New Virtual Hearings Available for Injured New York Workers
Getting injured in the workplace is not an ideal situation. A lot of paperwork is involved, and there is no guarantee of workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes fraud is involved, either on behalf of the employee or employer. In many cases, benefits are denied even when the employee is truly injured.
In order for many of these cases to proceed, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board requires a hearing. A hearing may be scheduled if there are some questions or concerns about the validity of a case.
In the past, these hearings had to be attended in person. This caused an inconvenience to many people who maybe did not have access to reliable transportation or could not leave their home due to mobility issues caused by their workplace injury.
Now, there is virtually no need to travel to a courtroom that may be an hour or more away. Those injured in the workplace in New York may now have the option to attend a virtual hearing from the comfort of their own home. On September 24, the state launched its new virtual hearings option for injured workers and their attorneys.
The workers’ compensation hearings process was redesigned by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to help injured workers who may not be able to leave their homes after an injury. The new process allows workers to attend hearings via video technology. They simply need a computer or cell phone with a camera.
A new check-in procedure has also been created. In-person and virtual hearings both follow the same process. Even when appearing in person, attorneys and representatives will have to check in using the Virtual Hearing Center’s online procedure.
The program is still in its infancy and, as such, is not available everywhere yet. It is, however, available at all board locations in New York except for Queens, Allegany and Newburgh. Virtual hearings are now available in Manhattan as of September 24.
Who is Eligible for Virtual Hearings?
If you are eligible for a virtual hearing, you will receive a form to complete. You must also have all the technological requirements. This includes a computer or mobile device with a webcam or video conference system and high-speed internet. You will also need to make sure your mobile device is not set to “Do not disturb.” In addition, the sleep/standby mode on your device must be disabled. If it is on, you will be considered unavailable and therefore not able to attend your hearing.
Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Those who are injured and unable to work depend on workers’ compensation benefits. Without this source of income, it would be impossible to pay for housing, food, utilities, clothing and other necessities. Enabling virtual hearings is a convenient option for those with transportation issues or who refuse to travel for hours around New York.
Unfortunately, many people get their workers’ compensation benefits denied even though they have a valid injury. The process can be complicated, so get it done right with help from a lawyer.