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Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs issues Final Rule

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Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs issues Final Rule

The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs has issued a Final Rule revising certain regulations to resolve procedural and other issues that have arisen in administering and adjudicating claims under the Black Lung Benefits Act. The Final Rule:

  • Requires all parties to exchange any medical information about the miner that they develop in connection with a claim, even if the party does not intend to submit the information into evidence, and allows for sanctions for failure to comply
  • Clarifies coal mine operators’ obligation to pay effective benefits awards during post-award modification proceedings
  • Clarifies that a physician’s supplemental report is a continuation of the physician’s earlier report for purposes of the evidence-limiting rules
  • Allows the Department to fully participate in claims adjudications after the liable coal mine operator stops participating because of adverse financial developments, such as bankruptcy or insolvency

The regulations are effective May 26, 2016.

DOL Press Release on Final Rule

 

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