The closure of an Oregon Workers’ Compensation claim occurs when an accepted disabling medical condition is medically stationary, and the insurance company has sufficient information to issue the actual notice of closure. There are a few different issues that arise with the notice of closure, and several issues for potential appeal.
When your claim is closed, a few things happen. First, if you have been receiving any temporary total disability, that benefit stops. Also, you are officially no longer eligible for any medical care aimed at restoring your physical function, although other types of medical care may still be available to you after the claim is closed.
What's In It?
Essentially, the notice of closure will tell you the status of your work release. You will be released for regular work, or some form of modified work. The closure will also give the dates that your health care provider took you off work, and released you to perform any kind a modified work.
The notice also tells you whether not you are entitled to any permanent partial disability as a result of your accepted condition, and the dollar value of that disability benefit. You also find the date that your condition became medically stationary, and a notice of the time allowed for an aggravation claim.
The Notice of Closure is not the only document you receive. In addition to this notice, you receive an Updated Notice of Acceptance. This document is intended to notify you of the actual medical conditions that the insurance company accepted as part of your claim. You are always able to ask the insurance company to include additional conditions as part of your Notice of Acceptance.
What Can You Do?
The most important thing to remember is that you have sixty days from the date of the Notice of Closure to file an appeal. The appeal is called a "Request for Reconsideration." You can raise many issues at reconsideration.
What Do We Do?
When we review the Notice of Closure, we are looking at whether not there is sufficient evidence that our client was in fact medically stationary, and also review the findings of the closing exam to determine whether or not the permanent partial disability benefit was correctly calculated. We also look at whether all conditions sustained as a result of the original injury, or new conditions flowing directly from accept the conditions are included in the Notice of Acceptance. Depending upon the evidence in the claims file, we may recommend that our client file a Request for Reconsideration.
If you have questions about a Notice of Closure, and want to know your options, contact us. We offer over twenty years’ experience helping injured workers in Oregon.