Regulations permit parties in a case to stipulate to uncontested facts or proposed findings in any claim before the Board.
There are three ways for a stipulation to be submitted and approved by the Board, under regulation 12 NYCRR 300.5(b).
- At a hearing, by making an oral statement on the record, which is approved by the Workers' Compensation Law Judge (WCLJ).
- At a hearing, by submitting a written stipulation on a Board form (C-300.5), signed by the parties, which is approved by the WCLJ.
- Outside of a hearing, a written stipulation sent to the Board, on a Board form (C-300.5), signed by the parties, which is reviewed and approved by a WCLJ or conciliator. This option is only available if the claimant is represented by counsel.
If the stipulation is offered at a hearing, the WCLJ will verify the following:
- Each party has been advised of the legal effect of stipulating to the facts or proposed findings contained in said stipulation;
- If in writing, each party has affixed their signatures to the stipulation of their own free will.
- If the claimant is not represented by an attorney, whether the stipulation is written or oral, the claimant has given a sworn statement that he or she understands the facts agreed to and the legal effect of the stipulation.
If a stipulation is made at a hearing, and approved by a WCLJ, the stipulation is made part of the decision, and is sent to the parties. If the stipulation is offered outside of the hearing and approved by the WCLJ or a conciliator, it will be set forth in a decision that is sent to the parties. These decisions are binding on the parties.
Stipulations under 300.5 cannot be used for waiver agreements under WCL § 32.
Refer to Procedure for Determining Awards for Certain Schedule Losses of Use for stipulations regarding certain Scheduled Losses of Use.
Section 32 Agreements
A Section 32 Waiver Agreement is a negotiated agreement between the injured worker and the insurer (NYSIF, insurance carrier, third-party administrator, self-insured employer or WAMO) to settle indemnity and/or medical benefits on a claim. The Section 32 Waiver Agreement must be approved by the Workers' Compensation Board. If approved by the Board, the settlement is binding on all the parties and not subject to appeal. Section 32 agreements can expedite the adjudication of issues or entire claims, while assuring the rights of the claimant and all other parties.
Waiver Agreement Management Office (WAMO)
WAMO enters into Section 32 waiver agreements to resolve workers' compensation claims on behalf of the Special Disability Fund. This office does so, utilizing funds generated by the proceeds of bonds sold by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. WAMO encourages fair settlements of claims involving the Special Disability Fund.