By: Emily Anderson, Esq.

The Board has recently added language to its standard Hearing Notice, requiring employers and/or insurers to file a WC-1 within 21 days of the date of the notice. Not having a WC-1 on file could not only impact the employer/insurer’s defenses, but an administrative law judge can now also impose civil penalties of up to $1,000 for violating a Board rule.

The hearing notice calls attention to the following requirements, which we recommend all employers/insurers comply with once any hearing notice is received:

1. Notify the Board within 21 days of the attorney representing the employer/insurer.

All employers and insurers are required to notify the Board of the attorney representing them no later than 21 days after receiving a hearing notice. Failure to do so could result in fines and penalties.

2. The employer and/or insurer shall file a form WC-1 with the Board within 21 days of this notice, and failure to do so may result in the assessment of penalties under O.C.G.A. §34-9-18 for violation of O.C.G.A. § 12(a) and Board Rule 61 (b)(1).

This is the newly added language and it highlights that failure to file the WC-1 per the Board rule could result in civil penalties. Any time a case involves more than seven days of lost time, an employer needs to complete Section A of the WC-1 and submit the form to their insurer. The insurer then needs to complete Section B or C and file with the Board within 21 days of knowledge of an injury. If there is any question on whether to controvert, or what wording should be used in the denial, we recommend discussing the issue with your KDA attorney.