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DIA alerts due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find all the Alerts issued by the Department of Industrial Accidents in one place. These alerts are related to how the COVID-19 virus is affecting our operations.

Table of Contents

What to expect at the DIA when coming in for an in-person hearing during COVID-19 (Video)

9/16/20 - Joint Pre-Hearing Memorandum

Joint Pre-Hearing Memorandum.

Additional Resources

9/16/20 - Emergency Administrative Bulletin 7 - Dispute Re-Opening Procedures

                                                        EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE BULLETIN 7

To:        All Parties

From:   Omar Hernández

Re:        Dispute Resolution Re-Opening Procedures

Date:     September 16, 2020

As you are aware, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) will reopen its offices to the public on September 28, 2020, to resume limited in-person hearings. Due to the pandemic crisis, Dispute Resolution has had to make modifications to its processes, procedures and protocols. As we begin to schedule these first "in person" proceedings since the start of the pandemic, I want to stress that if a case must be tried, the parties must be prepared to proceed on the scheduled Hearing date. Due to all the moving parts that must be taken into consideration such as scheduling stenographers, adhering to the guidelines promulgated by the Governor’s office, ensuring that the Hearings in the queue are being heard and the cleaning of the courtrooms, there will be no last minute requests for a "short continuance" be it for settlement talks, witness unavailability, conflicts and so forth.

If this case does not go forward on the scheduled Hearing date, the case will return to the list of cases waiting to be tried. Therefore, this would be the appropriate time for the parties to discuss settlement or an agreement.

Pre-Hearing Conferences:

The DIA will be implementing mandatory Pre-Hearing Conferences for cases scheduled for Hearings. The parties will be required to mark-up their Pre-Hearing Conference to occur within two weeks of their receipt of the Hearing notice.

If they do not attempt to schedule the Pre-Hearing Conference to occur within that two week window, the Hearing may be rescheduled by the Administrative Judge. The parties shall submit the Joint Pre-Hearing Memorandum at the Pre-Hearing Conference and be prepared to discuss the following preliminary issues.

• Report on the status of negotiations

• Identifying claims/defenses,

• Stipulations;

• All Motions;

• Identification, anticipated testimony and time needed for testimony of each expected witness.

The Insurer’s and Employee’s Hearing memorandum, and the Employee Biographical Data sheet shall be received by the Administrative Judge no later than 5 days prior to hearing; (via email in pdf format). Any medical records and any agreed to exhibits must be bookmarked and

received by the Administrative Judge no later than 5 days prior to hearing; (via email in pdf format). The parties shall schedule the deposition of any opinion witness prior to commencement of the Hearing. Please note that the Administrative Judge may rescheduled the Hearing if these steps are not followed.

Testimony via a virtual platform may be allowed for certain witnesses/persons who for COVID-19 reasons are not able to attend in person. It will be up to the Administrative Judge to decide whether this option is appropriate.

Hearings:

• A limited number of courtrooms will be used to conduct in-person hearings. All other courtrooms will be marked "CLOSED" and public entry is prohibited.

• The parties must notify the judge by email forty-eight hours in advance to advise the judge whether or not the Hearing is going forward. During the hearing, only the attorneys and witnesses in that particular case will be allowed in the room.

• Please note that the courtrooms have a maximum capacity for the number of persons allowed at one time. For those cases where the number of persons exceed the capacity limit, the witnesses will be required to wait outside of the building until they are called in to testify.

• Each courtroom will be cleaned after each Hearing session.

• Number of Open Courtrooms Per Day:

  • Boston - 3
     
  • Fall River - 2
     
  • Lawrence - 2
     
  • Springfield - 2
     
  • Worcester - 2
     
  • Number of Hearings Per Day:
    • One morning session in each courtroom

    • One afternoon session in each courtroom

SUMMARY OF THE TIMELINE FOR THE NEW HEARING PROCEDURES

1. The parties receive the Hearing notice.

2. The parties shall mark-up their Pre-Hearing Conference to occur within two weeks of their receipt of the Hearing notice.
3. The parties schedule depositions.
4. The parties attend a virtual Pre-Hearing Conference and submit their Joint Pre-Hearing Memorandum
5. Five days before hearing, the parties shall electronically submit the Employee’s hearing memorandum, the Insurer’s hearing memorandum, the Employee’s biographical data sheet and all medicals to be submitted.
6. The parties shall contact the Administrative Judge by email forty-eight hours prior to the Hearing to confirm that the case will be going forward.

 

Additional Resources

9/4/20 - DIA offices will resume Hearings on 9/28/20. Please review Bulletin # 6.

                                                                     Administrative Bulletin # 6

To:                     All Interested Parties

From:                Sheri Bowles, Interim Director

Re:                     Reopening of DIA Offices

Date:                 September 4, 2020

The Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) will reopen its offices to the public on September 28, 2020, to resume limited in-person hearings. The Department reserves the right to adjust and make modifications to its processes, procedures and protocols based on guidance provided by federal,
state, and local officials as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will notify stakeholders of any changes.

The health and safety of our staff and all visitors to the DIA remain our highest priority. Protocols have been designed to ensure the safety of everyone and will be strictly adhered to.  Any person who fails or refuses to abide by the guidelines set forth below will not be granted access to the DIA offices and/or will be asked to leave.

1.   Prior Administrative Bulletin:

This bulletin shall replace the administrative bulletin issued on June 23, 2020 and will remain in place until further notice.

2.   Scope:

This bulletin applies to all persons seeking entry to any DIA office, including Boston, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield, and Worcester.  In addition to compliance with this bulletin, persons entering the DIA offices shall comply with all other federal, state, and local orders, and building specifications as required by the DIA landlords regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

3.   Persons Prohibited Entry to the DIA Offices:

The following persons shall not enter the DIA Offices:

a.   Persons not wearing a mask or cloth face covering.  The mask/face covering must cover both the nose and mouth.  When coming to the DIA, visitors should have their own masks or face coverings.  The DIA will provide masks only as supplies allow.

b.   Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact or live with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

c.    Persons who have been placed under quarantine in the last 14 days by a medical doctor or licensed healthcare provider.

d.   Persons who have traveled to a high-risk area in the last 14 days.  Additional information regarding the travel order can be reviewed by going to the following website, https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order.

e.   Persons who exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, including but not limited to: temperature 100° or above, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, recent loss of taste or smell.

4.   What to Do if Not Permitted to Enter:

If any person is scheduled to appear for an in-person proceeding but is not permitted to enter for any reason/s listed in Section 3, the person shall proceed as follows:

a.   If represented by an attorney, contact your attorney to either reschedule the proceeding or make necessary arrangements to participate through a virtual platform.

b.   If not represented by an attorney or appearing pro se, please contact the judge’s office to reschedule the proceeding or make necessary arrangements to participate through a virtual platform.  In addition, please contact opposing counsel.

5.   Protocols Upon Entrance and While in the DIA Offices:

All persons shall comply with the following:

a.   A mask or cloth face covering is required at all times.  The face covering must cover the person’s mouth and nose at all times.  Persons who need to testify during a hearing will be given a clear face mask.  The face mask will be individually wrapped and provided at the time of testimony.

b.   Members of the Massachusetts Bar shall present bar cards and then proceed to the main reception desk to check-in with the DIA representative.  Bar members shall provide their name and phone number for contact tracing purposes.  The DIA representative will direct the member to the appropriate courtroom.

c.    All other visitors shall check-in with the security officer and undergo a security screening. Upon completion of the security screening, visitors should proceed to the main reception desk and check-in with the DIA representative.  The visitor shall provide his/her name and phone number for contact tracing purposes.  The DIA representative will direct the visitor to the appropriate courtroom.

6.   Physical Distancing:

All persons shall engage in physical distancing by standing 6 feet apart from others when it is practical to do so.  Signs will be posted for additional guidance.


7.   Maximum Capacity:

The number of persons allowed in waiting areas, attorney rooms, attorney/client rooms and courtrooms will be limited to the maximum capacity for that room while also allowing for physical distancing.  Signs will be posted for additional guidance.

a.   The rooms not accessible to visitors will be cleared marked as “CLOSED”.  Public entry is prohibited.

b.   All parties must exit the DIA upon completion of their proceeding.  This will allow time for cleaning and sanitizing before the next proceeding.

8.   Hand Hygiene:

All persons entering the DIA offices are encouraged to engage in hand washing or using hand sanitizer.  The DIA will endeavor to have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes available for use in various locations throughout the public space.  Visitors are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer with them.  Public restrooms will be available for hand washing.

9.   Common Use Items Such as Pens:

All persons are encouraged to bring their own pens to sign documents.  This will help reduce the number of common touch points.  The use of the printer and copier in the attorney room will be permitted.  Disinfecting wipes will be available to clean the machines before and after use.

The following changes will be implemented pursuant this administrative bulletin:

10.  Hearings:

1. A limited number of courtrooms will be used to conduct in-person hearings.  All other courtrooms will be marked “CLOSED” and public entry is prohibited.

The parties must notify the judge by email forty-eight hours in advance to advise the judge whether or not the Hearing is going forward.  During the hearing, only the attorneys and witnesses in that
particular case will be allowed in the room.

a.   Number of Open Courtrooms Per Day:

•    Boston – 3

•    Fall River – 2

•    Lawrence – 2

•    Springfield – 2

•    Worcester – 2


b.   Number of Hearings Per Day:

•    One morning session in each courtroom

•    One afternoon session in each courtroom

c.    Testimony via a virtual platform may be allowed for persons not able to attend in person.

Each courtroom will be cleaned after each session.

11.  Microfilm-Insurance Room Access:

Access will be granted by appointment only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m.  Please call 617.727.4900 to schedule an appointment.

As a reminder, Conciliations, Conferences, Lump Sum Conferences, Section 15 Petitions, OEVR Mandatory and Team Meetings and Stop Work Order Hearings will continue to be conducted via phone conference, WebEx, or other similar virtual platform until further notice.

Your cooperation and patience during this time is greatly appreciated.  Please contact us with any questions at (617) 727.4900 or visit our website, www.mass.gov/dia.

 

Additional Resources

6/23/2020 - Administrative Bulletin #5

                               EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE BULLETIN #5

To:      All Parties

From:  Omar Hernández, Senior Judge

Re:      Dispute Resolution Update under the COVID19 crisis

Date:   June 23, 2020

I truly appreciate everyone’s cooperation in overcoming the many challenges we have faced during this health crisis.  I know that all of you are anxious to return to practicing in person at the DIA and have many questions as to the future for Dispute Resolution events.  I hope this memo will provide you with answers to those questions.

We continue to make great progress with the Video Connect application that will streamline all the WebEx meetings that are currently in effect for Conciliations and Conferences. Testing will begin next week and if everything goes as plan, I anticipate a roll out date in July.  This application will eliminate our staff’s current practice of manually scheduling WebEx meetings with the parties.  I recently spoke with Madeline Pantzer, Chief of Adjudication for New York State Workers’ Compensation Board regarding their implementation of the Video Connect application in their courtrooms.  Ms. Pantzer spoke very highly of the application, specifically noting that it was user-friendly and efficient.

We will continue to virtually conduct Conciliations and Conferences through the WebEx platform and if necessary, via telephone conference calls, until at least to the end of this calendar year.  I strongly encouraged you all to utilize the WebEx platform and become more familiar with its functions and move away from conference telephone calls.  I understand that some of you may be hesitant to embrace new technological tools, but I am confident that it will be a seamless transition just like our shift to the paperless document system.

Conciliations:

We will continue to maintain our current practice and virtually conduct all Conciliations through WebEx meetings or telephone conference calls until the end of the calendar year.

Please note that effective July 1, 2020, the DIA will no longer accept Forms 105 and 113 via US Mail. All Forms 105 and must therefore be emailed to: DIA-Form105conciliation@mass.gov and all Forms 113 must therefore be emailed to: DIA-Form113conciliation@mass.gov Please include the DIA board number in the upper right corner of Forms.

Conferences:

We will continue to maintain our current practice and virtually conduct all Conferences through WebEx meeting or telephone conference calls until the end of the calendar year.

Hearings:

We have suspended the scheduling of Hearings.  We will not schedule Hearings until the DIA offices are permitted to re-open.  Once the DIA offices can re-open to the public, we will begin to schedule Hearings while adhering to courtroom capacity restrictions.

I strongly encourage all parties to review their cases awaiting Hearing and determine those cases that are ripe for settlement or mediation. Once the parties have made that determination, I urge the parties to contact the judge’s office to schedule a Status Conference to begin mediation or settlement discussions.  

I have been asked whether the DIA will consider conducting Hearings through WebEx meetings.  I have explored this issue with many members of the bar and our judges.  I appreciate the fact that many of you, including myself, have expressed skepticism about the use of remote hearings, largely in part from evidentiary concerns or the ability to fully assess the witness.  Virtual meetings can make it harder to process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language.  I believe that there are too many challenges to properly conduct virtual Hearings at this time. 

Lump Sum Settlement Agreements:

We will continue to maintain our current practice of handling Lump Sum Settlement agreements by email until the end of the calendar year.  If necessary, a WebEx meeting will be available if either party is working with a difficult client and the parties require a judge’s assistance. 

The parties shall continue to insert a line in the lump sum agreement as well as in the employee’s affidavit that states that “the parties have discussed the use of e-signatures and agree that they will have the same weight and effect as an original signature”.

The Lump Sum Settlement agreement affidavits do not need to be notarized.

Section 15 petitions:

We will continue to maintain our current practice of handling Section 15 petitions by email until the end of the calendar year.

ALJ Oral Arguments:

We will continue to maintain our current practice of conducting all Oral Arguments through WebEx meeting or telephone conference calls until the end of the calendar year.

I continue to work with contractors to ensure that all measures are taken to provide a safe working environment in all the DIA offices for our staff and the public. Again, I thank you all for your dedication and hard work in successfully handling all the cases during the last hundred days of this health crisis.

Please stay safe during these difficult times.

 

6/10/2020 - Effective 7/1/2020 Forms 105 and 113 must be emailed

Effective July 1, 2020, the DIA will no longer accept Forms 105 via US Mail.  All Forms 105 must therefore be emailed to:

DIA-Form105conciliation@mass.gov

Please include the DIA board number in the upper right corner of Forms 105. Forms 105 not submitted via email will not be reviewed or considered for approval. You do not need to include a coversheet.

Effective July 1, 2020, the DIA will no longer accept Forms 113 via US Mail.  All Forms 113 must therefore be emailed to:

DIA-Form113conciliation@mass.gov

Please include the DIA board number in the upper right corner of Forms 113. Forms 113 not submitted via email will not be reviewed or considered for approval. You do not need to include a coversheet.

5/11/2020 - Administrative Bulletin Bulletin #4 - Online Filing

                                        ADMINISTRATIVE BULLETIN #4

To:          All Interested Parties
Date:      May 11, 2020
RE:         Electronic Form Filing
FROM:   Bill Taupier, Director of Administration
________________________________________________________________________________

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Stay-Home Advisory implemented by Governor Baker, the Department has had to make modifications to our operating protocols. Effective May 26, 2020 we will require certain forms be completed on-line via our website and filed electronically. The implementation of online filing will ensure a more efficient workflow process as we continue to navigate the recommendations by federal and state officials as it relates to pandemic. Therefore, the DIA will no longer accept or process paper forms that are received via postal mail, facsimile or email attachment (*with exceptions noted below). Please be advised that the following forms are required to be completed online via our website and filed electronically going forward:

  • Form 101 Employer’s First Report of Injury
  • Form 103 Insurer’s Notification of Payment
  • Form 104 Insurer’s Notification of Denial
  • Form 106 Insurer’s Notification of Modification/Termination During Pay W/O Prejudice Period
  • Form 107 Insurer’s Notification of Modification/Termination/Resumption of Weekly Compensation
  • Form 108 Insurer’s Request for Discontinuance/Modification (*Supporting docs. must be faxed - see form
  • instructions below)
  • Form 110 Employee’s Claim (*Supporting docs. must be faxed – see form instructions below)
  • Form 114 Attorney’s Appearance of Counsel
  • Form 115 Third Party Claim/Lien
  • Form 116 Request for Lump Sum Conference

*Form 108 & Form 110 attachments: Please be advised, claims for compensation and discontinuance requests must be accompanied by proper supporting documentation in accordance with M.G.L. c. 152, §7G & 452 CMR 1.07. When filing electronically, fax the additional documents to (617) 727-4551 or email them to DIA-docattach@mass.gov . Each electronic filing is given a transmittal ID number you must reference when sending the attachments. Filing instructions are provided on the electronic forms. The above email address is for the attachments ONLY.

Also, we will issue notices, conference orders and decisions electronically. Attorneys and insurance carriers with CMS accounts have access to the required forms for electronic filing via the website. To access the online forms from your CMS calendar account, go to the calendar page and click on “online forms” on the top right side of the calendar. For online filing accounts (OLF/OLI) the link is located on the application tree on CMS.

We have added a field on the Form 110 to capture the injured worker’s email address. To check the status or make changes to your email address, please send an email to Francisco.Pena@mass.gov.

Sign up for an online account with the DIA

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

Additional Resources

5/5/2020 - All in-person proceedings and meetings are suspended through 5/18/2020

All in-person proceedings and meetings are suspended through May 18, 2020.

5/1/2020 - Forms that MUST be filed via an online account

Just  a reminder that effective Monday, May 23, 2020, the DIA no longer accepts or processes paper forms. The following forms must be completed online via our website:

  • Form 103 Insurer’s Notification of Payment
  • Form 104 Insurer’s Notification of Denial
  • Form 106 Insurer’s Notification of Modification/Termination
  • Form 107 Insurer’s Notification of Modification/Termination/Resumption of Weekly Compensation During Pay W/O Prejudice Period
  • Form 108 Insurer’s Request for Discontinuance/Modification
  • Form 110 Employee’s Claim
  • Form 114 Attorney’s Appearance of Counselm 115 Third Party Claim/Lien
  • Form 116 Request for Lump Sum Conference

All of the above listed forms MUST be filed electronically using the DIA’s CMS Portal.  All attorneys and insurance carriers with CMS accounts have access to the above forms for electronic filing via the website. To access the online forms from your CMS calendar account, go to the calendar page and click on “online forms” on the top right side of the calendar. As of the above date DO NOT mail the forms listed in paper format.  Any of the forms above received in paper WILL NOT be processed.

 

4/28/2020 - Emergency Administrative Bulletin #3 - Impartial Exams

 

                                 EMERGENCY ADMINISTRATIVE BULLETIN #3

To:        All Parties

From:   Omar Hernández, Senior Judge

Re:        Impartial Examinations - COVID-19 Screening

Date:    April 27, 2020
 

Please be advised that in order to decrease the risk of propagating the current novel coronavirus as a direct result of impartial examination, some 11A physicians may require certain COVID-19 screening protocols before proceeding forward with an examination. Although the COVID-19 screening process for the medical appointments may differ among the impartial physicians, the screening protocols will more than likely remain in place as long as social distancing is still in force.

Therefore, it is critically important that the claimant/examinee contact the impartial physician’s office as soon as possible to confirm that the impartial physician’s office is opened and conducting impartial examinations and, if so, determine whether or not the impartial physician has a COVID-19 screening protocol in place.

In order to limit inter-examinee contact, some impartial physicians may ask the examinee to wait in the car until exactly the time of the appointment. Some physicians may not permit examinees to enter the premises early or wait with strangers in the waiting room as they will need time to sanitize and ventilate the waiting and clinic areas between each patient.

If the interview yields reasons to suspect infection by coronavirus, the appointment will have to be rescheduled. If the examination has been canceled and/or rescheduled, please contact the Judge’s office and the Impartial Scheduling clerk with the instructions you received from the impartial physician’s office.

Lastly, the DIA appreciates the fact in light of this unprecedented global health crisis that some claimants may decide to heed Governor Baker's stay at home order due to their individual risk factors and COVID 19 destructive impact. The claimant may petition the administrative judge that the impartial medical examination be rescheduled.

The DIA will continue to assess this situation and make every effort to keep everyone safe until the dangers posed by this epidemic to all involved are thoroughly past us.

Additional Resources

4/17/2020 - Administrative Bulletin: Rates for Service under the WC Act - Telehealth

                                     Administrative Bulletin

To:            All Interested Parties
From:       Sheri Bowles, Interim Director
Re:           Rates for Services Under the Workers’ Compensation Act – Telehealth
Date:        April 17, 2020
______________________________________________________________________________

Pursuant to Governor Baker’s State of Emergency Order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth services will be allowed under M. G. L. c. 152 § 13(1) and § 30, and are effective for services beginning March 16, 2020 and will remain in place until the State of Emergency has been lifted by Governor Baker.

If the treatment has been deemed reasonable, necessary, and appropriate, the codes and rates for services as outlined in 114.3 CMR 40.00 shall be utilized. The Place of Service (POS) code shall be “02” to denote that the service has been delivered via telehealth.

The Department is not imposing specific requirements for technologies used to deliver services via telehealth. However, health care practitioners must inform patients of any relevant privacy considerations.

Regulatory Authority:
114.3 CMR 40.00, M. G. L. c. 118G, M. G. L. c. 152 § 13(1) and 30.

Link to Rates for Service under Workers’ Compensation Act:
https://www.mass.gov/doc/rates-for-services-under-mgl-c-152-workers-compensation-act-april-1-2009-0/download

Additional Resources

4/17/2020 - There is an updated Sec. 15 Petition located on our Alphabetical Forms List.

There is an updated Sec. 15 Petition located on our Alphabetical Forms List and under Key Resources

4/16/2020 - Status Conferences during the Health Emergency Crisis

To:            All Parties
From:       Omar Hernández, Senior Judge
Re:           Status Conferences during the Health Emergency Crisis
Date:        April 16, 2020


The Commonwealth’s Stay at Home Order has prevented the DIA from conducting Hearings during this emergency health crisis. In an effort to address this issue, the DIA will begin conducting Status Conferences pursuant to the following protocol.

● The parties must send a written request to the judge via email and indicate the reasons why a Status Conference is necessary and what the parties hope to accomplish during the Status Conference.

● The parties must attach any motions or relevant documents supporting the request so the judge may review and prepare ahead of time.

● Upon reviewing the request, the judge will determine if a Status Conference is necessary and schedule a date and time for the conference call or WebEx meeting.

● If the parties merely want to report on the status of a case and believe that a conference call or WebEx meeting is not required, they can simply submit a written update to the judge via a direct email.

Additional Resources

4/1/2020 - All in-person proceedings and meetings are suspended through May 4, 2020.

All in-person proceedings and meetings are suspended through May 4, 2020. 

3/31/2020 - Uniform Lump Sum Settlement Employee Affidavit

3/30/2020 - DIA ER Bulletin # 2 for Updated Protocols for Dispute Resolution

Emergency Administrative Bulletin No. 2

To:      All Parties 
           I
mpartial Physicians
           
DIA Staff

From:  Omar Hernández, Senior Judge

Re:      Updated Protocols for Conferences/11A Examinations/Appeals/Section 15 Petitions/Lump Sum Settlements/Withdrawal of Claims or Complaints

Date:   March 30, 2020

Conferences

  • At some point during the day of the Conference, the parties will receive a notice, telephonic or electronic, advising them the Conference is about to begin.
  • The parties should be prepared to be available all day long.  Many judges will be beginning their Conferences in the morning.
  • The employee is not required to be present with his/her attorney for this Conference.
  • If the employee’s/insurer’s attorney wishes to include their client in the virtual Conference from a separate location, the employee’s/insurer’s attorney office is responsible for connecting their client to the video conference.
  • The employee’s/insurer’s counsel would need to inform the judge that their client will be present, but he/she would need to make the connection.
  • All parties will be responsible for notifying their client of the judge’s Conference Order as the judicial support staff will be not mailing hard copies for the extent of this emergency crisis.

11A Impartial Examinations

  • For all 11A impartial examinations scheduled from now until further notice, please contact the 11A physician’s office to confirm whether or not the examination will take place. The impartial physician’s telephone number can be found on the examination notice.
  • If the examination has been canceled and/or rescheduled, please contact the Judge’s office and the Impartial Scheduling clerk with the instructions you received from the physician’s office.

BOSTON CASES
(By last name of injured worker)

A - L

Paul Burdette, (857) 321-7426
paul.burdette@mass.gov

M - Z

Ingrid Askew, (857) 321-7327
ingrid.askew@mass.gov

FALL RIVER CASES

Marcy Ytkin, 508-689-6312
marcy.ytkin@mass.gov

LAWRENCE CASES

Thomas Ross, (978) 683-6420, Ext. 3965
thomas.ross@mass.gov

SPRINGFIELD CASES

Marcy Ytkin, 508-689-6312
marcy.ytkin@mass.gov

WORCESTER CASES

Thomas Ross, (978) 683-6420, Ext. 3965
thomas.ross@mass.gov

  • Please note that the 11A physicians will not be permitted to conduct videoconference examinations and record reviews are not permitted.

Appeal of Conference Orders - Form 121

  • All appeals (Form 121) should be emailed to Impartial Scheduling Unit (ISU) to any of the individuals listed below. The appeal check must still be mailed to the DIA Boston office. The check should include the DIA board number and the Employee’s name.

Deborah Keefe, ISU Manager
deborah.keefe@mass.gov

Maryanne Fitzpatrick, ISU Supervisor
maryanne.fitzpatrick@mass.gov

Ingrid Askew
ingrid.askew@mass.gov

Paul Burdette
paul.burdette@mass.gov

Juliett Cruickshank 
juliett.cruickshank@mass.gov

  • Please note that any appeal of a Conference order issued from March 3, 2020 until further notice, will not be marked as late.  Until further notice, the parties do not have to petition the Director to request a petition for late appeal or a petition for late fee submission or petition to extend time for fee submission.
  • Please disregard any Late Fee Notice automatically generated for appeals that have been created for orders that have been filed from March 3, 2020.

Section 15 petitions

  • All Section 15 petitions should be emailed in PDF form to the Section 15 Unit.

Edna Smith, Section 15 Unit Manager
edna.smith@mass.gov

  • If you are informed that your petition contains errors that need correcting, kindly correct the petition and electronically resubmit the entire petition, including the signature pages, expenses and fee agreement. The department will no longer be able to accept and substitute single or multiple corrected pages of a previously submitted petition.

Lump Sum Settlements

  • Lump Sum Settlements should be submitted in PDF forms. 
  • For the parties’ convenience during this crisis, a uniform format for the employee’s affidavit will be available on the DIA website.

Notification of Withdrawal of Claim or Complaint - Form 109

  • All Notifications of Withdrawal of Claim or Complaint should be emailed to:

Deborah Keefe, ISU Manager
deborah.keefe@mass.gov

Maryanne Fitzpatrick, ISU Supervisor
maryanne.fitzpatrick@mass.gov

FAX NUMBERS

Boston Admin. Judges                       (617) 727-6477
Boston Adm. Law Judges                  (617) 727-7122

Boston Conciliation                            (617) 727-4366
Impartial Med Unit                              (617) 727-6974

Fall River Judges                               (508) 672-8667
Fall River Conciliation                        (508) 672-0779
Lawrence                                           (978) 683-3137
                                                           (978) 683-4168          
Springfield                                          (413) 784-1138
Worcester                                           (508) 798-7822
                                                           (508) 753-4780

 

Additional Resources

3/26/2020 - Submitting Documents to the Workers' Compensation Trust Fund

Effective immediately, all documents normally submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund via U.S. mail should be submitted electronically in the manner specified below.With the exception of W-9 forms, which should be both emailed AND sent via U.S. mail and initial petitions for reimbursement pursuant to M.G.L. c. 152, section 37, which should be sent via U.S mail only, all submissions should be sent electronically as directed below:  

Uninsured Claims Filed Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 152, §65:  

• All documents relating to new cases or cases in which the assigned WCTF attorney is unknown should be emailed to lois.biswanger@mass.gov.

• All documents, except medical bills, related to existing cases should be emailed to the attorney assigned to the case, with a cc to lois.biswanger@mass.gov.

• All medical bills and supporting documentation should be emailed to lois.biswanger@mass.gov OR faxed to the WCTF at (617) 727-6659.

• W-9 forms should continue to be submitted with original signatures via U.S. mail, with a copy emailed to: arleen.fortes@mass.gov and a cc to lois.biswanger@mass.gov.  

Petitions for Reimbursement Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 152 and Quarterly Submissions  

• All initial petitions for reimbursement should continue to be sent via U.S. mail,

• All requests for quarterly reimbursement should be sent electronically to clarissa.cutts@mass.gov with a cc to lois.biswanger@mass.gov  

All Other Mail

• All other mail should be sent electronically to lois.biswanger@mass.gov   

Except as noted above, please send submissions solely through electronic mail and do not mail “hard copies” to the office.  

Thank you for your assistance. 

Additional Resources

3/19/2020 - Administrative Bulletin for Case Protocols Going Forward

ADMINISTRATIVE BULLETIN

 

TO:                 All Interested Parties

Date:              March 19, 2020

RE:                Temporary Dispute Resolution  Protocols

FROM:           Sheri Bowles, JD, Interim Director

__________________________________________________________________________                                                                            

In light of emerging developments and public health concerns regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and the actions ordered by the Governor, the Department of Industrial Accidents issues the following Case Protocol to protect the public health by reducing the risk of exposure to the virus and slowing the spread of the disease.  These restrictions are temporary but will remain in place until it is determined to be safe to remove them.

CONCILIATIONS:

·       The DIA will conduct conciliations without the parties’ appearance. 

·       All Conciliations will be conducted via conference call.

·       The parties shall email all claims or complaints with supporting documents to the assigned conciliator as well as to opposing counsel 48 hours prior to the scheduled Conciliation.

·       All files emailed to the Conciliators cannot exceed 5 MB.

·       The parties shall include in the email their direct contact phone number.   

·       The Conciliator will initiate a conference call with the parties at an assigned time. 

·       The parties are to make themselves available at the assigned time. 

·       Because the DIA will be operating with a reduced staff during this period of time, the parties may be assigned a Conciliator that differs from the original conciliation notice.

·       Please note that all in-person Section 36 evaluations are suspended. 

·       The Conciliation Unit will accept for approval, via email, efax or US Mail, all Agreements to Pay, Pay without Prejudice extensions and Section 36 agreements.

·       The Conciliation Unit will accept for processing, Walk-In Lump Sum request, via email, efax, or US Mail only.

CONFERENCES:

·       The Administrative Judges will be conducting Conferences via WebEx from their respective regional offices.

·       All Conferences scheduled from March 23, 2020 through April 3, 2020 will be conducted via WebEx.

·       The parties will be required to download the free WebEx application.

·       The WebEx application is compatible on all platforms. (i.e. laptop, tablet, smartphone).

·       The parties must have a platform that has a microphone and a camera.

·       The parties must upload all Conference packets 48 hours prior to the scheduled Conference. The required Conference packet protocol remains in place. (OCR, pagination, etc.)

·       The parties must email the Conference Memoranda, Form 140, to the Judge 24 hours prior to the scheduled Conference.

·       The parties will be provided with a WebEx access number.

·       When the Judge is ready to hear the Conference, the parties will receive an email or phone call from the Judge’s office instructing the parties to call into the WebEx number.

·       Please provide the Judge’s office with a direct contact phone number and email address.

·       Once the Judge completes a Conference, the Judge’s office will contact the parties next on the docket list.

·       Because the DIA will be operating with a reduced staff during this period of time, the parties may be assigned to an Administrative Judge that differs from the original Conference notice.

APPEALS:

·       The DIA is temporarily suspending the requirement for late appeals and/or appeal fee checks for any Conference held from March 3, 2020 through April 3, 2020.

HEARINGS:

·       All Hearings are suspended until it is determined to be safe to remove this restriction.

 

LUMP SUM SETTLEMENT AGREEMENTS:

·       All lump sum settlement hearings are suspended until it is determined to be safe to remove these restrictions.

·       All lump sum settlement agreements must be mailed to the Judge with an Employee’s affidavit.

AGREEMENTS:

·       All other agreements must be emailed to the Judge with an Employee’s affidavit.

SECTION 15 PETITIONS:

·       All Section 15 Petition will be processed as normal and there will be no change.

 

3/19/2020 - Stop Work Order Hearings

All Stop Work Order hearings are suspended until further notice.

3/8/2020 - DIA suspends all In-Person Proceedings and Meetings until Friday, April 3

Effective March 8, 2020 DIA suspends all in-person proceedings and meetings until Friday, April 3, 2020. 

Date published: March 24, 2020
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