Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Expedited Hearings

When there is a dispute that requires a hearing an Application For Hearing must be filed and you must comply with the appropriate rules to follow through and have the hearing. So when they contest your claim or do not provide benefits or when there is some dispute that can take a Judge to resolve it takes a hearing. We can seek hearings on a variety of matters. Examples include disputes on what is the correct average weekly wage (this is important and can result in higher computed benefits), on medical care, on temporary or permanent benefits and much more. Of course you cannot just seek a hearing anytime you want to do so. It does take a dispute and timely action by you as provided by the rules and law. Respondents too can seek hearings and often do when they have a dispute that should go before a Judge. I cannot provide a detailed list but be aware any side may need a hearing depending on the situation. Hearings at best are scheduled out around 3 months from when you apply (80-100 days). Is there any way to speed this up? There is but it is very limited. There is a 40 day expedited hearing but only on issues of compensability and medical matters from the claimants point of view. Other issues pertain to the affirmative defenses of the other side and trying to get prior authorization for medical treatment. The parties can agree to add issues but that is rare so if you are seeking money it is best to file the regular Application for hearing. Forms are located online. This means almost always we use the regular route to a hearing. Actually whenever there is a dispute it takes time to investigate, gather up the evidence and get ready. 80-100 days may seem long when you have no income or must wait for resolution of the dispute but it is much faster then civil cases at the courthouse. In any event it is all regulated by rule and law so we must abide by it.

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