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Workers' Compensation Board

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New York State
Workers' Compensation Board
OFFICE OF THE CHAIR
328 State Street  Schenectady, New York 12305
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo


Subject No. 046-835

Board Introduces Voluntary Binding Review Resolution Process

Date: March 28, 2016

The Board has amended 12 NYCRR 300.36, effective March 12, 2016, to expressly permit employers, insurance carriers and represented injured workers to participate in a Voluntary Binding Review (VBR) process, an alternative resolution process to appeal decisions involving determinations of compensation (DOC). Participation in VBR is strictly voluntary, and requires the agreement of both sides to the dispute as well as the Board. The VBR process will be available to parties to use effective March 28, 2016.

The VBR process is a direct result of the Board's Business Process Re-engineering initiative, and is designed to provide litigants with a faster way to decide appeals. At this time, the only method available to resolve an appeal of a Workers' Compensation Law Judge's (WCLJ) decision is via the Board Panel, which can be a lengthy process. The VBR process offers interested parties an alternative resolution method that, in the appropriate case, may prove more effective and efficient, as well as providing the same level of legal finality as a Section 32 waiver agreement.

To use the VBR process, the decision in dispute must be a DOC involving indemnity benefits. The VBR process is expected to take approximately 60-75 days, resulting in a more efficient appeals resolution.

For more information regarding the Voluntary Binding Review process, such as which cases lend themselves to VBR, including new appeals as well as pending inventory, and how to navigate the process, visit our Overview, Process and Frequently Asked Questions pages. Watch for training materials and additional resources to be added to the website.

Questions regarding this release may be addressed to the Voluntary Binding Review unit at vbr@wcb.ny.gov.

 

Robert E. Beloten
Chair