Today’s issue of WorkCompRecap features the TDI-DWC’s recent announcement that after a successful pilot project, the division rolled out a statewide program in October 2016 that has helped speed up the resolution of some disputes.
The “Two-Step” program splits up related claim issues so that a hearing officer can decide the most far-reaching issue first, which can clear the way for secondary issues to be resolved sooner. In the pilot program, the approach helped speed resolution of many workers’ comp disputes. The program is voluntary, and the existing system is still used in many cases. The option to participate is presented by the presiding officer at the initial benefit review conference for cases that may benefit from the approach, and it is used only if both parties agree to it. The DWC noted that deciding the extent of injury issue first can lead to a better outcome, a more efficient hearing, and more agreements.
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