Overview of December 1, 2020, NCIC Rule Changes
The North Carolina Industrial Commission recently passed a number of rule changes, which will go into effect on two different dates over the next few months. The first effective date is December 1, 2020, and those rule changes are discussed below.
The first significant rule change is to 11 NCAC 23A.0104, which dictates when employers need to file the First Report of Injury, or Form 19, with the Commission. The rule previously required that a Form 19 be filed when medical charges were incurred at $2,000. The new rule has increased that amount to $4,000. Moving forward, a Form 19 will not need to be filed until the claimant is absent from work for one day, or when the medical compensation charges exceed $4,000.
There are also some minor changes concerning claims for death benefits under 11 NCAC 23A.0409. The Form 29 Supplemental Report for Fatal Accidents must now be filed with the Commission within 45 days of notification of a death or allegation of death resulting from an injury or occupational disease, rather than when they receive knowledge of a death. Further, under section (d), if the death claim is accepted, the parties can submit either a Form 30 Agreement for Compensation for Death, or a proposed Opinion and Award. If the Form 30 is filed, a number of documents must be included, such as the deceased-claimant’s death certificate, affidavits regarding dependents, and proof of beneficiary status like marriage license and birth certification. The complete list can be found at the newly revised 11 NCAC 23A.0409(e), and is expanded beyond the previous requirements. The same is true for a proposed Opinion and Award, which requires a number of documents and stipulations as well under (f).
Another rule change concerns payment of a permanent partial disability rating. The rule has always required that defendants submit relevant medical and vocational records with the request for approval of permanent partial disability. The rule change under 11 NCAC 23A.0501(b), states that the permanent disability agreement will not be approved if claimant has returned to work with the defendant-employer and has permanent work restrictions, unless a job description is also provided as part of the filing. The Form 26A has been revised to reflect this change.
The final change to be noted on this date concerns the Form 90 Report of Earnings. The new rule specifies that a Form 90 can only be served when defendants are paying ongoing temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits. Defendants are now able to serve the Form 90 via e-mail, facsimile, certified mail, or any other method that provides proof of receipt. Previously, defendants could only send the Form 90 via mail.
Moving forward, we encourage our clients to be aware of these rules, particularly those regarding early filings. To view an annotated copy of the rules effective December 1, 2020, click here. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to a member of our workers’ compensation team.
The second set of rule changes will go into effect in March 2021.