Archive for August, 2008

Announcing: Georgia Workers’ Compensation Legislative/Board Rule Changes

The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Legislative/Board has announced its rule changes for 2008.   Following is a quick summary of the revisions:

Workers’ Compensation Board Rule Changes

Rule 15:  Stipulations are limited to 25 pages including supporting documents unless prior approval is given by the Board.  Also, on the first page of the stipulations, leave a 5” space for the approval stamp.

Rule 40:  The addresses for Board in Covington and Rome have been updated.

Rule 60:  All forms, documents and correspondence must be served on opposing counsel by email unless they are not available (then you may use regular mail).

Rule 61:  Panels no longer have to be on pink forms. Service must be made on opposing counsel by email when filing forms, etc.; Documents should be filed with the Board online and only “misc” document types are those  that do not require any action. The Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”) Unit has the power to reset/cancel mediations.

Rule 102:  Ex parte email communications with a judge or the Board on a pending case are prohibited.  Leaves of absences can be filed online:  WC102d forms must be used only for motions/objections other than Motions for Reconsideration (“MFR”) and Request for Change of Physician/Additional Treatment.  When filing a MFR, you must call the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) /WC Board by phone and use the Integrated Case Management System (ICMS”) doc-type “Motion for Reconsideration”.  These motions are limited to 20 pages and served on all parties.

Rule 103:  Addresses the same procedure as outlined in Rule 102 for filing a Motion for Reconsideration (“MFR”) before the Appellate Division.

Rule 108:  Deals with extensions on payments of attorney’s fees on catastrophic claims and clarifies when fees will be awarded on a weekly basis (% of weekly check) i.e., opposing counsel must show he actually did something to get the benefits started.

Rule 200: Creates a new section addressing in change of physician cases.

Rule 200.1 Lessens the time to object to a change in rehab supplier to 15 days, down from 20 days.  When an appeal of a denial for an application for registration/renewal/reinstatement of a rehabilitation supplier is made, the appellant has 20 days, instead of 15.

Rule 226 Deals with guardianships’ submissions process and objections/MFR.

Rule 240 Requires that the job description be served on opposing counsel at the same time it is submitted to the Authorized Treating Physician.  Old language used “should” rather than “shall.”

Legislatively, only section 34-9-358 was extensively revised.  This statute deals only with the assessments made against employers/insurers for the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund (“SITF”).  34-9-368 was amended slightly in conformity with the changes to 358.

For more information, please contact Catherine Dellinger Buckley at (404) 633-9230.

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