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The Board is composed of Commissioners, appointed by the Governor. Presently, there are eight Commissioners, one of whom serves as Chairman.
Department of Labor & Industry
Workers' Compensation Appeal Board
651 Boas Street, Room 832
Harrisburg, PA 17121
8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
An aggrieved party has 20 calendar days (not business days) from the circulation date of the Workers' Compensation Judge's decision to file an appeal. If the 20th day falls on a holiday or Sunday, you have until the next business day to file the appeal.
Whether filing electronically or by paper, follow these instructions. Appeals cannot be faxed or emailed to the Board.
(A) a statement of the date of service; (B) the names of parties and Judge served; and (C) the mailing address, the applicable zip code, and the manner of service on the parties and Judge served.
NOTE: If the appeal is filed through WCAIS, service upon the Judge will be deemed to have been made electronically upon the acceptance of the appeal in WCAIS; no separate service upon the Judge is required.
Documents, correspondences, etc. can be electronically filed using WCAIS or mailed to the Board. If choosing to use mail, all materials should be addressed to the Board Secretary at the Central Office of the Board.
The petitioner (the party that files the appeal) must file its brief with the Board within 30 days of the date the Board acknowledges receipt of its appeal, and the respondent must file its brief within 30 days after being served with petitioner's brief. Should petitioner fail to file or fail to timely file a brief, respondent must file its brief within 30 days of the last day petitioner's brief could have been timely filed. The timely filing of subsequent appeals or cross-appeals restarts the 30-day filing clock for petitioners. [See
34 Pa. Code § 111.16. Briefs: content and form and time for filing.]
A request for an extension of time to file a brief must be made prior to the last day the brief can be timely filed, and must indicate the position of the other parties in the appeal to the request. A party can make the request using WCAIS. A party can also make such a request by mail or fax to the Board Secretary at the Central Office, copying all parties of record. Initial 30-day extensions are generally granted, while subsequent extensions are granted or denied at the discretion of the Board. You will receive notification from the Board, through WCAIS or by mail, about the granting or denial of an extension.
Please see WCAIS Brief Information for information about briefs on WCAIS.
A party can choose to not file a brief in the appeal by selecting “Not Being Submitted” in the Briefs tab in WCAIS. A party may also inform the Board by mail or fax to the Board Secretary at the Central Office, copying all parties of record, that it is not submitting a brief in the appeal.
When filing your brief, you must submit a one-page Summary of the Argument. [See 34 Pa.Code § 111.16.]
When you file your brief or specify “Brief Not Being Submitted” you select your hearing preference: in-person, electronic, or waive hearing (no hearing).
After the briefing period for all parties has closed, a party can request the hearing be continued to a later date; or be changed from: in-person to electronic, electronic to in-person, waive hearing to in-person or electronic, or in-person or electronic to waive hearing. On WCAIS such a request can be made on the Requests tab of the Appeal Summary. A party may also inform the Board by mail or fax to the Board Secretary at the Central Office, copying all parties of record, that it wants a hearing continued or changed. Whether made on WCAIS, by mail, or by fax, the party must specify the position of the other parties to the request. Where a party cannot be reached for its position, the number of attempts to reach that party must be specified. Note however, that when a party wishes to waive its hearing, the party does not need to specify the position of the other parties to its waiver request. You will receive notification from the Board, through WCAIS or by mail, about the granting or denial of the request.
Yes, our hearings are open to the public.
The hearing is held before one or more Commissioners. The petitioner argues first, and then the respondent argues. Commissioners may allow follow-up argument by the parties. Hearings generally last approximately 15 minutes.
An appeal can be withdrawn using WCAIS, or can be withdrawn by mailing or faxing a letter to the Board Secretary at the Central Office and copying all parties, including the Workers' Compensation Judge who issued the decision, indicating that you wish to withdraw the appeal pending before the Board. An appeal can only be withdrawn by the petitioner.
Initially, the time period for all parties to submit briefs can last 60 days; even longer if a party asks for a brief extension. Oral argument is scheduled only after the close of the briefing period (unless all parties waive their right to oral argument), and following argument the appeal is assigned to a Commissioner for review. The record (testimony, depositions, and exhibits) from the Workers' Compensation Judge must be verified for completeness. The record, briefs, and notes from oral argument are then reviewed by the Commissioner, who drafts an opinion and order. This opinion and order are then circulated to the other Commissioners for their concurrence (agreement) or dissent (disagreement). Once the opinion and order receive enough Commissioner concurrences to be approved by a majority of the Board Commissioners, the opinion and order are published and mailed to the parties.
Yes, you can. If you are not in agreement with the Board's decision, any aggrieved party has 30 days from the date of our decision to appeal to the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. If you have any questions regarding the procedure to file a Petition for Review, please contact the Commonwealth Court at (717) 255-1650.