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Workers’ Compensation Board

WCB Information Related To Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Emergency Relief from Original Signature Requirements on Listed Documents

On March 16, 2020, the Board published a COVID-19 Guidance Document describing the anticipated impacts on the workers’ compensation system due to the current public health crisis and steps taken by the Board in response. In addition, the Board has commenced mandatory remote-only Virtual Hearing attendance, and continues to work to assure, to the greatest extent possible, ongoing operations, and benefit flow to injured workers.

Since issuing the initial COVID-19 Guidance Document on March 16, 2020, the Board has received many questions from attorneys about the need for signatures on certain documents. Many attorneys, other law firm staff, and employees of payers and administrators are working from home during this crisis and are unable in some instances to submit required forms with original handwritten signatures.

To that end, the Board is hereby suspending until further notice the requirement for original handwritten signatures on the following forms (all language versions), which require the signatures of claimants, attorneys, payers and administrators, during the current state of emergency:

Where a form is identified as ‘Paper’ (e.g., Request for Further Action by Injured Worker [Form RFA-1W] – Paper), it is a paper version of a form that can also be completed electronically and submitted online.

Claimants:

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, it is anticipated that claimants will be unable to meet in person with their legal representatives in order to sign documents drafted by counsel, which require the claimant’s signature. Therefore, during this State of Emergency, forms may be executed by a represented claimant as follows:

Attorneys/ Licensed Representatives

During this State of Emergency, forms may be executed by attorneys and licensed representatives appearing in claims before the Workers’ Compensation Board as follows:

Payers and Administrators

During this State of Emergency, forms may be executed by insurance carriers, self-insured employers and third-party administrators (hereinafter collectively referred to as “payers”) as follows:

Regulations

The Board pursuant to the authority set forth in 12 NYCRR §300.30 has suspended application of the signature requirements set forth in 12 NYCRR §300.17(d)(3) and §300.5.