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Workers' Compensation Board

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Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is Voluntary Binding Review (VBR)? The VBR process provides represented claimants, employers and carriers with an alternative method to the current RB-89 process for appealing Workers' Compensation Law Judge (WCLJ) decisions that involve determinations of compensation.
  2. How do I apply for VBR? You need to submit an Application for Voluntary Binding Review (VBR-01) form to the Board via:
  3. What are the benefits of using the VBR process as opposed to the traditional RB-89 process? The VBR process is designed to offer the parties faster resolution of disputed issues in certain decisions and to provide the parties with greater control over the outcome.
  4. Do I need legal representation to participate in the VBR process? If so, why is legal representation required to participate? Yes, if you are a claimant. Only a qualified attorney/licensed representative can guide you through the VBR process. Although the process is voluntary in nature, the resulting decision is legally binding and cannot be appealed. Since you will be giving up the right to further appeal when you agree to the process, attorney representation is required.
  5. How can I find an attorney/licensed representative to represent me in the VBR process? The Workers' Compensation Board does not maintain a list of attorneys who provide legal services to workers' compensation claimants; however, you can contact the NYS Bar Association at (800) 342-3661 or the NYC Bar Association at (212) 382-6600. You can also look under Workers' Compensation Attorneys in your local yellow pages, or search for an attorney on the Internet.
  6. Who can apply for VBR? Any represented party who has filed an appeal, or is the respondent to an appeal. VBR applications can occur at the same time as an appeal, or afterwards.
  7. How long do I have to apply for VBR after a WCLJ decision is rendered on an issue? Anytime after the RB-89 is properly filed.
  8. What kinds of appeals are eligible to be resolved using the VBR process? Appeals of WCLJ decisions involving determinations of compensation are eligible to be resolved using the VBR process. Such decisions include the following:
    • Apportionment
    • Average Weekly Wage
    • Death Benefits
    • Degree of Disability
    • Disability Benefits
    • Penalty
    • Period of Disability
    • Classification
    • Reduced Earnings
    • Reimbursement
    • Schedule Loss of Use
  9. What if I wish to seek a VBR of a decision that involves both a determination of compensation and other issues, such as medical? Only appeals of decisions involving a determination of compensation can be resolved using the VBR process. If the decision you want to appeal addresses both compensation and non-compensation disputes and you would like to have the compensation dispute resolved using the VBR process, you will have to waive review of the non-compensation dispute. If you do not wish to waive review of the non-compensation dispute, you cannot have the compensation dispute resolved using the VBR process.
  10. After an application for VBR is submitted, can I withdraw from the process and, if so, is there a point in the process where withdrawal is no longer permissible? Yes. You can withdraw from the process up until the finalization date of the 10-day waiting period following the Notice of Approval for Parameters of Acceptance 32 (VBR-3). Withdrawal should be submitted via email to vbrform@wcb.ny.gov, eFax (518) 402-7115, or Web Upload.
  11. Are the decisions rendered at the conclusion of the VBR process legally binding? Yes. Decisions issued at the conclusion of the VBR process are final and conclusive, binding on all parties of interest.
  12. Can I appeal a decision issued at the conclusion of the VBR process? No. Decisions issued at the conclusion of the VBR process are final and conclusive, binding on all parties of interest, and cannot be appealed to the Board or the Courts.
  13. If I choose to use the VBR process to appeal a decision, are there any hearings that I will have to attend? No.
  14. I mailed my withdrawal on the date the VBR-3 is listed as becoming final. What date does the Board consider when determining if there is a proper withdrawal? The Board considers the date the withdrawal is received at the Board, not the date the withdrawal was requested or mailed. Best practice is to withdraw by eFax (518) 402-7115 or VBR email (vbrform@wcb.ny.gov)
  15. How can I obtain additional information about the VBR process? You can find an overview of the VBR process on the Board's website, send an email to vbr@wcb.ny.gov, or contact the Board at (877) 632-4996.