Workers Comp Appeals Board Office

What does Workers Comp Appeals Board Office mean?

The Workers Compensation Appeals Board in the state of California includes twenty-three local offices plus satellites offices. Each office is responsible for hearing challenges over workers' compensation benefits which were first decided by state work comp judges. Subsequent reconsiderations are heard in San Francisco by a seven-member judicial body appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

The WCAB is the body responsible for reviewing opinions and regulations, reviewing petitions for reconsideration of work comp decisions by judges, and monitoring other regulations, practices, and procedures which are adopted for the California workers’ compensation adjudication process. Other states have similar boards, but they may be called different names. For example, in the state of Kansas a similar body is referred to as “The Workers’ Compensation Board.”

Appealing your work comp decision to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB)
California workers’ compensation claims which went to trial at the local Worker’s Comp Appeals Board (WCAB) (after initially having a dispute with the insurance company) may again be challenged by workers who are not happy with the decision made by the California appeals board judge. This appeal is filed with the Worker’s Comp Appeals Board (WCAB) in San Francisco.

The first step in the California workers' comp system is to file a Petition for Reconsideration with the WCAB. All appeals must be made within 20 days from the date of the decision. Reconsiderations are generally only filed if there is new evidence for a case or if you believe the judge’s decision was in error given the current evidence.
After the Petition for Reconsideration is submitted to the board they will have 60 days to accept it or deny it. The board has the right to amend the original decision, affirm the decision, to reject the decision, or not to review the petition at all. Decisions may be made after a new hearing is scheduled or the board may simply send you notice of their decision.

If you or the insurance company disagrees with the decision from the board the decision can be appealed to the state appellate court for a “writ of review.” All appeals must be filed within 45 days from the Board’s decision. The appellate court rarely overturns the appeals board’s decision.

Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer

Work comp lawyers frequently help claimants file Petitions for Reconsideration. If you did not have a lawyer to help file your petition and you are now seeking help with the state appellate court, however, it is much more difficult to find legal help. Many lawyers will decide that getting involved at the state level is not worth the time and effort, especially if they have not been involved in the work compensation claim from the beginning.

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Category: Employment Law