How do I protest or appeal an unfavorable order from the Department of Labor & Industries or my self-insured employer?

If you receive a denial, segregation or rejection order from the Department, you should contact one of our attorneys as soon as possible so that we can review your claim and take appropriate action within the protest or appeal period. You have 60 days from the date of the order to mail a written protest to the Department of Labor & Industries. You can protest online as well, but be sure to verify the Department receives the online protest and that it is imaged on your claim.

Taking an appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals before speaking with a qualified workers' compensation attorney can lead to delays in benefits or difficulty in finding an attorney to take your appeal. In many instances, a further protest to a higher-level adjudicator at the Department of Labor & Industries can expedite payment of benefits without the necessity of an appeal. You must ultimately protest or appeal any unfavorable order within 60 days of the date of receipt of that order or the order becomes final.

Litigating an appeal to the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals can be lengthy and expensive and will require representation by a qualified workers' compensation attorney. An appeal can take months just to go through the mediation process. If mediation is not successful, it will take more time to schedule hearings, present testimony of lay and expert witnesses, and then wait for the Industrial Appeals Judge to issue the preliminary decision. Once that preliminary decision (called a Proposed Decision and Order) is issued, any party to the appeal may ask for review from the full Board (called a Petition for Review), after asking for an extension of time to do so. The full Board must then issue either a final Decision and Order or an Order Denying the Petition for Review. The entire appeal process can take from 10 to 15 months or longer, with substantial costs involved to pay for the professional time of expert medical and vocational witnesses. The party receiving the unfavorable decision can appeal the full Board's decision to Superior Court.