State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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Sec. 31-297

Workers’ Compensation Act as amended to January 1, 2007

Hearing of claims.

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Sec. 31-297. Hearing of claims. If an employer and his injured employee, or his legal representative, as the case may be, fail to reach an agreement in regard to compensation under the provisions of this chapter, either party may notify the commissioner of the failure. Upon such notice, or upon the knowledge that an agreement has not been reached in a case in which a right to compensation may exist, the commissioner shall schedule an early hearing upon the matter, giving both parties notice of time and place not less than ten days prior to the scheduled date; provided the commissioner may, on finding an emergency to exist, give such notice as he finds reasonable under the circumstances. If no agreement has been reached within sixty days after the date notice of claim for compensation was received by the commissioner, as provided in section 31-294c, a formal hearing shall be scheduled on the claim and held within thirty days after the end of the sixty-day period, except that if an earlier hearing date has previously been scheduled, the earlier date shall prevail. Hearings shall be held, if practicable, in the town in which the injured employee resides; or, if it is not practicable to hold a hearing in the town, in any other convenient place that the commissioner may prescribe. Sufficient notice of the hearing may be given to the parties in interest by a brief written statement in ordinary terms of the date, place and nature of the injury upon which the claim for compensation is based.

(1949 Rev., S. 7446; 1958 Rev., S. 31-173; 1961, P.A. 491, S. 19; 1967, P.A. 842, S. 7; P.A. 83-123; P.A. 89-31; P.A. 90-116, S. 9; P.A. 91-32, S. 16, 41.)

History: 1961 act entirely replaced previous provisions; 1967 act divided section into Subsecs., required filing of notice on or before twentieth day after receipt of written notice of claim rather than after “knowledge of alleged injury or death” and specified that employer’s failure to file notice contesting liability results in presumption of his acceptance of liability; P.A. 83-123 required that, if no voluntary agreement has been reached within sixty days of the filing of a notice of claim for compensation, a formal hearing on the claim shall be scheduled and held within thirty days of the end of the sixty-day period, unless a prior hearing date was previously established; P.A. 89-31 added Subsec. (c), providing a twenty-eight-day period for an employer to give notice that he contests a claim for injuries sustained on or after October 1, 1989; P.A. 90-116 provided that the employer’s failure to contest shall not constitute a conclusive presumption when the notice has not been properly served or when the notice fails to include a warning concerning the time period to contest liability; P.A. 91-32 made technical changes and deleted Subsecs. (b) and (c) re filing of notice that claim is contested, but see Sec. 31-294c.

Ten days’ notice does not apply to hearing on motion for extension of time. 109 C. 469. Cited. 159 C. 302. The giving of notice by the employer as to the specific grounds on which the right to compensation is contested is a condition precedent to the defense of the action. 165 C. 338, 348. Cited. 227 C. 333. Cited. 239 C. 408.

Cited. 2 CA 365. Cited. 13 CA 208. Cited. 29 CA 441. Cited. 30 CA 320. Cited. 40 CA 278.

Cited. 38 CS 331.

Subsec. (a):

Cited. 177 C. 107.

Subsec. (b):

Cited (dissent). 165 C. 338. Applies only to contests of initial liability to pay compensation, not to contests of extent of disability, in requiring filing of a specific defense. 177 C. 107. Inquiry on existence of subject matter jurisdiction proper. 207 C. 420. Preclusion available to one claimant establishes compensability as to all eligible claimants. Id., 665. Cited. 213 C. 54. Cited. 218 C. 181. Cited. 222 C. 62. Cited. 228 C. 535.

Held to be constitutional under both state and federal constitutions. 2 CA 363. Cited. Id., 162. Cited. 9 CA 91. Cited. Id., 425. Timely filing of a notice of claim under Sec. 31-294 is a precondition to statutory preclusion from contesting liability under this section. 13 CA 276. Cited. 16 CA 676. Cited. 19 CA 273. Cited. 21 CA 63. Cited. Id., 610. Cited. 22 CA 515. Cited. 25 CA 350. Amendment not to be applied retroactively. Date of injury rule applies. 29 CA 441. Amendment applied only prospectively. Id., 654. P.A. 90-116, Sec. 9 cited. Id. Cited 30 CA 295. Cited. 33 CA 495. Cited. 42 CA 147. Cited. 45 CA 499. Does not expressly provide for notice to claimants who are not employees or dependents. Notice to last-known address of decedent employee, which was also claimants’ address, was adequate. 63 CA 1.

Cited. 39 CS 403.

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Page last revised: July 18, 2007

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State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, John A. Mastropietro, Chairman
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