The Workers’ Compensation system can feel frustrating at times, especially when a claim is contested and going through the Industrial Commission adjudication process. Many employers wonder how they fit into the hearing role and what they can do to facilitate a successful hearing outcome. As your third party administrator, we can help! Did you know that CareWorks Comp has sixteen Hearing Reps on staff who attend hearings at the twelve Industrial Commission offices located throughout the State? On average, our team assists Ohio employers with over 12,000 hearings annually.
When a hearing is scheduled by the Industrial Commission, it is important to understand the issue that is being addressed. Most hearings are no more than fifteen (15) minutes in length and Hearing Officers are scheduled for four hearings each hour of their docket. The docket is set approximately 21 days prior to the hearing date. This gives all parties time to submit their information to the claim file so that the Hearing Officer can review the documents prior to the hearing date.
One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is “do I need to attend this hearing?” The answer is, unfortunately, not a simple yes or no decision. It really comes down to the issue being heard on that particular date and what information and/or testimony you feel you can offer. The most common hearing, where we find employer attendance beneficial, is an initial allowance hearing. The reason for this is because the information considered for an initial allowance hearing can and should include any red flags that an employer discovered during the injury investigation, the employer’s knowledge of the job duties performed by the injured worker and any other pertinent details.
Once claim allowance has been determined, the majority of hearings that take place are related to medical facts and therefore do not require employer attendance. We always welcome an employer to any hearing they wish to attend and if you do plan on attending a scheduled hearing, please be sure to let your Claims Examiner know so that the assigned Hearing Rep can meet with you before the hearing starts. The CareWorks Comp Hearing Services team looks forward to assisting you with all of your hearing and Industrial Commission needs.