Readers of this blog, from previous blog entries, know our frustration with the developing practice of workers’ comp insurance carriers “accepting” medical-only claims by issuing a Notice of Denial (NCD).
Aside from the logical problem, there are procedural issues this creates for attorneys representing injured workers in PA. For example, this practice lets the workers’ comp insurance carrier deny the wage aspect of a claim and avoid unreasonable contest fees, and would often wreak havoc with an injured worker’s attempt to obtain medical treatment for the work injury. There is also concern that the NCD would not stop the statute of limitations, meaning a claim could be barred if the injured worker did not know to file a Claim Petition within three years of the injury.
The PA Bureau of Workers’ Compensation recognized the problem years ago, and created a medical-only Notice of Compensation Payable (NCP). This document would properly preserve the statute of limitations, and let everybody know the true status of the claim. The Courts in Pennsylvania, however, as noted in our previous blog entries above, continued to allow workers’ comp insurance carriers to “accept” claims by using an NCD, making the medical-only NCP useless.
We are pleased to report that the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has now revised the NCD, which appears will stop this abuse by the workers’ comp insurance carriers. As you can see by clicking here, the new NCD does not permit the acceptance of the claim by use of this document.
We applaud the Bureau for closing this loophole, which the Courts had created. This change will benefit injured workers across the State of Pennsylvania.