In Connecticut, a third-party agency reviews workers’ compensation claims on behalf of the state-run program. When there is a dispute about a determination, there may be a hearing to resolve the contested issue.
There are five basic types of workers’ compensation hearings. Each hearing has a specific purpose, and it is important that claimants prepare for hearings thoroughly.
The most common type of hearing is informal. In general, most cases in dispute will have an informal hearing before a formal one.
A time-sensitive issue in dispute may call for an emergency hearing. For example, a claimant who is facing an imminent hardship such as a loss of insurance or an eviction may request an emergency hearing.
Claimants are often unable to satisfactorily resolve a dispute in an informal hearing. The issue will escalate to a pre-formal hearing, which may be longer in duration and involve a more in-depth review of evidence regarding a claim.
The Workers’ Compensation Commissioner will schedule a formal hearing if informal or pre-formal hearings do not resolve a claim. It is a legally binding proceeding in which the parties are under oath and formally submit evidence for review.
Either party may contest the result of a formal hearing and request an appeal hearing. This is the final opportunity for a claimant to challenge a denial of workers’ compensation benefits.
Ultimately, it is preferable for claimants to get a favorable outcome early in the hearings process. Being prepared for hearings and having all relevant evidence at-the-ready will help assure an expedient resolution.