In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission has instituted temporary emergency guidelines that will directly impact the day-to-day operations of the Commission as well as the speed at which cases will be heard. In response to this unprecedented event, the Commission has postponed all dockets for March 17, 2020 and March 18, 2020 to facilitate its transition to a primarily telephonic docket beginning March 19, 2020. Any emergency cases postponed due to the two-day closure will be scheduled for a telephonic …Continue Reading
In a post-2007 reform world, the percentage disability became more important for one major purpose: establishing a capped benefit system for nonscheduled awards. From a carrier perspective, this was a positive and a step in the right direction as the Board was finally placing limits on the number of weeks that a claimant with a partial disability rate can receive benefits. The issue arose then of what to do with a claimant who was classified with a nonscheduled award, but subsequently had a period of …Continue Reading
Under Workers’ Compensation Law Section 15(3), if a claimant has a permanent impairment to a non-schedule site, then the claimant is compensated for his or her actual loss of wage earning capacity (LWEC) caused by the disability. This stage in workers’ compensation litigation is known as classification. During the LWEC trial, the law judge not only considers a claimant’s permanent medical impairment but also vocational factors such as age, education, language ability, work history, and transferrable skills that may mitigate or aggravate the percentage of …Continue Reading
Workers’ Compensation Law Section 13 establishes the obligation of the employer to “promptly provide for an injured employee such medical surgical, optometric or other attendance or treatment… for such period as the nature of the injury or the process of recovery may require.”
When requesting authorization for treatment, the provider submits a Board form titled, “Attending Doctor’s Request for Authorization and Insurer’s Response.” The Board code for the form is shortened to C-4AUTH. Unlike a variance request, a request for authorization in a C-4AUTH is …Continue Reading
In order for an Independent Medical Examination (IME) report to be compliant with Section 137 of the Workers’ Compensation Law, a copy of each report must be submitted by the practitioner on the same day and to the Board, the insurance carrier, the claimant’s attending physician or practitioner, the claimant’s representatives, and the claimant themselves in the same manner (WCL Section 137(1)(a)). “If a practitioner who has performed or will be performing an independent medical examination of a claimant receives a request for …Continue Reading
Clients frequently seek advice on how to resolve workers’ compensation claims. Often, as attorneys, we are in the best position to negotiate a settlement when we have some leverage on issues impacting a claimant’s entitlement to benefits, such as cases where labor market attachment has been raised or a client’s consultant is of the impression that a claimant has no further causally related disability. In short, timing is everything in negotiations.
Timing is also important when attempting to resolve a workers’ compensation claim where the …Continue Reading
In an ideal workers’ compensation system, all parties would keep to the letter of the law. However, courts’ rules are oftentimes relaxed within our system and often not followed. In handling any New Jersey workers’ compensation claim petition, employers, employers’ attorneys and claims professionals must be diligent in making sure that employers’ fundamental rights are not violated by this relaxed approach. All parties, petitioners, and respondents have the right to due process. This right includes procedural due process and substantive due process. For instance, one …Continue Reading
With the impending legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois on January 1, 2020, employers are abuzz about the potential implications on their operations, particularly how legalization impacts alleged work injuries. Under the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, employees found intoxicated at the time of an accident are denied compensation if the intoxication was the proximate cause of the injury or if the employee was so intoxicated it constituted a departure from the employment. 820 ILCS 305/11.
The act already considers evidence of intoxication from the use …Continue Reading
In a rare legislative change to Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Law, Gov. Ned Lamont recently signed into law Senate Bill No. 164 (Public Act 19-17), which expands workers’ compensation coverage for some first responders who experience mental or emotional impairment following certain traumatic events experienced in the line of duty. Specifically, the bill allows for police officers, firefighters, and parole officers that have been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In order to be eligible for benefits, the first …Continue Reading
We have all been there. The workers’ compensation law judge has directed the carrier to produce an Independent Medical Examination (IME) within a specified number of days. Somehow, we managed to get the report completed timely, even after many scheduling attempts, cancellations, or claimant no-shows. Then, your IME consultant failed to address the key questions.
We can try our best to have the law judge grant the carrier an opportunity to obtain an addendum, but the reality is that we run the risk of preclusion …Continue Reading