As part of the process for resolving disputes over workers’ compensation benefits, Missouri state law allows claimants who disagree with an administrative law judge’s decision to file an appeal. However, there are numerous strict rules for how such an appeal must be pursued and what outcomes an appeal can—and cannot—have. Moving forward with an appeal without a thorough understanding of these rules will almost always lead to an unsatisfactory outcome.
Support from a Webster Groves workers’ compensation appeals lawyer can substantially improve your chances of getting a positive resolution to your case. No matter how far into the appeals process you need to go to get the benefits you deserve, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at OnderLaw can stand by your side and tenaciously protect your rights every step of the way.
After an administrative law judge (ALJ) issues a final award for a workers’ compensation claim, a claimant who disagrees with that ruling may appeal it to the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission by filling out and submitting an Application for Review. This application must be submitted within 20 days of being notified of the ALJ’s decision regarding their award, or in some cases, within 20 days of the date that notification of the decision was sent out by mail.
The commission will then require both sides to file legal briefs and review the ALJ’s decision, which they can adopt in its entirety if they do not disagree with it. Alternatively, the commission can issue a modified or completely new award if they disagree with the ALJ’s decision in part or whole. Either way, any party who disagrees with the commission’s decision has 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal with the state Court of Appeals and pay a $70 docket fee.
Notably, the Court of Appeals can only review the commission’s decision for legal issues and cannot accept new evidence or dispute findings of fact made by the commission. In extremely rare cases, it may be possible to appeal the Court of Appeals’ ruling all the way to the State Supreme Court. Doing so requires guidance from our firm’s qualified Webster Groves workers’ comp appeals attorneys.
At OnderLaw, we don’t just take on cases; we take on causes, and we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to protect your right to the compensation you deserve.
If an ALJ issues a “temporary or partial award”—meaning an award made before the full extent of a claimant’s long-term disability is known—rather than a “final award” any party involved in the claim may still file an Application for Review with the commission. However, the commission can dismiss this application if it finds no issue concerning the employee’s liability for the claim.
Importantly, while judges can correct clerical errors in workers’ comp settlement offers within 20 days of the settlement being accepted, they cannot alter or void settlements once they are approved. Additionally, claimants cannot appeal approved settlements for any reason, with or without assistance from a workers’ compensation appeals lawyer in Webster Groves.
Appealing a decision on a workers’ compensation award can be complicated on both legal and personal levels. Without representation from experienced legal counsel, you will have an extremely difficult time complying with all the requirements placed on you by state law and getting the resolution that best suits your needs.
Fortunately, help is available from a capable and compassionate Webster Groves workers’ compensation appeals lawyer. Schedule an initial meeting by calling OnderLaw today. Guidance from our supportive legal professionals can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim.