Commission Amends Hearing Officer Manual
The Commission amended two sections of the Hearing Officer Manual and issued four new sections, effective May 7, 2007.
The Commission amended sections: C.3 (jurisdiction over the issue of MMI) and R.2 (Commission hearings – court reporters).
The Commission issued new sections: A.5 (substantial aggravation), C.5 (temporary total disability/treatment due to psychological conditions), S.13 (scheduling IC & BWC employees, relatives and significant others for hearing), and S.14 (dual causation).
Memo A.5 provides the standards applied for “substantial aggravation claims” arising on or after October 11, 2006.
Memo C.3 provides that the issue of MMI should not be considered if the claimant was not receiving temporary total either at the time of the request for an MMI finding, or at the time of a hearing.
Memo C.5 provides that a psychologist, medical doctor, or doctor of osteopathy may provide evidence to support temporary total disability in a psychiatric claim.
Memo R.2 requires seven days notice if a party wants a court reporter present at a hearing. A party who brings a court reporter must file a transcript with the claim file, but does not have to present it to the other side.
Memo S.13 provides for scheduling hearings of (1) a current or former employee; (2) a relative of a current or former employee, or (3) someone with a significant relationship to a current or former employee. Hearings in claims of such individuals shall be scheduled in the next closest regional office, rather than the region in which the employee is employed.
Memo S.14 provides that dual causation applies to determinations of whether a condition is allowed, but does not apply to disability determinations. Non-allowed conditions may be present, but the allowed condition must be independently disabling in order for disability compensation to be granted.