To: Insurance Carriers and Self-Insurers Providing Benefits Under the Workers' Compensation Law, Volunteer Firefighters' Benefit Law, and the Volunteer Ambulance Workers' Benefit Law; Attorneys and Licensed Representatives Appearing Before the Board
Date: September 5, 2002
Effective as of January 1, 1999, Workers' Compensation Law §110-a prohibits the disclosure of individually identifiable information from workers' compensation records to unauthorized persons. Accordingly, the Board has developed a method for citation to Board decisions which does not include any directly identifiable information about claimants, only the employer name and Workers' Compensation Board Case Number. Prior to publication, Board Panel decisions are screened for all references to claimants and witnesses by name, and claimant social security numbers.
Because it is unlawful, pursuant to WCL §110-a(4) for any person who has obtained copies of Board records, or individually identifiable information from Board records, to disclose information to unauthorized parties, the Board advises that you redact Board decisions accordingly, prior to re-disclosure. Removing all individually identifiable information should exclude all references to claimants and witnesses by name, and claimant social security numbers. And, if you submit to the Board a copy of a previous Board Panel Decision, please remember to redact all individually identifiable information from the submission.
Board decisions should be referenced using the employer name, WCB Case Number and date of filing. This includes referencing a decision rendered by the Board in one claimant's case in papers submitted to the Board regarding a different claimant.
For instance, when citing to a previous Board Panel Decision, the citation should be as follows:
"In the case of ABC Corporation (WCB # 1234 5678, January 1, 2001), the Board Panel found that a spouse convicted of and incarcerated for murder was not entitled to death benefits";
"The Board Panel found that a spouse convicted of and incarcerated for murder was not entitled to death benefits (ABC Corp., WCB # 1234 5678, Jan. 1, 2001)."
Robert R. Snashall