Notice of Closure Appeal Attorney in Portland
After you are determined to be medically stationary from your accepted conditions, you will receive a Notice of Closure. This alerts you that your claim is now closed. When you get this letter, you don’t have a lot of time to act to challenge this monetary award for your accepted conditions. What you do next can make or break your ability to challenge this monetary award.
Step 1: Request for Reconsideration (60 Days)
As soon as you get your notice of closure letter, you only have 60 days to file a request for reconsideration. This request is a formal notice of your intent to appeal the closure of your claim. You will file this with the Oregon Division of Workers’ Compensation, a government agency within the Department of Consumer and Business Services. You may submit additional evidence in support of your appeal only during this process. This is an initial appeal process, so there is no hearing, although there may be an additional medical examination.
Step 2: Wait for a Response (18 or 60 days)
Once you file your request for reconsideration, the Division of Workers’ Compensation is legally required to do one of two things: render a decision on your request or notify you of a delay and the need for an additional 60 days to make a determination. This is usually done when additional medical evidence is needed, or when the Division or Insurer wants to have you examined by an independent medical expert. This process is called a medical arbiter examination.
Step 3: Request a Hearing (30 days)
The Division will issue its decision about your request for reconsideration by issuing an Order on Reconsideration. If you disagree with this determination, then your last option is to request a formal hearing before the Hearings Board. You must make this request in writing within 30 days of receiving the Order on Reconsideration. This is a formal process before an Administrative Law Judge, limited to the evidence submitted during the reconsideration process, where you may be represented by an attorney.
Step 4: Judicial Review
If you are still unhappy with the outcome in your case, you have 30 days to file a judicial appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Board. This appeal is based on the evidence submitted to the Administrative Law Judge and is submitted in writing.
Contact a Workers Comp Attorney if You Have Received a Notice of Closure
Appeals beyond the Workers’ Compensation Board are extremely rare and only used when the Board has made a clear and unmistakable error in interpreting the law. Factual disputes are not generally subject to these types of appeals. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you better understand when and if this type of case is possible. It is very difficult to obtain a different outcome once your case is before the Workers’ Compensation Board, Oregon Court of Appeals, or Oregon Supreme Court. If you need help appealing your Notice of Closure, contact the Law Office of Jodie Anne Phillips Polich, P.C. today for a consultation!