Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since April 1, 2019, please see the codification segue page.

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R612. Labor Commission, Industrial Accidents.

Rule R612-200. Workers' Compensation Rules - Filing and Paying Claims.

As in effect on April 1, 2019

Table of Contents

R612-200-1. Reporting and Investigating Injuries.

A. Employers' Duty to Report Work Injuries.

1. An employer is not required to report an injury that requires only first aid treatment, as defined by Subsection R612-100-3.A.

2. Except for injuries treated only by first aid, an employer shall report each employee work injury within 7 days after receiving initial notice of the injury, as follows:

a. An employer that has obtained workers' compensation insurance shall report the injury to its insurance carrier.

b. An employer that has received Division authorization to self-insure shall report the injury to its claims administrator.

c. An employer that has failed to obtain worker's compensation coverage shall report the injury by contacting the Division directly.

3. An employer has notice of a work injury upon the earliest of:

a. Observation of the injury;

b. Verbal or written notice of the injury from any source; or

c. Receipt of any other information sufficient to warrant further inquiry by the employer.

B. Submitting Reports of Injury to the Division.

1. Except for injuries treated only by first aid as defined by Subsection R612-100-3.A, an insurance carrier, self-insured claim administrator, or uninsured employer shall submit a First Report of Injury to the Division within fourteen days after receiving initial notice of the injury.

a. An insurance carrier or self-insured claim administrator has notice of a work injury upon receipt of verbal or written information that includes the name of the employer, the name of the employee and the date of injury.

b. The insurance carrier or self-insured claim administrator shall submit the First Report of Injury to the Division electronically in compliance with the content and formatting requirements of the Industrial Accidents Division Claims EDI Implementation Guide ("EDI Guide" V2.2, 04-19-13) and the Utah Claims R3 EDI Tables ("EDI Tables"; 04-19-13) adopted and incorporated by this reference as part of these rules.

c. An uninsured employer shall report the information required by this subsection as part of the employer's initial contact with the Division required by subsection A.2.c of this rule.

C. Investigation of Claims; Notice to Division and Claimants; Commencement of Benefits.

1. An insurance carrier, self-insured employer, or uninsured employer shall promptly investigate a reported work injury and either accept or deny workers' compensation liability for the claim within 21 days after receiving initial notice of the injury.

a. If, with reasonable diligence, an insurance carrier, self-insured employer, or uninsured employer cannot complete its investigation within 21 days after initial notice, it may complete and submit Division Form 441, "Notice of Further Investigation of a Workers' Compensation Claim" notify the Division and claimant that the matter remains under investigation. The insurance carrier, self-insured employer, or uninsured employer is then allowed 24 days in addition to the initial 21-day period to complete its investigation and accept or deny liability of the claim.

b. An insurance carrier or self-insured employer denying a claim for workers' compensation benefits shall report such denial through current EDI processes. An uninsured employer denying a claim for workers' compensation benefits shall complete and mail to the Division Form 089, "Employee Notification of Denial of Claim" and to the claimant.

c. If the insurance carrier, self-insured employer, or uninsured employer accepts liability for the claim, payment of benefits shall commence within 7 days from the date of acceptance. The insurance carrier, self-insured employer, or uninsured employer shall use Division Form 141, "Statement of Insurance Carrier or Uninsured Employer with Respect to Payment of Benefits" to report the initial benefits paid to a claimant. Form 141 must accompany the first payment to the claimant and must be filed with or mailed to the Division on that same date.

d. An insurance carrier, self-insured employer, or uninsured employer's payment of benefits during investigation of a claim does not prevent subsequent denial of the claim after the investigation is completed.

D. Consequences of Failure to Comply.

1. Pursuant to Subsection 34A-2-407(8) of the Utah Workers' Compensation Act, the Division may impose a civil assessment of up to $500 for an insurance carrier, insured employer, self-insured employer, or uninsured employer's failure, without good cause, to comply with the requirements of this rule.

a. "Good cause" includes a claimant's unreasonable failure to sign requested medical releases or otherwise cooperate in the investigation of a claim.

b. For improperly filed reports, the civil assessment shall be imposed for the report as a whole and not for each data element within a report.

2. In addition to the civil assessment authorized by Subsection 34A-2-407(8), an insurance company or self-insured employer's failure, without good cause, to comply with the requirements of this rule may result in:

a. referral of the insurance company to the Insurance Department for appropriate disciplinary action; or

b. revocation of a self-insured employer's authorization to remain self-insured.

3. The method of issuing the assessments shall be set by the division's policies and procedures.

4. Assessments shall be issued in the form of an order signed by the division's presiding officer and pursuant to the requirements contained in Section 63G-4-203.

5. An aggrieved party may seek agency review of any order pursuant to Section 63G-4-301.

R612-200-2. Payment of Benefits, Interest and Attorney Fees.

A. Timing and payment of benefits. A workers' compensation benefit is due and payable when the claimant has satisfied all legal requirements applicable to that benefit.

1. Payment intervals for compensation. After entitlement to disability compensation or dependent's benefits has been established, such compensation shall be paid in regular intervals of at least once a month, except that TTD and TPD benefits shall be paid twice monthly.

2. Form of payment. A payor may choose to pay benefits by check, debit card or electronic fund transfer, provided that the form of payment allows a claimant to access the full amount of the benefit on the date the payment is due. No fee or charge of any kind may be assessed against the claimant.

3. Employer coordination of employee benefits. Benefits may be paid "in care of" the employer if the employer coordinates employee benefits.

B. Interest. As required by Subsection 34A-2-420(3) of the Utah Workers' Compensation Act, any final order of the Commission awarding benefits will include interest on the principal amount of the benefits at the rate of 8% per annum from the date the benefit or any part thereof was due and payable.

C. Discounting of lump sum payments. Any proposal to pay all or part of a claimant's future workers' compensation benefits in a present lump sum must be submitted to the Adjudication Division for review and approval. A discount rate of eight percent per annum shall be used to determine the present value of such benefits. The following table may be used to determine a benefit's present value by interpolating, when necessary, the weeks to be discounted between the weeks listed on the table.

                                                     TABLE

Unaccrued  X  Weekly     X  Cumulative  =  Discount $
Weeks         Benefit $     Discount

     1                       .001475
    10                       .008076
    20                       .015343
    30                       .022538
    40                       .029663
    50                       .036719
    60                       .043706
    70                       .050626
    80                       .057478
    90                       .064264
   100                       .070984
   110                       .077639
   120                       .084229
   130                       .090756
   140                       .097221
   150                       .103623
   160                       .109963
   170                       .116243
   180                       .122463
   190                       .128623
   200                       .134724
   210                       .140767
   220                       .146752
   230                       .152680
   240                       .158552
   250                       .164368
   260                       .170129
   270                       .175835
   280                       .181488
   290                       .187087
   300                       .192633
   312                       .199219
                                                            

R612-200-3. Statement of Compensation.

At the time a payor first pays permanent partial disability compensation or dependent's benefits to a claimant, the payor shall complete Form 219 "Statement of Compensation." The completed form and supporting documents shall be mailed to the claimant or dependents but need not be filed with the Division unless requested.

R612-200-4. Insurance Carrier/Employer Liability.

A. This rule governs responsibility for payment of benefits for a work injury when:

1. The claimant's entitlement to benefits is not in dispute; and

2. There is a dispute between payors regarding their respective liability for such benefits because the claimant has suffered separate compensable injuries which are the liability of the different payors.

B. In cases meeting the criteria of subsection A, the payor providing coverage for the most recent compensable injury shall advance benefits to the claimant. The benefits advanced shall be limited to medical benefits and temporary total disability compensation and shall be paid according to the entitlement in effect on the date of the earliest related injury.

1. The payor advancing benefits shall notify the non-advancing payor within the time periods established by Subsection R612-200-1.B, that benefits are to be advanced pursuant to this rule.

2. The payor not advancing benefits, upon notification from the advancing payor, shall notify the advancing payor within 10 working days of any potential defenses or limitations of the non-advancing payor's liability.

C. Payors are encouraged to settle liabilities pursuant to this rule.However, any party may file a request for agency action with the Commission for determination of liability for the benefits at issue.

D. The medical utilization decisions of the payor advancing benefits pursuant to this rule shall be presumed reasonable with respect to the issue of reimbursement.

R612-200-5. Permanent Total Disability.

A. This rule applies to claims for permanent total disability compensation under the Utah Workers' Compensation Act.

1. Subsection B applies to permanent total disability claims arising from accident or disease prior to May 1, 1995.

2. Subsection C applies to permanent total disability claims arising from accident or disease on or after May 1, 1995.

B. For claims arising from accident or disease on or after July 1, 1988 and prior to May 1, 1995, the Commission is required under Section 34A-2-413, to make a finding of total disability as measured by the substance of the sequential decision-making process of the Social Security Administration under Title 20 of the Code of Federal Regulations, amended April 1, 1993. The use of the term "substance of the sequential decision-making process" is deemed to confer some latitude on the Commission in exercising a degree of discretion in making its findings relative to permanent total disability. The Commission does not interpret the code section to eliminate the requirement that a finding by the Commission in permanent and total disability shall in all cases be tentative and not final until rehabilitation training and/or evaluation has been accomplished.

1. In the event that the Social Security Administration or its designee has made, or is in the process of making, a determination of disability under the foregoing process, the Commission may use this information in lieu of instituting the process on its own behalf.

2. In evaluating industrial claims in which the injured worker has qualified for Social Security disability benefits, the Commission will determine if a significant cause of the disability is the claimant's industrial accident or some other unrelated cause or causes.

3. To make a tentative finding of permanent total disability the Commission incorporates the rules of disability determination in 20 CFR 404.1520, amended April 1, 1993. The sequential decision making process referred to requires a series of questions and evaluations to be made in sequence. In short, these are:

a. Is the claimant engaged in a substantial gainful activity?

b. Does the claimant have a medically severe impairment?

c. Does the severe impairment meet or equal the duration requirement in 20 CFR 404.1509, amended April 1, 1993, and the listed impairments in 20 CFR Subpart P Appendix 1, amended April 1, 1993?

d. Does the impairment prevent the claimant from doing past relevant work?

e. Does the impairment prevent the claimant from doing any other work?

4. After the Commission has made a tentative finding of permanent total disability:

a. In those cases arising after July 1,1994, the Commission shall order initiation of payment of permanent total disability compensation;

b. the Commission shall review a summary of reemployment activities undertaken pursuant to the Utah Injured Worker Reemployment Act, as well as any qualified reemployment plan submitted by the employer or its insurance carrier; and

c. unless otherwise stipulated, the Commission shall hold a hearing to consider the possibility of rehabilitation and reemployment of the claimant pending final adjudication of the claim.

5. After a hearing, or waiver of the hearing by the parties, the Commission shall issue an order finding or denying permanent total disability based upon the preponderance of the evidence and with due consideration of the vocational factors in combination with the residual functional capacity which the commission incorporates as published in 20 CFR 404 Subpart P Appendix 2, amended April 1, 1993.

C. For permanent total disability claims arising on or after May 1, 1995, Section 34A-2-413 requires a two-step adjudicative process. First, the Commission must make a preliminary determination whether the applicant is permanently and totally disabled. If so, the Commission will proceed to the second step, in which the Commission will determine whether the applicant can be reemployed or rehabilitated.

1. First Step - Preliminary Determination of Permanent Total Disability: On receipt of an application for permanent total disability compensation, the Adjudication Division will assign an Administrative Law Judge to conduct evidentiary proceedings to determine whether the applicant's circumstances meet each of the elements set forth in Subsections 34A-2-413(1)(b) and (c).

(a) If the ALJ finds the applicant meets each of the elements set forth in Subsections 34A-2-413(1)(b) and (c), the ALJ will issue a preliminary determination of permanent total disability and shall order the employer or insurance carrier to pay permanent total disability compensation to the applicant pending completion of the second step of the adjudication process. The payment of permanent total disability compensation pursuant to a preliminary determination shall commence as of the date established by the preliminary determination and shall continue until otherwise ordered.

(b) A party dissatisfied with the ALJ's preliminary determination may obtain additional agency review by either the Labor Commissioner or Appeals Board pursuant to Subsection 34A-2-801(3). If a timely motion for review of the ALJ's preliminary determination is filed with either the Labor Commissioner or Appeals Board, no further adjudicative or enforcement proceedings shall take place pending the decision of the Commissioner or Board.

(c) A preliminary determination of permanent total disability by the Labor Commissioner or Appeals Board is a final agency action for purposes of appellate judicial review.

(d) Unless otherwise stayed by the Labor Commissioner, the Appeals Board or an appellate court, an appeal of the Labor Commissioner or Appeals Board's preliminary determination of permanent total disability shall not delay the commencement of "second step" proceedings discussed below or payment of permanent total disability compensation as ordered by the preliminary determination.

(e) The Commissioner or Appeals Board shall grant a request for stay if the requesting party has filed a petition for judicial review and the Commissioner or Appeals Board determine that:

(i) the requesting party has a substantial possibility of prevailing on the merits;

(ii) the requesting party will suffer irreparable injury unless a stay is granted; and

(iii) the stay will not result in irreparable injury to other parties to the proceeding.

2. Second Step - Reemployment and Rehabilitation: Pursuant to Subsection 34A-2-413(6), if the first step of the adjudicatory process results in a preliminary finding of permanent total disability, an additional inquiry must be made into the applicant's ability to be reemployed or rehabilitated, unless the parties waive such additional proceedings.

(a) The ALJ will hold a hearing to consider whether the applicant can be reemployed or rehabilitated.

(i) As part of the hearing, the ALJ will review a summary of reemployment activities undertaken pursuant to the Utah Injured Worker Reemployment Act;

(ii) The employer or insurance carrier may submit a reemployment plan meeting the requirements set forth in Subsection 34A-2-413(6)(a)(ii) and Subsections 34A-2-413(6)(d)(i) through (iii).

(b) Pursuant to Subsection 34A-2-413(4)(b) the employer or insurance carrier may not be required to pay disability compensation for any combination of disabilities of any kind in excess of the amount of compensation payable over the initial 312 weeks at the applicable permanent total disability compensation rate.

(i) Any overpayment of disability compensation may be recouped by the employer or insurance carrier by reasonably offsetting the overpayment against future liability paid before or after the initial 312 weeks.

(ii) An advance of disability compensation to provide for the employee's subsistence during the rehabilitation process is subject to the provisions of Subsection 34A-2-413(4)(b), described in subsection 2.(b) above, but can be funded by reasonably offsetting the advance of disability compensation against future liability normally paid after the initial 312 weeks.

(iii) To fund an advance of disability compensation to provide for an employee's subsistence during the rehabilitation process, a portion of the stream of future weekly disability compensation payments may be discounted from the future to the present to accommodate payment. Should this be necessary, the employer or insurance carrier shall be allowed to reasonably offset the amounts paid against future liability payable after the initial 312 weeks. In this process, care should be exercised to reasonably minimize adverse financial impact on the employee.

(iv) In the event the parties cannot agree as to the reasonableness of any proposed offset, the matter may be submitted to an ALJ for determination.

(c) Subsections 34A-2-413(7) and (9) require the applicant to fully cooperate in any evaluation or reemployment plan. Failure to do so shall result in dismissal of the applicant's claim or reduction or elimination of benefit payments including disability compensation and subsistence allowance amounts, consistent with the provisions of Section 34A-2-413(7) and (9).

(d) Subsection 34A-2-413(6) requires the employer or its insurance carrier to diligently pursue any proffered reemployment plan. Failure to do so shall result in a final award of permanent total disability compensation to the applicant.

(e) If, after the conclusion of the foregoing "second step" proceeding, the ALJ concludes that successful rehabilitation is not possible, the ALJ shall enter a final order for continuing payment of permanent total disability compensation. The period for payment of such compensation shall commence on the date the employee became permanently and totally disabled, as determined by the ALJ.

(f) Alternatively, if after the conclusion of the "second step" proceeding, the ALJ concludes that successful rehabilitation and/or reemployment is possible, the ALJ shall enter a final order to that effect, which order shall contain such direction to the parties as the ALJ shall deem appropriate for successful implementation and continuation of rehabilitation and/or reemployment. As necessary under the particular circumstances of each case, the ALJ's final order shall provide for reasonable offset of payments of any disability compensation that constitute an overpayment under Subsection 34A-2-413(4)(b).

(g) The ALJ's decision is subject to all administrative and judicial review provided by law.

D. For purposes of this rule, the following standards and definitions apply:

1. Other work reasonably available: Subject to medical restrictions and other provisions of the Act and rules, other work is reasonably available to a claimant if such work meets the following criteria:

a. The work is either within the distance that a resident of the claimant's community would consider to be a typical or acceptable commuting distance, or is within the distance the claimant was traveling to work prior to his or her accident;

b. The work is regular, steady, and readily available; and

c. The work provides a gross income at least equivalent to:

(1) The current state average weekly wage, if at the time of the accident the claimant was earning more than the state average weekly wage then in effect; or

(2) The wage the claimant was earning at the time of the accident, if the employee was earning less than the state average weekly wage then in effect.

2. Cooperation: As determined by an administrative law judge, an employee is not entitled to permanent total disability compensation or subsistence benefits unless the employee fully cooperates with any evaluation or reemployment plan. The ALJ will evaluate the cooperation of the employee using, but not limited to, the following factors: attendance, active participation, effort, communication with the plan coordinator, and compliance with the requirements of the vocational plan. In determining if these factors were met, the ALJ shall consider relevant changes in the employee's documented medical condition.

3. Diligent Pursuit: The employer or its insurance carrier shall diligently pursue the reemployment plan. The ALJ will evaluate the employer or insurance carrier's diligent pursuit of the plan using, but not limited to, the following factors: timely payment of expenses and benefits outline in the vocational plan, and as required by the educational institution providing the vocational training, communication with the employee, compliance with the requirements of the vocational plan, and timely modification of the plan as required by documented changes in the employee's medical condition.

4. Resolution of disputes regarding "cooperation" and "diligent pursuit": If a party believes another party is not cooperating with or diligently pursing either the evaluations necessary to establish a plan, or the requirements of an approved reemployment or rehabilitation plan, the aggrieved party shall submit to the workers' compensation mediation unit an outline of the specific instances of non-cooperation or lack of diligence. Other parties may submit a reply. The Mediation Unit will promptly schedule mediation to reestablish cooperation among the parties necessary to evaluate or comply with the plan. If mediation is unsuccessful, a party may request the Adjudication Division resolve the dispute. The Adjudication Division will conduct a hearing on the matter within 30 days and shall issue a written decision within 10 days thereafter.

R612-200-6. Burial Expenses.

1. The Commission adopts this rule pursuant to authority granted by Section 34A-2-418 of the Utah Workers' Compensation Act.

2. If death results from a work injury, burial expenses up to $9,000 shall be paid. Unusual circumstances may require additional payment, either voluntarily or through Commission order.

3. During each even-numbered year the Commission shall review this rule and make such adjustments as are necessary so that payment of burial expense required by this rule remains equitable when compared to the average cost of burial in this state.

KEY

workers' compensation, filing deadlines, time, administrative proceedings

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

November 28, 2016

Notice of Continuation

February 8, 2018

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

34A-2-101 et seq.; 34A-3-101 et seq.; 34A-1-104


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R612, please contact the promulgating agency (Labor Commission, Industrial Accidents). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.