Update from the North Carolina Industrial Commission
Gov. Roy Cooper has nominated Wanda Blanche Taylor for a six-year term as a Commissioner to the Full Commission. Ms. Taylor’s appointment is pending confirmation by the North Carolina General Assembly. If confirmed, Ms. Taylor would take the position currently held by Charlton Allen, whose term ends June 30, 2020. Many of you will know Wanda Taylor from her 20+ years as a Deputy Commissioner at the IC, including several years as the Chief Deputy Commissioner. Previously, she represented both employees and employers/insurers in private practice and, currently is the director of Litigation/Counsel at Key Risk Insurance. She also serves as a member of the North Carolina Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners. She received her undergraduate degree at Duke University and her JD from UNC-Chapel Hill and is a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers.
The IC recently proposed some amendments to the Form 33 regarding claims for extended benefits. Specifically, the Form 33 was amended to allow a party to indicate on a separate line that a claim for extended compensation was being filed pursuant to G. S. 97-29 (c) and a new document type had been added to the EDFP menu as well. However, following feedback from various stakeholders, including the North Carolina Association of Self-Insurers, the IC decided to revert back to using the prior version of the Form 33. The IC it also indicated that cases involving a request for extended compensation would not be ordered into mandatory mediation, but that the parties would be encouraged to engage in mediation if they thought it would be fruitful. It is unclear whether the decision to not require mandatory mediation was also rescinded, but the IC has asked various stakeholders for further input and recommendations regarding potential procedures regarding extended benefit cases, so there may be more information on this topic in the near future, possibly in time for the North Carolina Association of Self-Insurers Annual Conference on March 25-27.