Notices of Closure
These are usually issued because a doctor has said the worker is “medically stationary,” meaning that they do not need more curative treatment and their condition is not expected to change much. “Time loss,” which is the disability pay people get when they cannot work, stops as of the medically stationary date.
If the person meets the requirements and is being given a disability award, that amount is stated in the closure and explained in the “work sheet.”
Workers worry that, if they call an attorney, they will have to pay some of that disability money to the attorney. This is not the case. The attorney may appeal the closure and then, if more money is awarded, the attorney is paid a percentage of the extra money.
Some closures should not be appealed. The decision to appeal or not should be made with input from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
If the worker accepts a “lump sum” payment of the closure award, they will lose the right to appeal the closure. If asked to complete a lump sum application, a worker should consult an attorney.
There is a 60-day deadline to appeal a closure. The best way to evaluate a disability award in a Notice of Closure is for the attorney to review the relevant legal and medical documents and then discuss the situation with the worker. It would be best for the worker to call well before the 60 days have expired.