Q: Many times you know EDD has paid benefits as its lien is noted on EAMS, but the lien contains no amount. EDD has not served its lien. An agreeable compromise and release figure has been reached, and now you have to set reserves as well as confirm authority. How do you know how much the EDD exposure will be as part of the agreement is to “pay, adjust or litigate liens?”

A: The best approach is to do the following:

  1. Conduct an online EAMS search to obtain whatever information it may provide.
  2. If the result shows no amount paid:
    1. Obtain applicant’s average weekly wage;
    2. Divide it by .55 (55%).
    3. Multiply the result by 52.
    4. Record the total.
  3. The result will be a top-dollar, pre-interest EDD lien amount exposure.

The California State Disability Program typically pays 55% of an eligible employee’s wages earned before the disability, for a total of 52 weeks. Thus assuming hypothetically an applicant had an average weekly wage of $1,320 according to an employer’s first report (DWC 5020), it is likely the same figure Employment Development Department had when commencing SDI benefits to applicant. Thus you could estimate the Employment Development Department exposure in that hypothetical is $34,320 at worst case before any claim of interest.