruction, training, or study: to show one's education.
  5. the science or art of teaching

During the past 50 years, education has expanded and transformed. In the 1960’s, higher education was a privilege of few, compared how many people complete secondary education today. More recently, there has been a remarkable transformation in our idea of what an education is, from the traditional university experience to apprenticeships, online learning, and so much more.

It once was that getting an education meant long,...

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Uncategorized Feb 12, 2018

While I was recovering from my worker’s compensation injury, I experienced some pretty depressing times. The damage from my work injury was permanent and I was restricted from jobs that required typing; the only thing I knew. Even though I had opportunities to interview for other jobs that did not require typing, all of these positions paid much less than what my family needed to continue our normal daily lives.


I was a single mother raising three children all under the age of 10. I had not even earned my high school diploma. My boss at the time, Edward Ortega, had one very simple philosophy: Don’t be stupid. Educate yourself. With fewer job prospects after my injury, I made the decision to continue my education.


Going back to school as an adult poses its own set of challenges. Going back to school when you’re a single mother can be exponentially more difficult. I attended school at night. My schedule was beyond tight, taking 21 units at once to...

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Muppet Viking!

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2016

To Denise and Staff of
Ortega Counseling Center,

There are no words to say thank you for all the help and guidance I have received from Ortega Counseling Center since my injury case was settled.

It was a dark and stressful time for me. I was unable to return to my job and looking for a new job with no success. Trying to figure out how would I be able to afford College or Trade School full or part time to start a new career knowing that I will still have to pay off bills and debt that collected and to continue therapy for my injuries. Then about 6 months after I received help the first time from Ortega Counseling Centers I received an email from Denise stating that I qualify for a $5000 dollar supplemental program for injured workers. I could not believe it! I was able to pay off my old bills and have money left over for Disneyland for my family.

When I was younger I worked as an extra part time for TV, Commercials and Film. I was fortunate to find work again as an extra. I became...

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