Commission Updates Hearing Block / Continuance Guidelines

Commission Updates Hearing Block / Continuance Guidelines

Posted: February, 2013

The Industrial Commission adopted Resolution R12-1-03 which provides a new policy for requesting hearing blocks, as well as new guidelines for hearing administrators and hearing officers to determine whether good cause or extraordinary circumstances exist to justify granting a continuance. The new policy, which replaces Resolution R12-1-02, went into effect on December 31, 2012.

Hearing Blocks

  • Authorized representatives can “block out dates” (request no hearings on certain dates) if they request the block out at least 15 state business days before the date requested.
  • Representatives can request the Commission to block out a total of 50 half-days per calendar year.
  • Although representatives cannot request to have a whole day blocked out, they can use two half days to have a whole day blocked out.
  • Representatives can request “site blocks”, which means blocked out hearings in certain parts of the state only, but such site blocks will count toward the 50 half-days the representative is permitted per calendar year.
  • Representatives should manage their requests for block out dates through ICON (the Industrial Commission Online Network).

Examples of Good Cause

  • Recent retention of a representative, if the party acted with due diligence.
  • Pending settlement.
  • Employer, acting with due diligence seeking signed medical release, needing additional time to obtain medical records or medical report.

Examples of Extraordinary Circumstances

  • Hospitalizations, medical emergencies, deaths in immediate families, car accidents, weather emergencies.
  • Failure to properly set forth names and addresses of parties and representatives on the notice of hearing.
  • Processing a discovery request which was not foreseeable and could not have been filed earlier.
  • If a party or representative receives notice of an unforeseeable court date.
  • Recent retention of a representative, if the party acted with due diligence.
  • Ability to rebut new opposing evidence only if it raises unforeseeable issues or the volume of the evidence precludes the ability to conduct a proper hearing.
  • If a representative is listed as the docketing representative in multiple claims when hearings are scheduled, conflicting hearings constitute good cause.
  • A documented court conflict which either existed when the hearing was scheduled or which another party scheduled without input from the representative.
Information courtesy of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bulletin. Subscribe to the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Bulletin to keep informed about the Ohio workers’ compensation system.