NWCDN Members regularly post articles and summary judgements in workers’ compensations law in your state.
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SB 1403, effective 9/24/2022, adds a new reporting requirement in Section 23-1061(N) for insurance carriers. Upon the receipt of written notice of an injury from an employee who was injured and intends to file a claim for compensation, the carrier must forward the written notice to the Industrial Commission within seven business days and inform the employee of the employee’s requirement to file a claim with the Commission. The one-year claim filing deadline may be suspended from the date the carrier received written notification until the date the carrier forwards the written notification to the commission. The statute expressly applies to all existing claims that have not been legally filed by the injured worker with the ICA regardless of the date of injury.
The ICA has acknowledged that “intent to file for compensation” is not defined by the statute. The ICA has taken the position in their educational materials that “it is reasonable to assume that if the worker is seeking or has received medical and/or lost time benefits compliance is required.” It is anticipated that what constitutes “written notice” or “intent to file” will need to be addressed further by ICA policy or case law clarification. For example, if an employee sends an email or text to their employer claiming that they were hurt and they need help, that may constitute “written notice” in the eyes of the ICA.
From a carrier compliance standpoint, it is recommend to err on the side of caution and consider any written communication from an injured worker regarding notice of an injury and a request for any form of benefit to be “written notice” with an “intention to file.” This is particularly important as the statute not only indicates that the one year filing statute of limitations may be tolled, but also provides that violation of the new requirements may result in any other applicable bad faith/unfair claims processing allegations.