1. My law office is changing addresses; is there a specific form I would file to report this to the DIA?
According to Janine Senatore, manager, Office of Claims Administration, "All attorney changes should be sent by letter, to Brian Peake, in the Claims Processing Unit. The problem with submitting Notice of Change/Appearance of Counsel - Form 114 is that some attorneys neglect to give us all information we need. In the letters they need to explain what the issues are such as: the firm is moving or changing their address; an attorney is leaving one firm to go to another and he/she is taking any cases with them (a Notice of Change/Appearance of Counsel Form - 114 needs to be filed on each case). Maintaining the tables of changes/updates/additions in the DIA database system are now very detailed for the attorney/law firm tables."
2. Are out-of-state medical providers required to accept medical rates as established by the Massachusetts Center for Health Information and Analysis (formerly the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy) when they treat patients under Mass law?
The DIA Reviewing Board has ruled, in the Tedeschi case, that out-of-state providers ARE bound by the rates set by Massachusetts. In an accepted case, providers that believe they have received less than they are entitled to should file a Third Party Claim/Third Party Notice Of Lien - Form 115.
3. How do I get access to a file, or a copy, of something in a file?
All public records requests must be made in writing to the Keeper of Records, preferably on the Records Request Form. You can find this form on the DIA's webpage (www.mass.gov/dia). Currently, if the date of injury is between 1968 and 1994, the file will be stored at the state archives. If the date of injury is between 1995 and 2005, the file will be stored at our off site facility in Dedham. Dates of injury from 2006 to present are on site in the Boston Office. Please not that this is subject to change as space becomes limited. Complete files are releasable to only those that are/were a party to the file being requested. If you represent an injured worker on a current matter, you are not entitled to receive copies of any prior injuries without a signed authorization from your client. You will be charged a 20¢ per page copy fee and a research/labor fee of either $10.00 (on site/off site files) or $25.00 (archived files). When the records are copied, you will be sent an invoice for the appropriate fees. The requested records will be mailed to you upon receipt of payment. Checks should be made payable to the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts'.
4. Is everything in a DIA file public record?
NO. Social Security Numbers, the nature of injury, body parts affected, medical records, employee telephone number and date of birth are not public records. A signed authorization by the injured worker or a subpoena is required before this information is released to anyone NOT affiliated with the file.
5. How can I get a certified copy of a file?
The DIA certifies Conference Orders, Hearing/Review Board Decisions as well as memorandums of agreement (Lump Sum Agreements and Agreements to Pay Compensation - Form 113). The procedure is as follows:
1. Put the request in writing and submit it to:
Keeper of Records
1 Congress St., Suite 100
Boston, MA 02114-2017
2. There is a certification fee of $10.00 per document. Please include payment with your written request and make check payable to the "Commonwealth of Massachusetts."
Please note that the turn around time for certified copies depends on whether or not you submit a copy of the document with your request and check (1 day) or the file has to be retrieved and the requested copy made (1 - 2 weeks) then certified.
6. If we wish to take our case to arbitration is there a department form we need to file to inform the department of our intent?
No, there is no department form for parties to use if they want to go to arbitration; they just need to submit to the Conciliation Unit a signed agreement by all parties, stating that they will accept arbitration. The requirements for what must be included in the agreement, and other guidance, is contained in MGL C. 152, § 10B.
7. Can you check the computer and see if a Notification Of Withdrawal Of Claim Or Complaint - Form 109, was received?
Receipts of Notification of Withdrawal Of Claim Or Complaint - Form 109s are not shown on the computer. The judge's secretary will enter the withdrawal into the computer to reflect the change. If the withdrawal is not indicated in the computer, contact the judge's secretary to make sure it was removed from the judge's docket.
8. Who handles requests for hardships?
Requests that conference dates be scheduled sooner, due to a financial hardship on the part of an employee, are filed on the Request For A Speedy Conference Because Of Hardship - Form 131 and Affidavit in Support Of Request For A Speedy Conference Because Of Hardship - Form 132.
Requests for additional information can be obtained from the Senior Judge's Office, 617-727-4900, x 4307. Requests to expedite a date for a Hearing should be made by motion to the judge handling the case.
Motions for expedited conferences can also be made on the basis of fraud, illegal discontinuance of benefits, catastrophic injury, medical emergency, or denial pursuant to MGL c. § 15A. Motions are filed to the attention of the Reviewing Board Motion Clerk.
9. I am an attorney who has been discharged by my client. The case is waiting a Hearing; to withdraw from the case do I need to file anything other than the Notice of Change/Appearance Of Counsel - Form 114?
Yes; if the case has been referred to Dispute Resolution you need to contact the judge with jurisdiction over the case. If they allow you to withdraw you would then have to write a letter to the Hon. Omar Hernandez, Senior Judge, informing him of your withdrawal.
10. I am an attorney and want to file a lien on a case before the board; what form do I fill out?
If there is a dispute regarding § 13A for which a judicial proceeding is being sought, file a Third Party Claim/Notice Of Lien - Form 115. If you want to attach a notice of lien on the case, and no proceeding before the board is desired, a letter on your stationary is sufficient.
11. I have a conciliation scheduled in Boston, and I'd like to have it heard in Worcester; what do I do to change it?
Requests to move conciliation's must be made in writing by the moving party to the Conciliation Manager, Dele Edebiri, in Boston.
12. How is a request for a Third-Party Settlement reached?
There is no form for a third-party settlement, but there is a required format, outlined on the sheet entitled "Instructions for Preparation of Petition for Approval of Settlement Under General Laws, Chapter 152, § 15. You are encouraged to use the electronic Section 15 Petition and Section 15 Calculator located on our main page. Questions regarding such claims should be addressed to the Central Scheduling Unit in Boston, at 617-727-4900, x 7440, 7426, 7442.
13. I am an attorney who represented an employee before the board; what attorney's fees am I entitled to?
Attorney's fees are governed by MGL C. 152, § 13A.
14. Can subpoenaed medical records be delivered to the Department Of Industrial Accidents?
No; the DIA cannot accept subpoenaed medical records. You must make some sort of private arrangement with the keeper of records of the institution you are requesting records from. You may have records delivered at the DIA, but you must accept delivery yourself.
15. Are there any publications available containing Review Board decisions?
Yes; the volumes are entitled, "Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Reports" and are published by LexisNexis. They can be ordered at www.LexisNexis.com/store/us or by calling 1-800-223-1940.
Reviewing Board Decisions since January, 1999, are posted on this website.
16. Do interpreters for Conciliations, Conferences, Hearings or Lump Sum procedures have to be board-certified?
Not at Conciliations or Conferences, but certified interpreters are required to translate at formal Hearings. There is a link to the list of Trial Court Interpreters on the landing page of our website.