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Workers' Compensation Board

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Overview


The Voluntary Binding Review (VBR) process provides represented claimants, employers and carriers with an alternative method to the current RB-89 process for resolving disputes regarding Workers' Compensation Law Judge (WCLJ) decisions about determinations of compensation (DOC). To enter the VBR process, the interested party or parties must submit an Application for Voluntary Binding Review (VBR-1), along with a copy of their completed Application for Board Review (RB-89) form, which has been duly filed with the Board (Note: the submission of a copy of the completed RB-89 form with the VBR-1 does not constitute proper filing of the RB-89 with the Board).

  • If only one interested party initially applies for VBR, the opposing party will be sent the VBR-1 form to accept or decline the initiating party's request to have the dispute resolved using the VBR process.
  • After establishing that both parties are in agreement that they would like to have the dispute resolved using the VBR process, the parties are directed to complete a mutually negotiated Parameters of Acceptance Agreement (VBR-2), setting forth the parameters of acceptable resolution of the issue.
  • Parties will have 30 days to complete the Parameters of Acceptance Agreement and to submit it to the Board.
  • The Board will review the agreement and issue a Notice of Acceptance/Approval, notifying the parties that the Board has received the Parameters of Acceptance Agreement.
  • Within 10 days of submission of the Agreement, either party may submit a written request to the Board requesting that the Agreement be disapproved by the Board.
  • If no such request is received by the Board prior to the expiration of the 10 day waiting period, the Board shall issue a Determination of Compensation (VBR-4 Resolution) resolving any issues for which such resolution was requested by the parties in the Parameters of Acceptance Agreement (VBR-2).
  • This decision is final and conclusive, binding on all parties of interest, and will not be appealable pursuant to WCL section 23 and, therefore, cannot be appealed to the Board or the Courts.

This new, expedited appeals process is designed to offer the parties a faster resolution of certain disputed issues and to provide the parties with greater control over the outcome.

Necessary Forms


Eligibility


To utilize the VBR process for the resolution of a dispute, the following conditions must be met:

  1. The claimant must be represented.
  2. The issue for which resolution is sought must involve a determination of compensation made by a WCLJ. Such issues 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
  3. A form RB-89 must be properly filed with the Board prior to the filing of the application for Voluntary Binding Review or must be properly filed simultaneously with the application for Voluntary Binding Review. See Cover Sheet - Application for Board Review RB-89 for details.

If you have a question or would like additional information about Voluntary Binding Review, please email vbr@wcb.ny.gov