To: Insurance Carriers and Self-Insured Employers Providing Benefits Under the Workers' Compensation Law, Volunteer Firefighters' Benefit Law, Volunteer Ambulance Workers' Benefit Law and Disability Benefits Law
Date: October 11, 2000
As part of the Board's continuing efforts to improve services to employers and injured employees of New York, the Board will begin to change the method through which notices are disseminated to parties of interest within the system. Currently the Board sends notices to numerous carriers, third-party administrators (TPA's), and employers with the consequence that the proper party does not appear at the hearing and claims that it did not receive notice. By meeting our obligation to give notice to the carrier of record (or self-insured employer), it will be the responsibility of that carrier to forward the notice to any other entity (e.g. a TPA) who should attend the hearing on its behalf.
In the interest of increasing efficiency and ensuring that the proper parties receive notice, the Board is therefore updating its master party-of-interest (insurance carrier/self-insured employer address) files. Once the files are updated, carriers and self-insured employers will receive hearing notices at one official address, statewide. Any further notice to other entities will thereafter be the responsibility of the carrier or self-insured employer.
In order to continue to provide timely notice to carriers (or self-insured employers) on every workers' compensation claim, carriers should notify the Board immediately of their proper address. Please forward this information on official letterhead to the following address:
Director of Operations
Workers' Compensation Board
100 Broadway - Menands
Albany, NY 12241
The Office of the Director of Operations will review the carrier address information and update the master party of interest file accordingly. Each carrier will receive a confirmation letter indicating the address that all future notices will be sent.
Carriers may choose to receive notices electronically instead of by mail. Carriers may create an account to electronically retrieve a print image file for Hearing Notices, Indexing Notices, Decision Notices, and Letters. For more information, please refer to the Workers' Compensation Board web site and read "Documentation for downloading Print Image Files for Notices of Hearing, Indexing, and Decision (version 2.0, 2/1/00)."
The method through which carriers and self-insured employers receive notices will have an impact at the hearing level. Carriers and self-insured employers who, in the past, relied on the Board to grant an adjournment for failure to receive proper notice can no longer expect such adjournments. In other words, once the Board is satisfied that notice was sent to the proper address, the Board will be in a position to assert its jurisdiction and make the necessary findings. These changes will increase the efficiency of the Board's operations by preventing unnecessary adjournments and resolving cases more quickly.
If you need a copy of current addresses used for notice of hearing, or have any other questions, please contact the Director of Operations at (518) 486-3345.
Richard A. Bell