Updates To The NYS Workers’ Compensation Board Due To COVID-19

wcb nys covid 19

The last couple months have been a very turbulent and uncertain time for many of us, especially those out of work due to work-related injuries. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has issued important announcements and changes regarding worker’s compensation claims in recent months. As additional information gets communicated, we will keep you up-to-date with all the latest Worker’s Compensations Board updates and procedural changes. Here is what we know so far:

As of March 16, 2020, the Worker’s Compensation Board made necessary changes to how workers comp claims would be handled and guidance on changes to the NYS Worker’s Compensation system. According to the New York State Worker’s Compensation updates, changes include:

  1. All hearings will be by remote attendance until further notice.
  2. The 90-day requirement for medical evidence of ongoing disability has been relaxed.
  3. Claimants should notify their attorney, the doctor, and the Board if they can’t attend Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs).
  4. A conflicting opinion may be based on a record review, instead of an in-person exam, when an Attending Doctor’s Request for Authorization and Carrier’s Response (Form C-4 AUTH) is filed and an IME is not able to be scheduled in time to meet the 30-day requirement.
  5. Extensions may be possible for other IMEs.
  6. Extensions may be possible for depositions (cross-examination of medical witnesses).
  7. The Board may consider excusing untimely filings of applications involving appeals and rebuttals.
  8. The Bureau of Compliance will consider applications to excuse delays and defaults in redetermination requests. NOTE: These changes do not remove the requirement of an employer to obtain and maintain the required coverage.
  9. The Payor Compliance Unit will consider applications to excuse delays and defaults in complying with provisions used in measurements of timely First Report of Injury (FROI), timely Subsequent Report of Injury (SROI) showing initial payment, timely initial payment, timely initial installment payment and timely notice of controversy.

Other notable changes to worker’s compensation claims include the requirement of handwritten signatures on forms. Certain forms are now able to be submitted electronically until further notice. For questions on specific form changes please contact us to review.  In some circumstances, telemedicine visits are allowed as part of your worker’s compensation claim. Please refer to your council on specific requirements for your case.

Virtual hearings will be in place for the duration of New York State PAUSE. This service helps to ensure there is no delay and you your case continue to move forward, but you can have the experienced lawyers of Erwin, McCane and Daly represent you, no matter where you are in the state. You deserve an excellent team that will work hard to make sure you get all the compensation you deserve after suffering a workplace injury. EMD is here to make that happen.

Erwin, McCane & Daly will gladly walk you through all the updates required for your worker’s compensation claim.  A full list of Worker’s Compensation Boards updates can be found here.  To schedule your free consultation, contact us to maximize your benefits and restore your financial security.