For many people, starting and owning their own business is part of their American dream and how they plan to provide for their own future and that of their family and loved ones. Millions of Americans open their own business every year, and California is no exception. Even though we have faced challenges as a nation during 2020 and 2021, small business continue to grow and thrive. In fact, in 2020, new business applications went up by twenty-four percent. Small business owners have to be aware of and consider a variety of issues, ranging from what type of business they want to own to how much inventory to keep to where to set up a shop front. Interpreter services are an important type of business that provides service to a variety of businesses, including the legal system. If you own or manage an interpreter service, you may have had dealings with the workers’ compensation system. The workers’ compensation system can be complex, and there are many statutes which may come into play. Getting your invoices paid by the insurance company in a timely manner and in the right amount can seem challenging. There are ways to support market rate for your interpreter invoice, however, which will help make sure you get the payment you have properly owned.
Among the forest of workers’ compensation statutes that may impact your interpreter business, it is important to be familiar with 8 CCR §9795.3. This provision is titled “Fees for Interpreter Services” and provides that “Fees for services performed by a certified or provisionally certified interpreter, upon request of an employee who does not proficiently speak or understand the English language, shall be paid by the claims administrator” for any of the listed services, ranging from medical treatment appointments to reading of a deposition prior to signing. The statute goes on to provide that, depending on the type of hearing or other service an interpreter may have be required to attend and translate, the interpreter could be paid at the market rate for the interpreter’s services.
The next essential inquiry is how do you support market rate for your interpreter invoices. One of the ways to support your claim for the amount of market rate is contained right there in the statute. The law requires that to support your claim for market rate, you will have to submit a recent list of similar services you or your employee has performed and how much you or your business was actually paid for those services. This is to make sure that your rate for each provider stays the same and is a fair amount. An important thing to note is that you will have to show your invoices are for similar services. Ensure that your invoices are detailed so that you can easily show the services were, in fact, similar. Keep in mind, too, that all appointments are not created equal – for example, an invoice for a WCAB Appearance is not a similar service to a chiropractor appointment. It is wise to include a list of 10-20 payments at your Market Rate. If the Carier requires more, they have an obligation to state how many payments they need to recognize your Market Rate. You will also want to include evidence that the interpreter was qualified to provide the services rendered. The statute requires that the interpreter be certified or at least provisionally certified, so supporting your claim for market rate will need to also include the interpreter’s credentials.
If you have questions about interpreter collections, contact us today. We have extensive experience helping our clients support their claims for payment.