The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is an administrative agency overseeing issues involving lost wages and medical benefits. So, what happens if you, or the insurance carrier opposing you, are unhappy with the Law Judge’s decision? The answer is that either side can file a request for review of the decision, which is also known as an appeal. Those seeking a decision from the workers’ compensation appeals board are addressed at hearings before an Administrative Law Judge. Your original hearing and any appeal will be held in the county you live in, and may be held virtually, with the parties appearing via video or telephone.
There are strict rules and regulations regarding the filing of workers’ compensation appeals. In order to appeal an adverse ruling, the party opposing the Law Judge’s decision must state their exception/objection to the ruling at the hearing where the ruling was made. There are specific deadlines that must be met and forms that must be filled out in strict compliance with the Board rules. Workers’ compensation appeals are often complicated and it is a good idea to have legal representation if you believe a wrong decision has been made in your case.
After a hearing, the Workers’ Compensation Board issues a Notice of Decision. Either side can dispute the ruling by filing an appeal within 30 days of the date of the Notice of Decision. This initial appeal is to a three-member panel of the Workers’ Compensation Review Board. Once one side has filed an appeal, the other side then has 30 days to file a response. Unfortunately, there is no fixed time frame for a decision from the Review Board. A decision on an appeal can take a year or more but can be decided in as little as six months.
If either party is unhappy with the decision from the three-member review panel, the next step is filing a further appeal to the full workers’ compensation review board, requiring an accompanying Notice of Appeal to the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department. A full board appeal and Notice of Appeal to the Appellate Division must be filed within 30 days from the date of the three-member board panel’s decision.