If you’re going through the workers’ comp appeals process, or you want to file an appeal but haven’t yet, you’re probably wondering what the entire process looks like. After you’ve filed the required forms to start the appeal, the next step is a Conciliation meeting. But what exactly happens during this meeting? What should you bring? If you’re trying to appeal a workers’ comp claim denial, it is strongly suggested that you hire a workers’ comp attorney. Workers’ comp law can be highly complex and the appeals process can be stressful and time-consuming. For more information about Conciliation, read on.
Steps in the Appeal Process
Step 1) Filing an appeal
Step 2) Conciliation
Step 3) Conference
Step 4) Hearing
Step 5) Review Board
What Is Conciliation?
The Conciliation, which is an informal meeting between you and your employer’s insurer, is set up to help both parties come to a mutual agreement regarding your case. This meeting usually takes place at the Department of Industrial Accidents 12 days after you’ve filed your appeal and your claim has been processed. It is important to realize that very few cases are resolved during Conciliation, but it is still an essential step in getting the compensation you deserve.
What Does the Conciliator Do?
A Conciliator will see if an agreement can be reached between you and the workers’ comp insurer. If no voluntary agreement can be made, the Conciliator must determine whether or not your case can be sent forward to a judge. In order for the Conciliator to move things forward, you must explain your case and provide written evidence to support your claim. A Conciliator cannot award benefits or take them away.
What Do I Need To Bring?
It is essential that you bring your most recent medical documentation with you to the Conciliation. In order for a Conciliator to send your case forward to a judge, you must show, not only that you were injured, but that your injury was work-related and that you could not work as a result of the injury. Proving this requires written medical evidence. Without sufficient proof, your appeal can be denied before a judge even hears your case.
Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If the Conciliator sends your case forward, you should speak with a qualified workers’ comp attorney. The next steps, which include a Conference and a Hearing, are all in front of a judge and will require you to speak for yourself and present your case clearly and accurately. For the best possible chance at winning on appeal, you will need a workers’ comp attorney to advocate on your behalf. If your workers’ comp claim was denied, contact our attorneys at Powers and Caccavale by filling out our free case evaluation or by calling us at (617) 379-0016.