Hearing Officer Manual Revised

The Industrial Commission recently revised some of its memos in the Hearing Officer Manual.  Memo R7 expanded the rule on audiovisual evidence now requiring parties to include a date and time stamp on the recording.  Memo O3 allows e-signatures on settlement documents, but prohibits parties from waiving the 30 day cooling off period.  According to Memo O1 when a claimant dies during the 30 day cooling off period, death alone is not good cause to void the settlement.  Settlement also will not abate when the administrator fails to process the application within a reasonable time and the claimant dies before the application for settlement is filed.  Finally, Memo Q1 addresses adjustments in AWW and FWW.  R.C. 4123.52 provides “the Commission shall not make any modification, change, finding or award which shall award compensation for a back period in excess of two years prior to the date of filing application thereof.”  According to the memo, an adjustment to the AWW/FWW may be made up to two years from the date the application is filed.  If there is no application, the Commission may adjust the compensation rate as far back as the date of injury, even if more than two years have passed from the time the Commission becomes aware of the rate issue.  For example, in State ex rel. Drone v. Indus. Comm., 93 Ohio St.3d 151, 2001-Ohio-1295, the Bureau discovered an error in its calculation of AWW and issued an order adjusting AWW and awarding compensation for a back period of two years.  The Ohio Supreme Court ultimately decided since there was no application under R.C. 4123.52 the award of back compensation should go back to the beginning of the claim.  To read the full memos click here.


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