QUESTION: What happens if my WCB appeal is denied or if the carrier appeals a decision awarding WC benefits to me?
ANSWER: An appeal from the Workers’ Compensation Board must go to a state court, no matter which party files the appeal. That means it is best to always have an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in NYC to handle your legal claims and appeals in court. The first place that an appeal will go to is the Appellate Division, Third Department, which is located in Albany, New York. All appears from the Workers’ Compensation Board must go to the Third Department, even if the claimant lives in Long Island, Buffalo, New York City, or anywhere else in New York.
A decision and order from the Third Department may further be appealed to the Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, when there is permission from the court to do so. This is exceptionally rare. Generally, only unique issues that have major implications in state jurisprudence of workers’ compensation laws will be heard by the Court of Appeals.
If the Workers’ Compensation Board review is denied, you will also have 30 days from that ruling to file a notice of appeal to the Appellate Division, Third Department. This appeal is heard by a panel of five judges appointed to the Appellate Division, who will review the record below to render a determination.
After the Third Department’s review, if your claim remains denied, the final and rarest step is to appeal to the Court of Appeals. This is an exceedingly rare step, as permission must be granted before an appeal can be taken to the highest court in New York.
Yes, a carrier can appeal an award of workers’ compensation to you. This may be because of a miscalculation or because the carrier disagrees with the findings of the ALJ and the WCB. Claims involving prior injuries or preexisting injuries, or claims involving possible misrepresentation of claims or facts, are the most likely types of cases that a carrier will appeal.
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