When you are injured on the job in Oregon, and the Worker's Compensation insurance company accepts your claim, it must tell you whether you have a "disabling" or "non-disabling" claim.
If the claim is disabling, the insurance company will eventually have to issue a Notice of Closure. In order to do this, the insurance company must gather information to determine how your work injury will affect your future ability to perform work activity.
In some cases, insurance companies fail to do their job and gather the information needed to issue a Notice of Closure. However, an injured worker may request that the insurance company issue a Notice of Closure within 10 days of the receipt of the written request. If the insurance company fails to respond to that request, either by issuing a Notice of Refusal to Issue a Notice of Closure, are not responding at all, the injured worker can request a hearing, and ask the Workers' Compensation Board Hearings Division to order the claim closed. In addition, the injured worker may be eligible for penalties if he or she can show that the insurance company was "unreasonable" in refusing to close the claim.
Proving that the insurance company was unreasonable is not limited to their mere failure to close the claim, but also in not taking the proper steps to gather the required information close the claim.
If you are workers' compensation carrier is ignoring you, and you have questions, call us at 503-325-8600. We review claims files all the time, and advise clients on their options at closure.