Informal Workers’ Compensation Hearings
If your claim was denied or if you did not receive the full benefits you
believe you are entitled to, the first step in resolving the dispute is
requesting an informal hearing. Informal hearings are relatively short
meetings with a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner in which you
are permitted to bring evidence to support your workers’ compensation
claim. Many workers’ compensation disputes are resolved during these
Pre-Formal Workers’ Compensation Hearings
If you are not able to resolve your dispute during the informal workers’
compensation hearing, you may then request a pre-formal workers’
compensation hearing. At the pre-formal hearing, you will be provided
a time and date for a formal workers’ compensation hearing. It is
a good idea to reach out to an attorney at this point, if you have not
done so already.
Formal Workers’ Compensation Hearings
The next step in the appeals process is the formal workers’ compensation
hearing. This is much like a trial, in that you or your attorney can submit
evidence supporting your claim and call witnesses to provide testimony.
The formal hearing is presided over by a Workers’ Compensation Commissioner
and a formal record of the hearing is made. After you or your attorney
has presented all applicable evidence and witness testimony, the Workers’
Compensation Commissioner will review all of the provided materials. He
or she will then provide a written decision, either a “Finding and
Award” or “Finding and Dismissal.” If you receive a
Finding and Award, this means your appeal has been accepted and you will
begin receiving your benefits. If, however, you receive a Finding and
Dismissal, this means that the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner
has rejected your appeal.
What Comes Next?
If your appeal is not accepted after the formal hearing, your next step
in seeking benefits is to request a review of the Finding and Dismissal
by the Compensation Review Board within 20 days of receiving your formal
hearing decision. This board comprises two Workers’ Compensation
Commissioners and the Workers’ Compensation Commission Chairman.
The board will review the formal hearing decision and provide you with
a ruling, but there is no additional hearing at this point.
If you wish to dispute the findings of the Compensation Review Board, your
last step is requesting a review by the Connecticut Appeals Board or the
Supreme Court. However, it is
extremely rare that a case will be reviewed at this level.
How We Can Help
Attending any workers’ compensation hearing, whether it is informal
or formal, can be intimidating. However, our Hartford workers’ compensation
hearing attorneys are here to ease your stress by handling every aspect
of pre-hearing preparation on your behalf. We are also equipped to represent
you at the formal hearing, bringing evidence and providing witness testimony
(if applicable) to support your claim. We know how to prepare this evidence
in a way that supports your claim and, if necessary, we know how and when
to request reviews of formal hearing decisions.
At Goff Law Group, we know that you probably have never had to go through
this process before—but we have. We know how the system works, and
we know how to effectively present your case in our efforts to secure
the rightful benefits you are owed.