Once you file your claim with the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), your claim goes through many steps. There are four (4) levels in the process of settling your dispute within the DIA:

Level #1 - Conciliation Session: This is an informal meeting between you and the Workers' Compensation Trust Fund (WCTF) representative before a Conciliator at the DIA. Results of conciliation won't be binding unless you agree to them. Even when you are satisfied that you are being paid everything required by law, you may get a notice to attend a conciliation that you did not request. This means that the WCTF is either seeking to reduce or stop your benefits. This requests is called a "complaint to reduce or discontinue compensation." Once again, conciliations cannot result in changes in compensation rates unless both parties agree.

Level #2 - Conference: If your case is referred to an Administrative Judge by the Conciliator, a conference is scheduled. This conference is an informal session where each party has an opportunity to argue their positions. If the matter is not settled, the Judge will issue a temporary order indicating whether or not the WCTF must pay you compensation. If you are not satisfied with the Judge's order you may appeal it on an Appeal Of A Conference Order Form 121 within fourteen (14) calendar days of the filing date of the decision. The WCTF also has the right to appeal.

Level #3 - Hearing: If your case is appealed by the WCTF or yourself, it will go to the hearing stage, where the Administrative Judge conducts a Formal hearing of all the evidence. Hearings are similar to regular trials; witnesses are called and sworn in, and testimony is taken by stenographers. Either party may appeal the Administrative Judge's decision to the Review Board on an Appeal To The Review Board Form 112 within thirty (30) calendar days from the date the decision was ordered.

Level #4 - Review Board: Three (3) Administrative Law Judges will examine the hearing transcripts and may ask for legal arguments. The Review Board will reverse the previous decision only if the decision was beyond the Administrative Judge's authority, conflicted with the law, or was without any justification.