Oregon Workers' Compensation Board Issues New Rules for Hearings

Posted on Jan 13, 2014

If you have a denied Oregon Workers' Compensation claim, you must file a request for hearing with the Hearings Division at the Workers' Compensation Board within sixty days of the denial.  When we take on a case, and request a hearing, we use the request for hearing form that the Workers' Compensation Board provides.  It asks for the basic information, including the date of the denial, and the issue we are pursuing.  

After the request for hearing is filed, the employer then files a form responding to the issues raised in the request for hearing.  This form is intended to notify everyone involved what is agreed upon, and what is not.  The disputes are "the issues," and the issues are resolved at hearing.

However, over the years, the Oregon Workers' Compensation system has become more complicated, and as a result, people find themselves walking into a hearing without knowing all the issues. When these new issues are raised, other parties will request additional time to obtain or evidence, and respond to the new issues. As result, hearings are pushed back routinely.

An effort to move cases through the Hearings Division more smoothly, the Board is changing the rules and the forms regarding the request for hearing, and the response to the request for hearing. The new forms, which will be required after April, are more specific, and will hopefully allow the parties to have a better idea, well before hearing, of all the issues in the case.

The rules also allow motions to clarify the issues that will be pursued at the hearing. The intent behind these rules is admirable, but it does illustrate the increasing complexity of the Oregon Workers' Compensation system.

If you have requested a hearing on a denied claim, you probably know that the Workers Compensation Board encourages you to seek the opinion of an attorney. Call us at 503-325-8600 with your questions.  We are not entitled to an attorney fee unless we prevail on your claim, and at the very least, you should know where you stand.