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New York State
Workers' Compensation Board
OPERATIONS DIVISION
20 Park Street   Albany, New York 12207
Subject No. 046-96

To:  Insurance Carriers and Self-Insured Employers Providing Benefits Under the Workers' Compensation Law, Volunteer Firefighters' Law and Volunteer Ambulance Workers' Law; Attorneys and Licensed Representatives Appearing Before the Board

Section 32 Waiver Agreements

Date:  September 1, 2000

 

The Workers' Compensation Board currently receives approximately 4,000 section 32 waiver agreements each month. In order to continue to process these requests for approval in a timely manner, the Board must revise its current procedures.

Starting immediately, the Board will process section 32 waiver agreements differently. Those agreements that involve uncontroverted settlements will no longer require a meeting before a Commissioner. Upon receipt of this type of section 32 waiver agreement, the Board will send out a Release Form (EC-32.1) to the claimant. Upon receipt of the Release Form, the Board will notify the parties that the section 32 waiver agreement has been deemed "submitted" and that any party may request a disapproval from the Board within ten days. If the Board does not receive a written request for disapproval, the Commissioner will then review the agreement and either approve or disapprove it.

The Commissioner will sign the approved agreements which will be scanned into the Electronic Case Folder along with the Release Form and the attorney or representatives fee request form (OC-400.1).

Section 32 waiver agreements that involve controverted matters, or other complex legal issues will continue to require a meeting before a Commissioner. These matters will be scheduled as they are today.

After reviewing the agreement or holding a meeting, the Board will issue a notice of approval or a notice of disapproval, but will no longer send out a copy of the signed section 32 waiver agreements. The signed agreements will, of course, be available in our electronic claims information system.

We hope that these changes will improve the Board's efficiency and will result in a more timely resolution of all section 32 waiver agreements.

 

David Donohue
Director of Operations