Proceedings by Video/Phone will be how Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals cases will be heard, through at least January 2021. Since we last wrote about this – APPEAL PROCEEDINGS WILL BE BY REMOTE ACCESS THROUGH JULY – additional options have been put in place, including Zoom proceedings.
Opening of BIIA Offices and Live Proceedings on Hold
When and how the BIIA will open their offices depends on the COVID-19 situation and guidance from Governor Inslee’s office. On July 24, 2020, the Governor extended the Safe Start proclamation, and BIIA offices remain closed to the public at this time.
The BIIA will continue with only telephone/video proceedings through the end of January 2021. Contact your assigned judge about using CourtCall or Zoom for video proceedings, or if you have questions about how to proceed.
More Information and Assistance
More information about the process for proceedings by video/phone can be found on the Board’s website. There is updated information for the use of Zoom for proceedings on a variety of devices, with step-by-step instructions and helpful screenshots:
If you have an appeal pending, you may also contact the judge assigned to your case, or their assistant, if you more information.
We often suggest that claimants have legal representation when their case is on appeal. This may be especially true when appeal proceedings will be remote access. Feel free to contact our firm for assistance with your case. We offer a free analysis of your case and will give you our opinion on whether you need legal assistance, or not, and how we recommend you proceed.
Although Governor Inslee has indicated that it is not likely that the State will be left without a budget when the June 30th deadline arrives, preparations have been made, just in case. The Office of Financial Management has outlined 34 agencies that would close, in whole or in part, if a budget is not passed. The OFM summary of agency impacts outlines the contingency planning for state agency operations.
Contact your legislators and let them know how this budget fight impacts you and your families.
On the list are the Department of Labor and Industries and the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, both of which handle claims and cases pertaining to injured or disabled workers. The Department would be reduced to two full-time employees assigned to respond to emergencies across the state and to administer benefits to crime victim claimants. Those injured workers that are set up to receive automatic payments will continue to receive their compensation but no pending applications for benefits will be processed. A significant number of our clients are waiting for decisions from their Claims Managers to establish their entitlement to time loss compensation, whether back-pay or current/ongoing payments or both. These cases would be put on hold until a budget is passed and the staff return to their desks. The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals will be completely shut down. All scheduled hearings, conferences and other proceedings will simply be cancelled until the judges and staff return to work.
Pink slips will be sent to all State employees to be laid off during any potential shutdown of State government offices. Due to notice requirements, the notices will go out Monday, June 24th. I encourage you to contact your legislators and let them know how this budget fight impacts you and your families. You can find the contact information for your legislator at: http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/.