If your application for workers’ compensation in New York or New Jersey has been denied – or you think your benefits are too low – you may have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process in both states involves presenting information at a hearing before a workers’ compensation judge or a panel of judges. If you are still not satisfied, you may appeal to the state’s appellate courts.
In an appeal, you will be allowed to present evidence and call witnesses to testify on your behalf. The hearing will be held in a courtroom setting. Most cases involve lawyers who speak for the employer and insurance company. You should have a lawyer who speaks for you.
Appealing Your Workers’ Compensation Decision
In New York and New Jersey, workers’ compensation administration officials say that you do not have to have an attorney for an initial appeal of a workers’ compensation benefits decision. But if you consider the appeals process, it is clear that you should have one.
In New York, an appeal first goes before a panel of three workers’ compensation board members. They can uphold the original administrative law judge’s ruling, change it or rescind it, or they can send it back to the original judge for further consideration of new evidence. If panel members are not unanimous, you can ask for the full workers’ compensation board to review your claim. It can affirm, modify or rescind the original decision.
A decision by the board may be appealed within 30 days to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. The decision of the Appellate Division may be appealed to the Court of Appeals.
In New Jersey, an appeal goes to a judge of compensation, who has the authority to decide the benefits you will be awarded, require you to undergo medical examinations and treatments to maintain your eligibility for benefits, and assess penalties if appropriate. Their rulings are binding and are appealable only to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
In these hearings, each side is allowed to present evidence, including witness testimony. Then, the other side may question witnesses or testify to counter the other side’s evidence. As a participant in the hearing, you would be required to follow established rules of evidence and courtroom procedures.
Prior to your hearing, you would be required to request the hearing according to set rules and established deadlines. You would also be allowed to gather evidence and provide up witnesses.
Preparing for a workers’ compensation hearing can be a difficult and time-consuming task. As an injured worker filing an appeal, you would be preparing for your hearing while attending medical appointments, which are required to maintain eligibility for workers’ comp.
All of this would be on top of your everyday family and life obligations. These are burdens that most people – especially someone who has suffered an injury or illness – would be better off without.
At the Ginarte Law Firm, we believe the following are most likely true about your case:
- Each step of the workers’ compensation appeals process is new and foreign to you, and presents a risk for you to make a mistake that could delay or derail your appeal.
- Your employer will have a lawyer present at the hearing to argue why your appeal should be denied.
- You would have an easier time of it and you will most likely do better if you are represented by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
If your workers’ comp appeal reaches an appellate court, it will require work that cannot be done properly without formal legal training.
The Ginarte Law Firm can provide you with professional, experienced representation from the start of your appeal to ensure your case proceeds as smoothly and as quickly as possible, and that every measure is taken to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Denied Claim? Call a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today.
Talk to a New York or New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer at the Ginarte Law Firm about appealing your workers’ comp decision. We can help you through a burdensome process. The initial meeting is free, and we get paid only after you win your case.