State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman
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Sec. 31-301

Workers’ Compensation Act as amended to January 1, 2013

Appeals to the Compensation Review Board. Payment of award during pendency of appeal.


Sec. 31-301. Appeals to the Compensation Review Board. Payment of award during pendency of appeal. (a) At any time within twenty days after entry of an award by the commissioner, after a decision of the commissioner upon a motion or after an order by the commissioner according to the provisions of section 31-299b, either party may appeal therefrom to the Compensation Review Board by filing in the office of the commissioner from which the award or the decision on a motion originated an appeal petition and five copies thereof. The commissioner within three days thereafter shall mail the petition and three copies thereof to the chief of the Compensation Review Board and a copy thereof to the adverse party or parties. If a party files a motion subsequent to the finding and award, order or decision, the twenty-day period for filing an appeal of an award or an order by the commissioner shall commence on the date of the decision on such motion.

(b) The appeal shall be heard by the Compensation Review Board as provided in section 31-280b. The Compensation Review Board shall hear the appeal on the record of the hearing before the commissioner, provided, if it is shown to the satisfaction of the board that additional evidence or testimony is material and that there were good reasons for failure to present it in the proceedings before the commissioner, the Compensation Review Board may hear additional evidence or testimony.

(c) Upon the final determination of the appeal by the Compensation Review Board, but no later than one year after the date the appeal petition was filed, the Compensation Review Board shall issue its decision, affirming, modifying or reversing the decision of the commissioner. The decision of the Compensation Review Board shall include its findings, conclusions of law and award.

(d) When any appeal is pending, and it appears to the Compensation Review Board that any part of the award appealed from is not affected by the issues raised by the appeal, the Compensation Review Board may, on motion or of its own motion, render a judgment directing compliance with any portion of the award not affected by the appeal; or if the only issue raised by the appeal is the amount of the average weekly wage for the purpose of determining the amount of compensation, as provided in section 31-310, the commissioner shall, on motion of the claimant, direct the payment of the portion of the compensation payable under his award that is not in dispute, if any, pending final adjudication of the disputed portion thereof. In all appeals in which one of the parties is not represented by counsel, and in which the party taking the appeal does not prosecute the case within a reasonable time from the date of appeal, the Compensation Review Board may, of its own motion, affirm, reverse or modify the award.

(e) When an appeal is taken to the Compensation Review Board, the chief clerk thereof shall notify the commissioner from whose award the appeal was taken, in writing, of any action of the Compensation Review Board thereon and of the final disposition of the appeal, whether by judgment, withdrawal or otherwise, and shall upon the decision of the appeal, furnish the commissioner with a copy of the decision. Whenever any appeal is pending, if it appears to the Compensation Review Board that justice so requires, the Compensation Review Board shall order a certified copy of the evidence for the use of the employer, the employee or both, and the certified copy shall be made a part of the record on the appeal. The procedure in appealing from an award of the commissioner shall be the same as the procedure employed in an appeal from the Superior Court to the Supreme Court, where applicable. The chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to establish rules, methods of procedure and forms as the chairman deems expedient for the purposes of this chapter.

(f) During the pendency of any appeal of an award made pursuant to this chapter, the claimant shall receive all compensation and medical treatment payable under the terms of the award to the extent the compensation and medical treatment are not being paid by any health insurer or by any insurer or employer who has been ordered, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, to pay a portion of the award. The compensation and medical treatment shall be paid by the employer or its insurer.

(g) If the final adjudication results in the denial of compensation to the claimant, and he has previously received compensation on the claim pursuant to subsection (f) and this subsection, the claimant shall reimburse the employer or its insurer for all sums previously expended, plus interest at the rate of ten per cent per annum. Upon any such denial of compensation, the commissioner who originally heard the case or his successor shall conduct a hearing to determine the repayment schedule for the claimant.

(1949 Rev., S. 7450; 1958 Rev., S. 31-177; 1961, P.A. 491, S. 23; 1963, P.A. 642, S. 85; 1967, P.A. 692, S. 2; 1972, P.A. 108, S. 6; P.A. 74-183, S. 268, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 231, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 1, 127; P.A. 79-540, S. 3; P.A. 81-155, S. 2; 81-472, S. 144, 159; P.A. 84-133; P.A. 86-27; 86-56; P.A. 91-32, S. 19, 41; 91-339, S. 20, 55; P.A. 95-277, S. 9, 19; P.A. 01-22, S. 1; P.A. 07-31, S. 2.)

History: 1961 act entirely replaced previous provisions; 1963 act allowed appeals after commissioner’s decision upon a motion and required that appeals be made to court for county where injury occurred rather than county where award was filed, adding provision re court for appeal when injury occurred outside state; 1967 act deleted references to findings of commissioners and specified that appeal procedure is same as for appeals from superior court to supreme court; 1972 act replaced superior court with court of common pleas throughout section, effective September 1, 1972, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction; P.A. 74-183 added references to judicial districts and made appeal procedure same as for appeals from court of common pleas to superior court, effective December 31, 1974; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and deleted provision re appeal procedure, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 deleted references to counties; P.A. 79-540 replaced provisions re appeals to superior court with new provisions re appeals to compensation review division; P.A. 81-155 permitted the appeal of orders made by the commissioner according to the provisions of Sec. 31-299b; P.A. 81-472 made technical changes; P.A. 84-133 added Subsec. (b), providing for the payment of compensation and benefits due under an occupational disease award during the pendency of any appeal of such award; P.A. 86-27 provided that compensation and benefits due under any award made pursuant to this chapter shall be paid by the second injury fund during the pendency of any appeal of the award; P.A. 86-56 required the compensation review division to issue its decision on any appeal within one year of the filing of the appeal petition, except that any decision on an appeal pending on October 1, 1986, shall be issued within one year of said date; P.A. 91-32 divided existing Subsec. (a) into Subsecs. (a) to (e), inclusive, divided existing Subsec. (b) into Subsecs. (f) and (g) and made technical changes; P.A. 91-339 changed “compensation review division” to “compensation review board”, changed “chairman” to “chief” of the board, added reference to Sec. 31-380b in Subsec. (b) and authorized the chairman of the workers’ compensation commission to adopt regulations in Subsec. (e); P.A. 95-277 amended Subsec. (f) to provide that the compensation and medical treatment of the injured employee be paid by the employer or its insurer rather than Second Injury Fund and, in Subsec. (g) substituted references to “Second Injury Fund” with “employer or its insurer” to reflect the closing of the Second Injury Fund and deleted provision re reimbursement of Second Injury Fund by employer, effective July 1, 1995; P.A. 01-22 amended Subsec. (a) by increasing the time to take an appeal from 10 to 20 days; P.A. 07-31 amended Subsec. (a) by commencing 20-day period for filing appeal, where motion filed subsequent to finding and award, order or decision, on date of decision on motion.

Appeal does not open the case for trial de novo. 89 C. 143, 150; Id., 370; 92 C. 90. The commissioner’s finding is part of the record and may be corrected by the Superior Court in the same manner as the finding of a trial court by the Supreme Court. 90 C. 446; 91 C. 531; 92 C. 90; 93 C. 94; 95 C. 673; 96 C. 634; 98 C. 287; Id., 755; 99 C. 355; 103 C. 429; 104 C. 537; 107 C. 251. Reasons of appeal and answer thereto should be filed in the court. 91 C. 227. What justifies setting award aside. 93 C. 83; 94 C. 9; 96 C. 299. If the court materially alters the finding, it should recommit it to the commissioner to decide on the altered facts. 97 C. 77; 106 C. 254. Conclusion of fact based on subordinate facts is reviewable by the court. 100 C. 347; 102 C. 5; Id., 237; Id., 472. There is no appeal from refusal of commissioner to rehear the case or alter his finding. 101 C. 358; 108 C. 161. Where the facts found are too indefinite to support the award, finding should be recommitted to commissioner. 102 C. 238; 106 C. 215; Id., 253; 107 C. 171; Id., 647. Nature of the appeal and correction of finding by Superior Court fully reviewed. 102 C. 514. Court should not set aside award because it differs with the commissioner as to preponderance of evidence. 106 C. 109. There is no appeal from an award of commissioner made in compliance with the decision of the Superior Court on a former appeal; appeal must be to the Supreme Court from the Superior Court decision. 108 C. 159. Expense of printing testimony not taxable as costs on appeal. 109 C. 737. Superior Court cannot change finding unless commissioner has found facts without evidence or has reached unreasonable conclusions. 120 C. 606; 121 C. 56; Id., 483; Id., 541; Id., 708; 122 C. 129. When entire transcript may properly be filed. 121 C. 274. When testimony necessary for proper determination of case is not presented, case remanded for further hearing. Id. Motion to erase proper method to raise question whether there was a judgment from which appeal might be taken. 123 C. 103. Cited. 132 C. 209. Where motion to open award is made by party who intends to appeal from award if motion is denied, he may postpone the filing of the appeal until the motion is determined. 134 C. 269. Where commissioner failed to pass upon specific claim potentially decisive of the case, it should be returned for further proceedings. 138 C. 482. Cited. 141 C. 321. Section affects the court to which appeal is taken not employee’s right to compensation; appeal brought to Superior Court after Sept. 1, 1972 was brought to wrong court and Superior Court has no jurisdiction. 169 C. 646. Cited. 179 C. 662; 207 C. 420; 213 C. 54; 217 C. 143; 220 C. 739; 232 C. 758; 233 C. 14; 235 C. 790; 239 C. 408; 240 C. 788. Provision re payment deadline applies when payment is due under an award by compensation review board. 249 C. 365. Ten-day appeal period tolled when aggrieved party establishes that, through no fault of his own, he did not receive notice of commissioner’s decision within ten days of the date it was sent. 250 C. 581. Provision re ten-day period for appeal commences on the date notice is sent to a party’s counsel. Id., 592.

Cited. 1 CA 142; 7 CA 142; 11 CA 693; 16 CA 138; 33 CA 695; judgment reversed, see 231 C. 469. P.A. 91-339, Sec. 20 cited. Id. Cited. 36 CA 150; Id., 298; 38 CA 1; 39 CA 717; 45 CA 199. In matter where the issue was causation of injury, board did not improperly substitute its factual findings for those of commissioner but rather determined that commissioner’s finding could not stand without the support of expert medical testimony and properly refused to remand the case for further proceedings. 62 CA 440.

Authority to extend time for taking an appeal. 9 CS 38. Imposes on party seeking the order, the burden of showing (1) inability to pay and (2) that justice requires the action of the commissioner be appealed from. Id., 379. A plea in abatement and not a motion to expunge is appropriate remedy to attack appeal not brought within ten days. 15 CS 33. Cited. 17 CS 288; 27 CS 410. Amendment of October 1, 1967, applied to pending appeal which was then dismissed for failure to prosecute with due diligence. 24 CS 411. Cited. 38 CS 648.

Subsec. (a):

Cited. 206 C. 242; 207 C. 535; 212 C. 441; 227 C. 333; 228 C. 535; 231 C. 469; 237 C. 1; 241 C. 282. Failure to take an appeal within the 20 day appeal limitation in Subsec. deprives board of subject matter jurisdiction, a defect which may be raised at any time. 299 C. 346. Sec. 31-355(b) is inapplicable for purposes of determining when appeal period begins to run under Subsec. re Second Injury Fund claim because the fund had already been participating in proceedings before Workers’ Compensation Commission. Id., 376. Appellate Court improperly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction for lack of a final judgment in matter in which defendant challenged the commissioner’s initial finding of plaintiff’s total disability, but after remand by the board to the commissioner, did not challenge the commissioner’s subsequent findings and award specifying amounts to be paid to plaintiff. 303 C. 238.

Cited. 33 CA 495. Proper interpretation of limitation period contained in section is that ten-day period begins to run on day on which party wanting appeal is sent meaningful notice of commissioner’s decision. 36 CA 298. Cited. 37 CA 392; 46 CA 298. Ten-day appeal period begins to run on day on which party wanting to appeal is sent meaningful notice of commissioner’s decision. 49 CA 1. Notice must be sent directly to plaintiff, not plaintiff’s attorney, in order for appeal period to commence. 51 CA 92. An appeal taken from a supplemental order directing the Second Injury Fund to compensate plaintiff is not a timely appeal challenging the findings and awards preceding that order if that appeal was taken outside the mandated twenty days from the issuing of the operative finding and award. 114 CA 58. The time limitation on an appeal from the finding and award of a worker’s compensation commissioner imposed by Subsec. does not deprive the appellate tribunal of subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal. Id., 81; judgment reversed, see 299 C. 346.

Subsec. (b):

Cited. 227 C. 333; 231 C. 287.

Subsec. (c):

It is implicit in statutory authority to reverse a decision of the trial commissioner that board may remand a case for a new hearing. 251 C. 153. Legislature did not intend to impose unstated limitations on review board’s discretion to order appropriately adjudicated new hearings. Id.

Cited. 34 CA 673.

Subsec. (f):

Should be applied retroactively to all cases not actually transferred to the fund prior to the date provision became effective; concurring opinion based on legislative intent. 243 C. 311.


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State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, Stephen M. Morelli, Chairman
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