Has your workers’ compensation claim been disputed or denied altogether? Are you confused about the next steps you should take? The workers’ comp appeals process can be both confusing and complex. If you were injured at work, you should only be worried about recovery. However, if your benefits have been denied, financial worries can take over your life. Our workers’ comp attorneys can help lift this burden and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn about what to expect during step three of the process – the Conference.
Steps in the Appeal Process
Step 1) Filing an appeal
Step 2) Conciliation
Step 3) Conference
Step 4) Hearing
Step 5) Reviewing Board
The Workers’ Comp Conference in MA
If no agreement is made during the Conciliation, the next step in the appeals process is the Conference. The Conference is an informal meeting in front of an administrative judge. You, your attorney, the insurance company, and their attorney will be present.
During the Work Comp Conference
At the Conference, the judge will learn about your case from evidence submitted by both parties. The judge will examine medical reports, how many days you lost wages, and affidavits from people who witnessed your injury. No witnesses will actually be called to testify.
During the Conference, you or your attorney need to show that:
- You were disabled
- This disability, injury, or illness was work-related
- Disputed medical bills were necessary for treating your injury
If you hire an attorney to advocate on your behalf, you will most likely sit in silence during the Conference. Your attorney and the insurance company’s attorney will each speak directly to the judge. The insurance company’s attorney might present a report from the independent doctor who examined your injury. Your attorney might present evidence from a different doctor. It’s up to the judge to decide the credibility of evidence submitted by both parties.
After the Work Injury Conference in MA
After the Conference, the judge has seven days to make a decision regarding your case. This decision, known as a Conference Order, will be mailed to you. This order can be appealed by either you or the insurance company. If you are unsuccessful, you can file an Appeal of Conference Order Form 121 to proceed to the next step in the workers’ comp appeals process. You have 14 days after the decision to appeal. If you are successful, the process may not be over just yet, as the insurance company could also file an appeal. If an appeal is filed by either party, your case will move on to the next step: a formal Hearing before the same Conference judge.
Contact a Massachusetts Workers’ Comp Attorney
Appealing a workers’ comp claim denial can be overwhelming. There are multiple steps that can be both time-consuming and exhausting. Since workers’ comp insurance companies are experienced in the appeals process, they know how to make sure you don’t receive your benefits. Luckily, our workers’ comp lawyers at Powers & Caccavale know what it takes to win on appeal. If your workers’ comp claim has been denied or disputed, contact us today to learn about your options. Fill out our free case evaluation or call us at (617) 379-0016.