Benefit Review Conference, The New Rules

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Beginning October 1, 2010, The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) will change how they grant Benefit Review Conferences (BRC). Prior to the change, an injured worker could fill out a DWC-45 requesting a BRC along with some information as to their position, and one would be set. Under Rule §141.1, the DWC will now review the DWC-45 for completeness. If the form is found to be incomplete, the hearing will be denied. In a workers’ compensation claim, there are many time sensitive issues. If the DWC-45 is denied, the injured worker may lose the ability to have the issue addressed. The injured worker must show documented evidence as to how they attempted to resolve the issue with the insurance company prior to requesting the hearing. Additionally, the DWC’s position is that if the reviewer feels that the party did not make sufficient efforts to resolve the issue, the request will be denied. The documentation that is relevant to the issue must be exchanged with the insurance carrier and the DWC prior to the BRC. Once the BRC has been set, either party may request that the hearing be rescheduled within ten days of the receipt of the set notice. After the tenth day, the party must show good cause for their continuance to be granted. The DWC is clearly making it harder to get a hearing. Do not attempt to go through the hearing process without an attorney that is experienced in the Texas Workers’ Compensation system. At the Morris Law Firm, PLLC, we have been helping injured workers in the DFW area and all of North Texas, for the last 15 years. Call us at (214)357-1782 or contact us at info@themorrisfirm.net.

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