NORTH CAROLINA INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION

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News & Announcements

N.C. Industrial Commission Latest News & Information

Current Commission Policies Regarding Mediation, Commission Hearings, and Written Affirmation Without Notarization

Consistent with the January 14, 2021 Order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, the Industrial Commission has reverted to its mediation and hearing policies that existed prior to the December 14, 2020 Order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina.

Currently, all Industrial Commission mediations shall be conducted remotely, unless all parties and persons required to attend the mediation, including the mediator, agree to conduct the mediation in person, or unless the Industrial Commission orders that the mediation be conducted in person.

Additionally, all Deputy Commissioner hearings shall be conducted remotely via Webex videoconference, unless the Deputy Commissioner grants an in-person hearing upon a showing of good cause as to why an in-person hearing should be allowed. If a party believes that a case is neither appropriate for a Webex hearing nor appropriate to be heard in person at the present time, the party may file a motion to temporarily remove the case from the hearing docket with the presiding Deputy Commissioner.

Full Commission hearings shall continue to be conducted via Microsoft Teams videoconference.

The Commission will continue to accept written affirmations without notarization, so long as the subscriber affirms the truth of the matter to be verified in substantially the same language as that allowed by Emergency Directive 5 (“I (we) affirm, under the penalties for perjury, that the foregoing representation(s) is (are) true. (Signed)____________________.”).
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 7, 2021. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, this meeting will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is 1-888-363-4735 and the access code is 4465746. Please click here for the meeting notice and agenda.
 

Deputy Commissioner Hearings During the Pandemic: Presentations Discussing Webex and Other Practical Hearing Tips

To help parties prepare for hearings during the pandemic, the Industrial Commission has created two short video tutorials featuring Deputy Commissioner Kevin V. Howell to help answer some common questions about Webex hearings. These video tutorials were excerpted from the October 22, 2020 Webinar on Deputy Commissioner Webex Hearings hosted by the Workers’ Compensation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. Links to each of these two video tutorials, as well as a link to the full October 22, 2020 webinar and a link to Deputy Commissioner Howell’s presentation on remote hearings during the October 14, 2020 Deputy Commissioner Section Update at the 25th Annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference, can be found below.
 

How to Join a Webex Hearing: (Excerpted from North Carolina Bar Association Webinar on Deputy Commissioner Webex Hearings)
Click here to view video.

How to Change Your Audio Connection for a Webex Hearing: (Excerpted from North Carolina Bar Association Webinar on Deputy Commissioner Webex Hearings)
Click here to view video.

October 22, 2020 Webinar on Deputy Commissioner Webex Hearings
Click here to view video.

Deputy Commissioner Howell’s presentation on remote hearings during the October 14, 2020 Deputy Commissioner Section Update at the 25th Annual North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference
Click here to view video.
 

Larry D. Hall Appointed to Serve as Deputy Commissioner

The Industrial Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Larry D. Hall as a Deputy Commissioner. Hall comes to the Commission with a long history of distinguished public service, most recently serving as the Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Previously, Hall represented Durham County for ten years in the North Carolina House of Representatives, where he served as the House Minority Leader during his final four years. Hall maintained a private law practice in Durham prior to and during his terms in the General Assembly, with a focus on business, employment, and personal injury law. Hall received his bachelor’s degree from Johnson C. Smith University before being commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. He continued his military service in the Marine Reserves while earning his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Hall will be hearing cases assigned to the Commission’s Raleigh Office.
 

All In-Person Mediations Must be Scheduled or Rescheduled for a Date on or after January 14, 2021

Consistent with Emergency Directive 1 of the December 14, 2020 Order of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, and pursuant to the Commission’s authority under 11 NCAC 23E .0302(b), the mediation attendance requirements and provisions of 11 NCAC 23G .0104 have been varied to bring Industrial Commission mediations in conformity with Emergency Directive 1. Accordingly, all in-person mediations must be scheduled or rescheduled for a date on or after January 14, 2021.
 

Postponement of Industrial Commission In-Person Hearings for 30 Days Beginning Monday December 14, 2020

Consistent with Chief Justice Beasley’s December 11, 2020 announcement that North Carolina Courts will postpone non-essential, in-person court proceedings for 30 days beginning Monday December 14, 2020, the Industrial Commission has postponed its in-person hearings during this same time period. Parties who were scheduled to appear for an in-person hearing may be contacted by the Deputy Commissioner assigned to the case to explore the possibility of having the case heard remotely via Webex, if appropriate.
 

Transcript of December 10, 2020 Public Hearing on Proposed Permanent and Temporary Rulemaking

On December 10, 2020, the Commission held the public hearing on the proposed permanent amendments to Rules 11 NCAC 23A .0109, 11 NCAC 23B .0105, and 11 NCAC 23G .0104 and on a proposed temporary rule, Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0302. Please click here to view a transcript of the public hearing.
 

Notice of Public Hearing

The Commission will hold a Public Hearing on proposed permanent rulemaking and proposed temporary rulemaking at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday December 10, 2020. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Public Hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is 1-888-363-4735 and the access code is 4465746. Please click here for the Public Hearing Notice and Agenda.
 

Amendments to Rules 11 NCAC 23A .0104, .0408, .0409, .0501, .0903, 11 NCAC 23E .0104, and 11 NCAC 23L .0103 and new Rule 11 NCAC 23B .0106, Effective December 1, 2020; Amendments to Rules 11 NCAC 23A .0108, .0109, .0302, 11 NCAC 23B .0104, .0105, 11 NCAC 23L .0101, .0102, .0103, and .0105, Effective March 1, 2021.

On November 19, 2020, the Rules Review Commission approved seven rule amendments and one new rule that became effective December 1, 2020. Click here for a copy of the rules effective December 1, 2020.

The Rules Review Commission also approved nine rule amendments related to the Commission’s electronic filing system, which have a delayed effective date of March 1, 2021 so as to coordinate with the rollout of the Commission’s new case management system in early 2021. Click here for a copy of the rules effective March 1, 2021.
 

Tammy R. Nance Designated Chief Deputy Commissioner

North Carolina Industrial Commission Chair Philip A. Baddour, III has designated Tammy R. Nance as Chief Deputy Commissioner. Nance has served as Acting Chief Deputy Commissioner for the past several months. She will continue to serve as the Director of Claims Administration until a new Director is hired.

Nance brings a wealth of relevant experience to the Deputy Commissioner Section. Previously, she served as a Deputy Commissioner from 1987 to 1995 before entering private practice, where she represented both employers and employees in workers’ compensation claims over the course of 15 years. In 2011, she returned to the Commission to serve on the Full Commission until 2018. In 2019, she began serving as a Deputy Commissioner assigned to head the Claims Administration Section. Chief Deputy Commissioner Nance is a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and a certified mediator.
 

Written Affirmation Without Notarization Allowed in all Industrial Commission Filings

Under emergency Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0302, during any period that an emergency Order or directive of the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court authorizes the taking of oaths and verifications outside the presence of a notary public, the Industrial Commission may accept any pleading, motion, petition, supporting affidavit, or other document with an affirmation or representation not attested to before a notary public so long as the subscriber affirms the truth of the matter to be verified by an affirmation or representation in substantially the same language as that allowed by the emergency Order or directive of the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. The Commission’s current policy, which will continue until further notice, is to allow such affirmations and representations to be submitted in all Industrial Commission cases.

Based on Emergency Directive 5 in the Chief Justice’s most recent emergency Order, the following language should be used by parties practicing before the Industrial Commission who are submitting an affirmation or representation not attested to before a notary public in an Industrial Commission filing: “I (we) affirm, under the penalties for perjury, that the foregoing representation(s) is (are) true. (Signed)_____________________.”
 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking- Proposed Amendments: 11 NCAC 23A .0109; 11 NCAC 23B .0105; and 11 NCAC 23G .0104.

Please click here for the notice of proposed Industrial Commission Rulemaking published November 2, 2020 in the North Carolina Register (Volume 35, Issue 9).

The Industrial Commission will accept written comments from November 2, 2020 through January 4, 2021. Written comments may be sent to Gina Cammarano, Rulemaking Coordinator, via e-mail at gina.cammarano@ic.nc.gov or via U.S. mail at 1240 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1240. All parties are asked to submit written comments via email if at all possible.

The Industrial Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule amendments on December 10, 2020 at 2 p.m. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the public hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is: 1-888-363-4735. The access code is: 4465746.
 

Emergency Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0302 Approved by Codifier of Rules; Effective Date November 6, 2020

The Industrial Commission has adopted an emergency rule, 11 NCAC 23E .0302, which has been approved by the Codifier of Rules and is effective November 6, 2020. A copy of the text of the emergency rule can be found here:
11 NCAC 23E .0302- Emergency Rule Eff. 11-6-20
 

Notice of Proposed Temporary Rulemaking and Public Hearing- Proposed Adoption of Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0302

The Industrial Commission has initiated temporary rulemaking to adopt a new rule, Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0302. A copy of the text of the proposed temporary rule can be found here:
11 NCAC 23E .0302- Proposed Temporary Rule

WRITTEN COMMENTS

The Industrial Commission will accept written comments on the proposed temporary rule adoption from October 28, 2020 through December 11, 2020. Written comments may be sent to Gina Cammarano, Rulemaking Coordinator, via email at gina.cammarano@ic.nc.gov or via U.S. mail at 1240 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1240. Please note that emailing your written comments to Gina Cammarano is the preferred method at this time due to Industrial Commission staff working remotely, to the greatest extent possible, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PUBLIC HEARING

The Industrial Commission will hold a public hearing on this proposed temporary rule adoption on Thursday December 10, 2020 at 2 p.m. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the public hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is: 1-888-363-4735. The access code is: 4465746.

Please note that simultaneous with the submission of this proposed temporary rule, the Commission has submitted an identically-worded emergency rule to OAH. If the emergency rule is approved by the Codifier of Rules, the Commission will give notice to the interested parties of the approval of the emergency rule.
 

Industrial Commission Releases 2020 Annual Report

The Commission has released its 2020 Annual Report. Please click here to view the 2020 Annual Report. Please click here to view Addendum A to the 2020 Annual Report. Please click here to view Addendum B to the 2020 Annual Report.
 

Industrial Commission Adopts New Tort Claims Rule (11 NCAC 23B .0106) and Adopts Rule Amendments to 11 NCAC 23A .0104, .0108, .0109, .0302, .0408, .0409, .0501, and .0903; 11 NCAC 23B .0104 and .0105; 11 NCAC 23E .0104; and 11 NCAC 23L .0101, .0102, .0103, and .0105

On September 24, 2020, the Industrial Commission adopted one new tort claims rule (11 NCAC 23B .0106) and amendments to 11 NCAC 23A .0104, .0108, .0109, .0302, .0408, .0409, .0501, and .0903; 11 NCAC 23B .0104 and .0105; 11 NCAC 23E .0104; and 11 NCAC 23L .0101, .0102, .0103, and .0105.

The rules as adopted by the Commission are available here. The highlighted portions of the rules show the differences between the adopted rules and the proposed rules that were published in the North Carolina Register. (Please note that the adopted rules consist of rules published in two separate issues of the North Carolina Register. Some of the adopted rules were published in Volume 34, Issue 14 of the North Carolina Register (11 NCAC 23A .0104, .0408, .0409, .0501, and .0903; 11 NCAC 23B .0106; 11 NCAC 23E .0104; and 11 NCAC 23L .0103) and some of the adopted rules were published in Volume 34, Issue 20 of the North Carolina Register (11 NCAC 23A .0108, .0109, and .0302; 11 NCAC 23B .0104 and .0105; and 11 NCAC 23L .0101, .0102, .0103, and .0105). Therefore, the link to the rules as adopted by the Commission first shows all the rules that were published in Volume 34, Issue 14 of the North Carolina Register and then shows all the rules that were published in Volume 34, Issue 20 of the North Carolina Register).

The Rules Review Commission is expected to consider these adopted rules at its November 19, 2020 meeting.
 

Webinar on Deputy Commissioner Webex Hearings:
Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 4 p.m.

The Industrial Commission’s Deputy Commissioner Kevin V. Howell will be presenting practical tips and considerations for Deputy Commissioner Webex hearings at a free webinar open to all on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 4 p.m.

The webinar will take place via Zoom, and pre-registration for the event is required. While registration is being facilitated by the Workers’ Compensation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, you do not have to be a member of the Bar Association to register for the webinar and there is no cost for registration. To register, click here.

Following Deputy Commissioner Howell’s presentation, participants will be able to ask him questions about Webex hearings during a live Q&A.
 

Tiffany Mack Smith Appointed to Serve as Deputy Commissioner

The Industrial Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Tiffany Mack Smith as a Deputy Commissioner. Ms. Smith began practicing law in 2011 and has focused her practice primarily in the areas of workers’ compensation and social security disability, most recently at the law firm of Wallace & Graham in Salisbury, NC. Previously, she practiced at the law firm of Ferguson Chambers & Sumter in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Smith earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law, where she graduated cum laude and was the Executive Editor of the North Carolina Central Law Review. Ms. Smith will be hearing cases assigned to the Charlotte Regional Office.
 

In Memoriam: Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Wade Goodwin

The Industrial Commission mourns the loss of our beloved colleague and friend Chief Deputy Commissioner Melanie Wade Goodwin. Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin served the Commission since 2011, first as a Deputy Commissioner and then as Chief Deputy Commissioner. Prior to joining the Commission, she served in the North Carolina House of Representatives where she represented the people of Richmond and Montgomery Counties for three terms.

Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin earned her B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law. After completing her undergraduate studies and before law school, she worked with the North Carolina Council for Women as an advocate for women and families. Upon graduating from law school, Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin opened a law practice focusing on family law.

The Industrial Commission is grateful to Chief Deputy Commissioner Wade Goodwin for the many contributions she made to the Commission and for her dedicated service to the citizens of North Carolina.
 

NCIC Updates by Email

Stakeholders in the workers’ compensation system can now receive important Industrial Commission updates by email. For stakeholders who previously subscribed to the Commission’s NCIC Updates mailing list, nothing needs to be done in order to begin receiving the new NCIC Updates by email. (If you received the August 24, 2020 NCIC Updates email, then you already are subscribed to the NCIC Updates mailing list). Stakeholders whose email address is not in the Commission’s database can subscribe to NCIC Updates by clicking on “Subscribe to receive NCIC Updates via email” under “Quick Links” on the Home Page of the Commission’s website or by clicking here. Stakeholders who receive an NCIC Update email but wish to unsubscribe can do so by clicking on the “Unsubscribe” link in the email.
 

Temporary Mediation Rule (11 NCAC 23G .0104) Approved by Rules Review Commission

On August 20, 2020, the Rules Review Commission approved the temporary mediation rule that was adopted by the Industrial Commission on August 6, 2020, with technical corrections. Please click here to view the approved temporary mediation rule, which will go into effect on August 28, 2020.
 

25th Annual N.C. Workers' Compensation Virtual Educational Conference
Will Be Held on Tuesday-Friday, October 13-16, 2020

Registration is now open for the 25th Annual North Carolina Workers' Compensation Educational Conference, which will be held this year as a purely virtual event on Tuesday-Friday, October 13-16, 2020. This conference is presented by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, in association with the International Workers' Compensation Foundation.

This year’s agenda includes a discussion of the 2011 legislative changes and extended compensation claims under G.S. 97-29(c), as well as several presentations specifically related to the pandemic (including suitable employment and return-to-work issues in 2020, work-related injuries and telecommuting, and COVID-19 compensability). A demonstration of the Commission’s new case management system will also be offered.

This year’s conference includes a virtual exhibit hall that attendees can visit during program breaks.

The conference provides valuable information of particular importance for employers, insurance adjusters, self-insurers, third-party administrators, safety and human resource managers, plaintiff and defense attorneys, health care providers, mediators, medical and rehabilitation providers, and anyone with a professional interest in the North Carolina workers' compensation system. Application is pending for continuing education credits for attorneys (CLE); paralegals (CPE); carriers (CE credit); human resources professionals (SHRM); and rehabilitation providers (CEU for CRC, CDMS, and CCM). COHNs, CRRNs, and any other discipline will be provided, upon request, with a certificate of completion for credit submission.

For additional details and to register with payment by check, download the conference brochure by clicking here:

To register online and pay by credit card, click here:

For more information on the conference, please contact Jeanne Bush or Eric Oxfeld at the International Workers' Compensation Foundation office by telephone at (386) 677-0041, fax at (386) 677-0155, or e-mail at IWCF@bellsouth.net.
 

Acting Chief Deputy Commissioner Contact Information

Until further notice, parties who wish to communicate with the Chief Deputy Commissioner should contact Acting Chief Deputy Commissioner Tamara R. “Tammy” Nance. Acting Chief Deputy Commissioner Nance can be reached by email at tammy.nance@ic.nc.gov or by phone at (919) 716-1734.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, this meeting will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is 1-888-363-4735 and the access code is 4465746. Please click here for the meeting notice and agenda.
 

COVID-19 Response: Revised Industrial Commission In-Person Deputy Commissioner Hearing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation and Tort Claims

In response to Chief Justice Beasley’s July 16, 2020 Order and Emergency Directive 21 related to face coverings in courthouses, the Industrial Commission has revised its in-person hearing guidelines. A summary of the current guidelines can be found here:
Guidelines for In-Person Hearings.
 

COVID-19 Response: Summary of Industrial Commission In-Person Deputy Commissioner Hearing Guidelines for Workers’ Compensation and Tort Claims

The Industrial Commission is holding in-person hearings in limited cases when ordered by the presiding Deputy Commissioner. A summary of the guidelines for Deputy Commissioner hearings held in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here:
Guidelines for In-Person Hearings.
 

COVID-19 Response: August 2020 Deputy Commissioner Docket Update

Deputy Commissioners will set cases continued from the June 2020 docket in August 2020 as part of the Commission’s efforts to avoid any backlog and efficiently handle the cases that were continued due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deputy Commissioners will also attempt to set continuances from the July 2020 docket in August 2020. The cases previously listed on the August 2020 Final Master Trial Docket will be assigned to a later docket.
 

Transcript of June 25, 2020 Public Hearing on Proposed Temporary Rulemaking

The Commission held the public hearing on the proposed temporary amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104 on June 25, 2020. Please click here to view a transcript of the public hearing.
 

Notice of Public Hearing

The Commission will hold a Public Hearing on proposed temporary rulemaking (a proposed temporary amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104) at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday June 25, 2020. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Public Hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is 1-888-363-4735 and the access code is 4465746. Please click here for the Public Hearing Notice and Agenda.
 

June 8, 2020 Update: Industrial Commission Mediation Policies as of June 16, 2020

The Industrial Commission has adopted an emergency amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104, which has been approved by the Codifier of Rules and which is effective as of June 16, 2020. A copy of the emergency rule amendment can be found here:
11 NCAC 23G .0104- Emergency Rule Amendment Eff. 6-16-20.

Under this emergency rule amendment, all Industrial Commission mediations shall be conducted remotely, unless all parties and persons required to attend the mediation, including the mediator, agree to conduct the mediation in person, or unless the Industrial Commission orders that the mediation shall be conducted in person following a motion filed with John Schafer, the Dispute Resolution Coordinator, pursuant to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104(b) and Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0111.

This emergency rule amendment was adopted by the Industrial Commission after the North Carolina Supreme Court entered an Order on June 3, 2020 amending Rule 4(a)(2) of the Rules for Mediated Settlement Conferences and Other Settlement Procedures in Superior Court Civil Actions, making attendance via remote technology the default method of attendance in Superior Court case mediations. Pursuant to G.S. §97-80(c), the Industrial Commission’s mediation rules must be substantially similar to the mediation rules approved by the Supreme Court for use in the Superior Court division. The amendment satisfies the statutory requirement.

The emergency rule amendment will proceed through both temporary and permanent rulemaking under the Administrative Procedure Act over the course of the next 6-9 months.
 

Notice of Proposed Temporary Rulemaking and Public Hearing- Proposed Amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104

The Industrial Commission has proposed temporary rulemaking to adopt an amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104.

A copy of the text of the proposed temporary rule amendment can be found here:
11 NCAC 23G .0104- Proposed Temporary Rule Amendment.

WRITTEN COMMENTS

The Industrial Commission will accept written comments on the proposed temporary rule amendment from June 15, 2020 through July 8, 2020. Written comments may be sent to Gina Cammarano, Rulemaking Coordinator, via email at gina.cammarano@ic.nc.gov or via U.S. mail at 1240 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1240. Please note that emailing your written comments to Gina Cammarano is the preferred method at this time due to Industrial Commission staff working remotely, to the greatest extent possible, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PUBLIC HEARING

The Industrial Commission will hold a public hearing on this proposed temporary rule amendment on Thursday June 25, 2020 at 2 p.m. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the public hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is: 1-888-363-4735. The access code is: 4465746.
 

May 30, 2020 Update: Industrial Commission Mediation Policies as of June 1, 2020

Consistent with current directives and recommendations as detailed below, as of June 1, 2020, mediations in Industrial Commission cases may be conducted either in-person or remotely by consent, though mediators have been advised by the Dispute Resolution Commission that mediations shall, to the fullest extent possible, be conducted remotely.

In Industrial Commission cases where all parties have not consented to a remote mediation, any party may have the physical attendance requirement excused or modified by order of the Commission, pursuant to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104(b). The party seeking to have the physical attendance requirement excused or modified should file a motion pursuant to Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0104(b) and Rule 11 NCAC 23G .0111 and should address the motion to the Commission’s Dispute Resolution Coordinator, John Schafer.

Current Directives and Recommendations

Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order directed that all superior and district court proceedings be scheduled or rescheduled for a date no sooner than June 1, 2020, unless the proceeding is conducted remotely or unless another exception applies. The Dispute Resolution Commission thereafter advised that through May 31, 2020, mediations may be conducted remotely by consent; otherwise, the mediation should be scheduled or rescheduled for on or after June 1, 2020.

On May 14, 2020, the Dispute Resolution Commission transmitted a memo to all certified mediators concerning the safety of mediators and other participants and the recommended procedures to follow as of June 1, 2020. The memo advised that as of June 1, 2020, mediations may be conducted in-person or remotely by consent. The memo further stated, “Mediations shall, to the fullest extent possible, be conducted remotely via video or teleconference.” Additionally, the memo stated, “Any mediation conducted in person shall be done in strict compliance with all executive orders and social distancing requirements. All parties to the mediation shall use appropriate social distancing practices and safety procedures.”
 

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical-Motion Hearings) to Resume in June 2020 via Webex

The Commission is pleased to announce that Deputy Commissioners will resume hearing all types of workers’ compensation cases in June 2020 through the use of Webex technology. This policy is consistent with Chief Justice Cheri Beasley’s May 21, 2020 Order directing judicial officials to “make use of remote hearing technology to the greatest extent possible to limit in-person appearances” and will help prevent a future backlog of Deputy Commissioner cases.

June 2020 Docket

For cases on the June 2020 docket where both parties are represented, the parties may jointly request a Webex hearing by emailing the presiding Deputy Commissioner, and the Deputy Commissioner will make every effort to proceed with the Webex hearing in June. If the Deputy Commissioner is unable to hold the Webex hearing in June, the case will be set for a Webex hearing in July or as soon as possible thereafter.

Any case scheduled for June that is not heard via Webex will be continued to be reset on a future docket. A Continuance Order will not be filed in each case, but the parties will be notified via email or U.S. mail (if email is not available) that the case has been continued. There will be no in-person hearings held in June unless otherwise ordered by the Commission.

Note: The above applies to regular workers’ compensation hearings and NOT medical motion hearings arising under G.S. §97-25(f). For information regarding medical motion hearings, please see the prior announcement.

July 2020 and Future Dockets

Beginning in July of 2020 and continuing until further notice, the Commission plans to docket all Deputy Commissioner hearings as Webex hearings. If a party believes that a hearing should be held in-person while the State court system is under COVID-19 emergency directives, the party may file a motion for an in-person hearing with the presiding Deputy Commissioner. The moving party must show good cause as to why an in-person hearing should be allowed in light of the emergency directive to “make use of remote hearing technology to the greatest extent possible to limit in-person appearances.”

If a party believes that a case is neither appropriate for a Webex hearing nor appropriate to be heard in-person at the present time, the party may file a motion to temporarily remove the case from the hearing docket with the presiding Deputy Commissioner. Consistent with existing Commission procedure, if the motion is granted, the case will be removed for an indefinite period of time, and it will not be necessary to file a new Form 33 to return the case to the hearing docket. Upon notification to the Clerk’s Office by the party requesting the temporary removal, the case will be set on the next available hearing docket.

Webex Hearing Requirements

The Commission will need an email address and phone number for each person who will participate in the Webex hearing, including each witness who may be called to testify at the hearing. Each Webex hearing participant will be sent a Webex hearing invitation via email. The Webex hearing can be joined by clicking on a link in the email.

The only technological requirements for participation in a Webex hearing are an email address, a computer or other device (such as a tablet or smart phone) equipped with a camera, and an internet connection. A free Webex application is available to install on computers and other devices. The Webex application is not required to participate in the Webex hearing from a laptop or other computer, however the application is required when using a mobile device (such as an iPad or other tablet or an iPhone or other smartphone).

Hearing participants planning to join a Webex hearing from a desktop should confirm that the desktop is equipped with a camera. If the desktop does not have a built-in camera, a webcam can be attached to the desktop. Webcams are available for purchase online and at electronics stores.

Hearing participants experiencing poor audio quality (or who have no microphone on their computer or other device) may establish an audio connection using a mobile phone or land line. Note: Regardless of how a participant connects for purposes of audio, the participant must appear by video, and therefore a computer or other device equipped with a camera is required.
 

Policies as of June 1, 2020 for Full Commission Hearings, Deputy Commissioner Medical Motion Hearings, and Executive Secretary’s Office Informal Hearings

Full Commission Hearings

Full Commission oral arguments scheduled in June 2020 will be conducted by teleconference. The Full Commission panel chair will provide the parties with a toll-free number and access code to dial into the conference call.

Deputy Commissioner Medical Motion Hearings

Deputy Commissioner hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f) will be conducted in June 2020 with all parties appearing by teleconference, unless the Deputy Commissioner advises that the hearing will be conducted via Webex videoconference (details regarding Webex hearings will be provided in the near future). Based upon the parties’ stipulated facts and exhibits, the presiding Deputy Commissioner may excuse the parties from appearing at the G.S. §97-25(f) hearing if the parties and the Deputy Commissioner agree that no lay witnesses are needed to decide the case. If the parties are excused from appearing at the hearing because no lay witnesses are needed, the parties should proceed as usual with obtaining any expert medical testimony needed to close the record.

Executive Secretary’s Office Informal Hearings

Consistent with normal operating procedures, the Executive Secretary’s Office will conduct informal hearings by teleconference.
 

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings) and Mediation: Policies as of June 1, 2020 will be Announced Shortly

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings)

On May 21, 2020, Chief Justice Beasley directed judicial officials to “make use of remote hearing technology to the greatest extent possible to limit in-person appearances.” In light of this Order, the Commission is developing hearing polices for June 2020 and future months that will be announced shortly.

Mediation

The Dispute Resolution Commission is meeting on Thursday May 28, 2020, regarding remote attendance at mediation conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission will adopt mediation policies that are consistent with the policies of the Dispute Resolution Commission.
 

Transcript of May 6, 2020 Public Hearing on Proposed Rulemaking

The Commission held the Public Hearing on the proposed amendments to 11 NCAC 23A .0108, .0109, and .0302, 11 NCAC 23B .0104 and .0105, and 11 NCAC 23L .0101, .0102, .0103, and .0105 on May 6, 2020. Please click here to view a transcript of the public hearing.
 

Notice of Public Hearing

The Commission will hold a Public Hearing on proposed rulemaking at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Public Hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is 1-888-363-4735 and the access code is 4465746. Please click here for the Public Hearing Notice and Agenda.
 

Technical Amendments to Rules 11 NCAC 23E .0101 (Instructions for Filing a Petition for Rule-Making) and 11 NCAC 23E .0102 (Mailing List), Effective April 1, 2020

Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-21.5(a)(4), Rules 11 NCAC 23E .0101 (Instructions for Filing a Petition for Rule-Making) and 11 NCAC 23E .0102 (Mailing List) have been amended, effective April 1, 2020. The reason for these amendments was to correct the Mail Service Center address stated in these rules. Please click here for a copy of amended Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0101. Please click here for a copy of amended Rule 11 NCAC 23E .0102.
 

Technical Amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23A .0619 (Foreign Language and Sign Language Interpreters), Effective April 1, 2020

Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-21.5(a), Rule 11 NCAC 23A .0619 (Foreign Language and Sign Language Interpreters) has been amended, effective April 1, 2020. The reason for this amendment is that the rule contained outdated information with regard to: (1) the title of a publication of the Office of Administrative Courts; (2) the section number of the Code contained in this publication of the Office of Administrative Courts; and (3) the name of the Code contained in this publication of the Office of Administrative Courts. Please click here for a copy of the amended Rule.
 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking- Proposed Amendments: 11 NCAC 23A .0108, .0109, and .0302; 11 NCAC 23B .0104 and .0105; 11 NCAC 23L .0101, .0102, .0103, and .0105.

Please click here for the notice of proposed Industrial Commission Rulemaking published April 15, 2020 in the North Carolina Register (Volume 34, Issue 20).

The Industrial Commission will accept written comments from April 15, 2020 through June 15, 2020. Written comments may be sent to Gina Cammarano, Rulemaking Coordinator,via e-mail at gina.cammarano@ic.nc.gov or via U.S. mail at 1240 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1240.

The Industrial Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule amendments on May 6, 2020 at 2 p.m. Out of an abundance of caution and to address protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the public hearing will be held via teleconference only instead of being held in person. The teleconference phone number is: 1-888-363-4735. The access code is: 4465746.
 

Extended Compensation Claims – Mediation Requirements Update

Based upon stakeholder feedback and effective immediately, extended compensation claims pursuant to G.S. 97-29(c) will be ordered into mediation under the same procedures that are applicable to other claims upon the filing of a Form 33 Request for Hearing.
 

COVID-19 FILING REQUIREMENTS: EDFP, EDI, AND ALL OTHER RULE 108 FILING REQUIREMENTS REMAIN IN EFFECT

For the Commission to efficiently process forms and other filings while working remotely, it is essential that all filers comply with Rule 11 NCAC 23A .0108 when filing forms and other documents.

Represented parties and Insurance Carriers/TPAs/Self-Insured Employers are required to file forms and documents electronically via EDFP, with the following limited exceptions:

  1. A Form 19 (in which case you are required to file the Form 19 via EDI, unless an exception listed in Paragraph (d) applies);
  2. A form or document listed in Table 1 of 11 NCAC 23A .0108; or
  3. A Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Click here for more information and guidance on the rule requirements.
 

COVID-19 Response: Written Affirmation Without Notarization Allowed

In order to protect public health and safety by encouraging social distancing, and in light of Emergency Directive 5 contained in Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order, the Industrial Commission has adopted the following policy, effective immediately and continuing until further notice:

When it is required that any pleading, motion, petition, supporting affidavit, or other document of any kind to be filed at the Industrial Commission be verified, or that an oath be taken, it shall be sufficient if the subscriber affirms the truth of the matter to be verified by an affirmation or representation in substantially the following language: “I(we) affirm, under the penalties for perjury, that the foregoing representation(s) is(are) true. (Signed)_____________________.”
 

COVID-19 Update: Parties Must Appear Remotely for Mediations Conducted Prior to June 1, 2020

Consistent with Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order, all mediations held in Industrial Commission cases prior to June 1, 2020 shall be conducted with all parties appearing remotely or, in the alternative, be rescheduled for a date on or after June 1, 2020. If all parties do not consent to appear remotely, then the mediation must be rescheduled for a date on or after June 1, 2020.
 

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Hearing Policies Through May 31, 2020

In order to protect public health and safety, and in light of Chief Justice Beasley’s April 2, 2020 Order requiring local courts to schedule or reschedule most cases in district and superior court for a date no sooner than June 1, 2020, the Industrial Commission has instituted the following policies, effective immediately and continuing through May 31, 2020.

Full Commission Hearings

All Full Commission oral arguments will be conducted by conference call. The Full Commission panel chair will provide the parties with a toll-free number and access code to dial into the conference call. All oral arguments that are normally recorded will continue to be recorded by a court reporter.

Deputy Commissioner Hearings (Non-Medical Motion Hearings)

All Deputy Commissioner hearings scheduled to be heard in April or May of 2020 will be continued to be reset on a future docket, with the exception of hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f) or unless the parties are notified otherwise.

Deputy Commissioner Hearings on Medical Motions

Deputy Commissioner hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f), which are statutorily required to be held within 30 days of the filing of the motion or appeal, will not be continued. Through the end of May 2020, these hearings will be conducted with all parties appearing remotely. The Deputy Commissioner before whom the hearing is scheduled may excuse the parties from appearing at the G.S. §97-25(f) hearing if the parties and the Deputy Commissioner agree that no lay witnesses are needed to decide the case, based on the parties’ stipulated facts and exhibits. If the parties are excused from appearing at the hearing because no lay witnesses are needed, the parties should proceed as usual with obtaining any expert medical testimony needed to close the record.

Executive Secretary Hearings

Consistent with existing procedure, all informal telephonic hearings conducted by the Executive Secretary’s Office will be by conference call.
 

COVID-19 Policy Update Regarding Electronic Signatures

In response to feedback from stakeholders, the Industrial Commission is now accepting all agreements that have been signed by one or more parties via DocuSign or a similar vendor that provides a graphic image of a signature placed on a document using secure software that verifies the identity of the user.
 

Pamela Young Returns to Commission as Chief Operating Officer

The Industrial Commission’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Tyler, recently accepted an opportunity to join the senior leadership team at the North Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI) as the Department’s Chief Operating Officer. During his time at the Commission, Mr. Tyler made significant contributions to the daily operations of the Commission, as well as to several important special projects, including the development of a new legal case management system. The Commission will continue to work closely with Mr. Tyler in his new role at DOI.

The Commission is pleased to announce that Pamela Young will return to the Commission as its new Chief Operating Officer starting today. Ms. Young, an attorney, previously served the Commission for over 17 years as a Deputy Commissioner, Commissioner, Vice-Chair and Chair. Most recently, Ms. Young served as Director of Customer Compliance Services at the Division of Motor Vehicles. She previously served as Director of External Affairs in the Office of the Chancellor at North Carolina Central University, as well as Adjunct Professor of Law at North Carolina Central University School of Law. With her understanding of the Commission and State government management experience, Ms. Young will be a great asset to the Commission.
 

Industrial Commission Request to Attorneys Working Remotely

The Executive Secretary’s Office has been receiving a high volume of phone calls from legal assistants inquiring about the status of orders in cases where the orders already have been emailed to the attorneys. The Commission requests that attorneys working remotely please advise their assistants when orders are received. In the alternative, the Commission will transmit orders to both the attorney and the legal assistant if both email addresses are provided on the proposed order.
 

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Secure Leave Policy

The Industrial Commission recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic will result in attorneys having to reschedule vacations, non-emergency medical procedures, and other plans for which secure leave was obtained. The rescheduled plans may then fall within the same calendar year for which three weeks of secure leave already has been granted and/or may not be known until less than 90 days before the requested secure leave period. Any attorney faced with this situation may file a motion under 11 NCAC 23E .0301 (Waiver of Rules) asking for a waiver or variance of the requirements or provisions of 11 NCAC 23E .0104 (Secure Leave Period for Attorneys). This motion should be filed in conjunction with the new secure leave written request.
 

Industrial Commission Accepting Agreements Signed Via DocuSign

The Industrial Commission has received inquiries about allowing employees to sign agreements via DocuSign in order to encourage social distancing. Because DocuSign is widely used in the North Carolina legal community for agreements and other transactions, the Industrial Commission is accepting all agreements that have been signed by one or more parties via DocuSign. This includes, but is not limited to, Compromise Settlement Agreements, Form 26As and other Form agreements, and Consent Agreements. An employee himself or herself must sign via DocuSign; an employee’s attorney cannot sign via DocuSign on behalf of an employee.
 

COVID-19 Response: Industrial Commission Filing Deadline Policy

The Industrial Commission has received some inquiries from attorneys regarding its current filing deadline policy. At this time, the Commission has not granted an automatic, blanket extension of filing deadlines for the following reasons:

  1. Parties may utilize the Industrial Commission’s Electronic Document Filing Portal (“EDFP”) to electronically file forms, responses, briefs, contentions, proposed opinions and awards/decisions and orders, proposed orders, and all other filings or documents to which a filing deadline applies. (Any attorney who is not registered to utilize EDFP but wishes to do so can find EDFP Registration Instructions by clicking here: www.ic.nc.gov/EDFPregistrationinstructions.pdf);
  2. The Industrial Commission continues to allow pro se plaintiffs and pro se non-insured employers to file all documents by facsimile, U.S. Mail, private courier service, or hand delivery; and
  3. Any party wishing to obtain an extension of a filing deadline for a reason related to COVID-19, or otherwise for good cause, may file a motion for an extension of time as allowed by applicable rules and statutes.

COVID-19 Response: Telehealth Coverage and Billing

The Industrial Commission has received several inquiries from health care providers regarding telehealth visits in lieu of in-person office visits, in light of health and safety concerns about COVID-19 transmission raised by nurse case managers, injured employees, and the health care providers. Please click here for answers to the most frequently asked questions about the telehealth visits.
 

COVID-19 Response: Medical Motion Hearings To Be Conducted Remotely

Effective March 23, 2020, and continuing through the end of April 2020, the Commission’s COVID-19 procedure for medical motion hearings arising under G.S. §97-25(f) is amended as follows:

All medical motion hearings before Deputy Commissioners shall be conducted with the parties appearing remotely. The presiding Deputy Commissioner will provide the parties a toll-free number and access code to dial into the remote hearing. Consistent with existing procedure, hearing testimony will be recorded by a court reporter.

Upon approval by the Deputy Commissioner, the parties will not be required to appear remotely if they stipulate that no lay witness testimony is necessary or agree to take any needed lay witness testimony by deposition. In such cases, the parties shall submit a Pre-Trial Agreement and a set of stipulated exhibits, and then proceed to take medical depositions.

Parties are strongly encouraged to explore options to avoid the necessity of appearing remotely by stipulating to facts in the Pre-Trial Agreement and/or by agreeing to take any needed lay witness testimony by deposition.
 

How to Contact the Claims Section and Information Specialists During COVID-19 State of Emergency

Claims Section

If you need to reach a member of the Claims Section, please call 919-716-1700 and follow the prompts for the Claims Section. You may also email your inquiry to claimsadm@ic.nc.gov.

Information Specialists

If you need to reach an Information Specialist, please call 919-716-1700 or 800-688-8349 and follow the prompt for the Information Specialist Section. You may also email your inquiry to infospec@ic.nc.gov.
 

COVID-19 Mediation Policy Revision: Parties Must Appear Remotely for Mediations Conducted Prior to April 13, 2020

Consistent with Chief Justice Beasley’s emergency directive and in light of new guidance from the NC Dispute Resolution Commission, all mediations held in Industrial Commission cases prior to April 13, 2020 shall be conducted with all parties appearing remotely or, in the alternative, be rescheduled for a date on or after April 13, 2020. If all parties do not consent to appear remotely, then the mediation must be rescheduled for a date on or after April 13, 2020.
 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response: Industrial Commission Mediation Policy

Effective immediately and continuing until further notice, the Industrial Commission will liberally grant the following types of motions:

  1. Motions for an extension of time to complete a mediation to allow all mediation participants to safely appear in person at the mediation; and
  2. Motions to allow one or more parties to participate in a mediation via telephone or video conference.
IC Staff Working Remotely; Email Communication Encouraged

In light of Governor Cooper’s March 10, 2020 State of Emergency declaration regarding COVID-19 and consistent with guidance issued by the NC Department of Human Resources, the Industrial Commission is encouraging its staff to work remotely to the greatest extent possible. The Commission remains open for business but encourages you to contact Commission staff by email instead of by phone. Commission employees working remotely have easy and quick access to their email inbox on their laptops and other devices. By contrast, they do not have real time access to office phone calls when working remotely, and their voicemail messages are not forwarded to their personal phones. Email addresses can be found by going under the “Sections” tab on the Commission’s Home Page and clicking on the appropriate section of the Commission. The Commission is committed to continuing to serve you during this challenging time and appreciates your understanding and assistance.
 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response: Industrial Commission Hearing Policies

In order to protect public health and safety, and in light of Chief Justice Beasley’s March 13, 2020 Order requiring local courts to postpone most cases in district and superior court for at least 30 days, the Industrial Commission has instituted the following policies for hearings, effective immediately and continuing until further notice. These policies apply to all hearings that are scheduled to take place on or after Monday, March 16, 2020:

Deputy Commissioner Hearings

With the exception of hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f), all Deputy Commissioner hearings scheduled to be heard in March or April of 2020 will be continued to be reset on the next available docket, unless the parties are notified otherwise. Deputy Commissioner hearings on medical motions arising under G.S. §97-25(f), which are statutorily required to be held within 30 days of the filing of the motion or appeal, will not be continued. The Deputy Commissioner before whom the hearing is scheduled may, however, excuse the parties from appearing at the G.S. §97-25(f) hearing if the parties and the Deputy Commissioner agree that no lay witnesses are needed to decide the case, based on the parties’ stipulated facts and exhibits. If the parties are excused from appearing at the hearing because no lay witnesses are needed, the parties should proceed as usual with obtaining any expert medical testimony needed to close the record.
 

Full Commission Hearings

All Full Commission oral arguments will be conducted by conference call. The Full Commission panel chair will provide the parties with a toll-free number and access code to dial into the conference call. Consistent with existing procedure, all oral arguments will continue to be recorded by a court reporter, with the exception of medical motion oral arguments made pursuant to 11 NCAC 23A .0609A(h).
 

Executive Secretary Hearings

Consistent with existing procedure, all informal telephonic hearings conducted by the Executive Secretary’s Office will be by conference call.
 

Commission Formulating COVID-19 Hearing Policies

In light of the North Carolina Judicial Branch’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Industrial Commission is in the process of formulating policies for cases before the Executive Secretary’s Office, Deputy Commissioner Section, and Full Commission. The Commission anticipates posting these policies on its website by 5:00 p.m. today.
 

Wanda Blanche Taylor Appointed to the Industrial Commission

Governor Roy Cooper has nominated Wanda Blanche Taylor for appointment as a Commissioner to the North Carolina Industrial Commission for a six-year term, pending confirmation by the North Carolina General Assembly. Ms. Taylor is a native of Plymouth, North Carolina. She is a Fellow of the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and received her Juris Doctor at the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate degree at Duke University. Currently, Ms. Taylor is the Director of Litigation/Counsel at Key Risk Insurance (a Berkley Company), and she also serves as a member of the North Carolina Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners. Ms. Taylor is a former Chief Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, where she served as an adjudicator for twenty years. She also has represented both employees and employers/insurers in private practice.
 

Extended Compensation Claims – Form 33 Update

Based upon stakeholder feedback, the Commission has reverted to using the prior version of the Form 33 Request for Hearing that does not contain a checkbox notifying the Commission that the request for hearing is based upon a claim under G.S. 97-29(c) for extended compensation.
 

Extended Compensation Claims – Form 33 Update and Mediation Requirements

The Form 33 Request for Hearing has been updated to allow a party to indicate that a claim for extended compensation is being filed pursuant to G.S. 97-29(c). In addition, a new document type, “Form 33- Request for Extended Compensation,” has been added to the EDFP menu.

Claimants seeking a determination of entitlement to extended compensation prior to reaching the 500-week limitation should timely file a claim when eligible pursuant to G.S. 97-29(c). Given the statutory period between eligibility to file a claim for extended compensation and the 500-week limitation, parties will not be ordered into mediation when a claim for extended compensation is filed, and the claim will proceed to a hearing. However, parties are encouraged to mediate either before or after the hearing if the parties believe mediation may be fruitful in resolving the claim.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Transcript of January 30, 2020 Public Hearing on Proposed Rulemaking

The Commission held the Public Hearing on the proposed adoption of 11 NCAC 23B .0106 and proposed amendments to 11 NCAC 23A .0104, .0408, .0409, .0501, .0903, 11 NCAC 23E .0104, and 11 NCAC 23L .0103 on January 30, 2020. Please click here to view a transcript of the public hearing.
 

Notice of Public Hearing

The Commission will hold a Public Hearing on proposed rulemaking at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 30, 2020 in Room 240, Second Floor of the NC Department of Insurance located in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh NC 27603. Please click here for the Public Hearing Notice and Agenda.
 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - Proposed Adoption: 11 NCAC 23B .0106; Proposed Amendments: 11 NCAC 23A .0104, .0408, .0409, .0501, .0903, 11 NCAC 23E .0104, and 11 NCAC 23L .0103

Please click here for the notice of proposed Industrial Commission Rulemaking published January 15, 2020 in the North Carolina Register (Volume 34, Issue 14).

The Industrial Commission will accept written comments from January 15, 2020 through March 16, 2020. Written comments may be sent to Gina Cammarano, Rulemaking Coordinator,via e-mail at gina.cammarano@ic.nc.gov or via U.S. mail at 1240 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1240.

The Industrial Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed rule adoption and proposed rule amendments on January 30, 2020 at 2 p.m. in Room 240 on the 2nd floor of the Department of Insurance located in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh NC 27603. 

Notice of Meeting

The Commissioners will convene at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, to receive an update on the new legal case management system. The case management core team will request input from the Commissioners on the project deliverables. Click here for additional information.
 

Notice of Meeting—New Location and Revised Tentative Agenda

The Commissioners' Meeting scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 31, 2019, has been moved to the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. The tentative agenda also has been revised from the original posting. Please click here for more information.
 

Tim Frost Joins Commission as Chief Information Officer

The Industrial Commission is pleased to announce that Tim Frost will join the Commission as its Chief Information Officer (CIO). Mr. Frost graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA, majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Information Systems. Mr. Frost has over 20 years of IT experience in both the private and public sectors. For the last 13 years, Mr. Frost has served the North Carolina Department of Transportation in multiple roles, including application development, project management, and data analytics and reporting. Mr. Frost is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).
 

Technical Amendment to Rule 11 NCAC 23A .0406 (Discount rate to be
used in determining commuted values
), Effective October 1, 2019

Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-21.5(a)(4), Rule 11 NCAC 23A .0406 (Discount rate to be used in determining commuted values) has been amended, effective October 1, 2019. The only amendment made to the Rule was an amendment to correctly reflect the Internal Revenue Service's website address for obtaining a copy of the Index of Applicable Federal Rate (AFR) Rulings. The correct website address, as reflected in the amended Rule, is https://apps.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/federalRates.html. Please click here for a copy of the amended Rule.
 

Industrial Commission Releases 2019 Annual Report

The Commission has released its 2019 Annual Report. Please click here to view the 2019 Annual Report. Please click here to view Addendum A to the 2019 Annual Report. Please click here to view Addendum B to the 2019 Annual Report.
 

Formation of Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division

As part of the Commission’s commitment to investigating fraud by claimants and noninsured employers under the Workers’ Compensation Act and investigating reports of employee misclassification under the Employee Fair Classification Act, and to improve compliance with statutory mandates, the Commission’s Employee Classification Section now operates under the newly formed Criminal Investigations & Employee Classification Division. This reorganization provides expanded resources to investigate allegations of employee misclassification.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commissioners will convene during the 24th Annual N.C. Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, October 3, 2019, for team building and to receive information regarding implementation of the case management system and other pertinent matters from the Chief Operating Officer. Click here for additional information.
 

24th Annual N.C. Workers' Compensation Educational Conference
Will Be Held on Wednesday-Friday, October 2-4, 2019

Raleigh Convention Center Registration is now open for the 24th Annual North Carolina Workers' Compensation Educational Conference, which will take place on Wednesday-Friday, October 2-4, 2019, at the Raleigh Convention Center. The conference is presented by the North Carolina Industrial Commission, in association with the International Workers' Compensation Foundation.

The program provides valuable information of particular importance for employers, insurance adjusters, self-insurers, third-party administrators, safety and human resource managers, plaintiff and defense attorneys, health care providers, mediators, medical and rehabilitation providers, and anyone with a professional interest in the North Carolina workers' compensation system. Application is pending for continuing education credits for attorneys (CLE); paralegals (CPE); carriers (CE credit); human resources professionals (SHRM); and rehabilitation providers (CEU for CRC, CDMS, and CCM). COHNs, CRRNs, and any other discipline will be provided, upon request, with a certificate of completion for credit submission.

The conference includes an exhibit hall, as well as networking and sponsorship opportunities.

To register and for additional details, download the conference brochure by clicking here.

For more information on the conference and to register in advance, please contact Jeanne Bush or Eric Oxfeld at the International Workers' Compensation Foundation office by telephone at (386) 677-0041, fax at (386) 677-0155, or e-mail at IWCF@bellsouth.net.
 

Erin F. Taylor Appointed to Serve as Deputy Commissioner

The Industrial Commission is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin F. Taylor as a Deputy Commissioner. Ms. Taylor has an extensive background in workers’ compensation law, having practiced for over 20 years as a workers’ compensation attorney at the law firm of Cranfill, Sumner & Hartzog, LLP. Her areas of workers’ compensation expertise include asbestos-related claims and other occupational diseases. Ms. Taylor has been a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars, where she has presented on a variety of workers’ compensation topics, including return to work issues, communications with medical providers, case law updates, and Medicare issues. She earned her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law, where she was an academic scholarship recipient. Ms. Taylor will be hearing cases assigned to the Charlotte Regional Office.
 

General Assembly Confirms Ken Goodman's Appointment to Industrial Commission

On April 18, 2019, the General Assembly confirmed Governor Cooper's appointment of Ken Goodman to the Industrial Commission, effective May 1, 2019. Representative Goodman, a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives in his fifth term, is a former business owner from Rockingham, North Carolina. He is actively involved in a number of civic organizations and served as a Board Member of the Richmond Community College Foundation. From 1969 until 1975, Goodman served in the Army National Guard. Commissioner Goodman's term will expire April 30, 2025.
 

General Assembly Confirms James Gillen's Appointment to Industrial Commission

On April 18, 2019, the General Assembly confirmed James Gillen's appointment to a vacant seat on the Industrial Commission. Governor Roy Cooper nominated Gillen for the position following Gillen's extensive service to the Commission. A Deputy Commissioner since 2005, Gillen previously worked as an Agency Legal Specialist and Special Deputy Commissioner for the Commission. He received his B.A. degree in English from North Carolina State University in 1991 and his J.D. degree from Campbell University in 1994. Commissioner Gillen's term will expire June 30, 2024.
 

Commission Closing Greenville Regional Office, Will Continue to Hold Hearings in Greenville

After careful consideration, the Industrial Commission will close its Greenville Regional Office, effective June 28, 2019. The Commission will continue to serve the citizens of Eastern North Carolina by holding hearings in the Greenville area, and litigant travel time to hearings will not be affected. Deputy Commissioners Thomas H. Perlungher and Kevin V. Howell will transfer from the Greenville Office to the Commission's main office in Raleigh, which will allow them to report to an office closer to home and/or satisfy a preference for office location. In addition, the office closure will result in cost savings for the Commission.
 

Changes to Tort Rules, Effective March 21, 2019

On December 13, 2018, the Rules Review Commission approved amendments to Rules 11 NCAC 23B .0206 and .0503 and the repeal of 11 NCAC 23B .0207. However, the rules received more than ten letters of objection, resulting in legislative review, pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-21.3. No bills objecting to the rules were filed, making the rule changes effective March 21, 2019, the 31st legislative day of Session. Please click here for a copy of the rules.
 

Vicki Hewitt-McNeil Joins Commission as Medical Rehabilitation Nurse Consultant

The Industrial Commission is pleased to announce that Vicki Hewitt-McNeil has joined the Commission as a Medical Rehabilitation Nurse Consultant. The Commission's Medical Rehabilitation Nurse Consultant is available to provide temporary assistance in cases with difficult medical challenges, thus supporting ongoing case management efforts provided by private industry. The Nurse Consultant will also perform specific rehabilitation activities as ordered by hearing officers within the Commission. Ms. Hewitt has been a registered nurse for more than 25 years and has been a certified case manager advocating for injured workers in the workers' compensation system for 12 years. She is also certified in working with traumatic brain injuries and other catastrophic injuries. In addition, Ms. Hewitt has significant experience with URAC Accreditation, Quality Management Programs, Safety Programs, HIPAA Compliance, and Nursing Education.
 

Mark Tyler Joins Commission as Chief Operating Officer

The Industrial Commission is pleased to announce that Mark Tyler has joined the Commission as its Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Tyler brings 26 years of North Carolina State government experience to the Commission in the areas of finance and budget, strategic planning, performance management, project management, and information technology. Most recently, Mr. Tyler served as the Director of Strategy Research and Planning for the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles. Previously, Mr. Tyler served as the Director of Budget and Planning for the Department of Insurance and as the Director of Administrative Analysis for the Department of Public Safety. Mr. Tyler received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University.
 

Melanie Wade Goodwin to Serve as Chief Deputy Commissioner,
Robert J. Harris to Serve as Senior Deputy Commissioner

Beginning March 1, 2019, Melanie Wade Goodwin will serve the Commission as Chief Deputy Commissioner. Goodwin, who earned her J.D. from Campbell University School of Law, will bring years of experience to the role, having served as a Deputy Commissioner since 2011. The Commission thanks Sumit Gupta for his dedication and significant contributions to the Commission as Chief Deputy Commissioner, as well as for the contributions he will continue to make as he returns to the courtroom.

Additionally, Robert J. Harris will begin serving as Senior Deputy Commissioner effective March 1, 2019. In this role, he will assist Chief Deputy Commissioner Goodwin and will oversee the administration of tort claims in Raleigh and the regional offices. Harris, a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law, has served the Commission in various capacities since 2003.
 

Changes to Tort Claims Rules, Effective March 1, 2019

On February 21, 2019, the Rules Review Commission approved changes to rules governing claims brought pursuant to the State Tort Claims Act. Please click here to view an annotated version of the approved rules. The changes will be effective March 1, 2019.

The rule changes implement a new form, the T-42, Application for Appointment of Guardian ad Litem. Additionally, the T-1, Affidavit; T-3, Release of Tort Claim; and T-44, Application for Review have been updated to reflect new instructions and filing requirements required by the rule changes. All Industrial Commission forms are available here.
 

Chairman Allen's Law Clerks Are Now Cara Byrne and Brian Liebman

Effective February 4, 2019, Cara Byrne and Brian Liebman will serve as Law Clerks to Chairman Charlton L. Allen. Byrne has previously served the Industrial Commission as a law clerk to Commissioner A. Robinson "Robby" Hassell. Byrne is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Liebman has previously served the Industrial Commission as a Special Deputy Commissioner in the Deputy Commissioner Section. Prior to that, Liebman served as a law clerk in the chambers of the Hon. Robert N. Hunter, Jr. of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Liebman is a graduate of North Carolina State University and earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
 

Tammy R. Nance Appointed as Deputy Commissioner

Chairman Charlton L. Allen is pleased to announce that Tammy R. Nance has returned to the North Carolina Industrial Commission to serve as a Deputy Commissioner. Deputy Commissioner Nance previously served as a Deputy Commissioner from 1987 to 1995 and then as a Commissioner on the Full Commission from 2011 to 2018. Please click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Commission Adopts Changes to Rules Governing State Tort Claims

On January 17, 2019, the Industrial Commission formally adopted changes to rules governing claims brought pursuant to the State Tort Claims Act. The rules as adopted by the Commission are available here. The Rules Review Commission will consider the rules at its February meeting.
 

Industrial Commission Continues to Focus on Combatting Fraud and Noncompliance: FY 2018-19 First and Second Quarter Update

The Industrial Commission's Compliance and Fraud Investigative Division continues to identify businesses out of compliance with the Workers' Compensation Act. Please click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Governor Cooper Nominates James C. Gillen to the North Carolina Industrial Commission

Governor Roy Cooper has nominated James C. Gillen for appointment as a Commissioner to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, pending confirmation by the North Carolina General Assembly. Deputy Commissioner Gillen will continue to serve in his current position until his confirmation process is complete and he has been sworn in. For a brief biography of DC Gillen, please click here.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, 2019 in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Layla Santa Rosa Appointed Deputy Commissioner

Chairman Charlton Allen is pleased to announce the appointment of Layla T. Santa Rosa as a Deputy Commissioner. DC Santa Rosa has served the Industrial Commission for many years in diverse roles, working as a Special Deputy Commissioner in the Executive Secretary's Office and also with the Full Commission, serving as Law Clerk to former Commissioner Tammy R. Nance and Chairman Allen. DC Santa Rosa also practiced workers' compensation law for six years as a Senior Associate with a law firm in Wake County. She is a graduate of Peace College and earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
 

"Group 2" Permanent Rule Changes, Effective January 1, 2019

On December 13, 2018, the Rules Review Commission approved all proposed changes to the "Group 2" Workers' Compensation Rules and the Public Safety Employees' Death Benefits Act Rules as adopted by the Industrial Commission. Please click here to view an annotated version of the approved rules. For the convenience of the Commission's stakeholders, an overview of the substantive changes is available here. The changes will be effective January 1, 2019.

On the same day, the Rules Review Commission approved proposed changes to rules governing the State Tort Claims Act. However, the Tort Rules received more than ten letters of objection. As a result, the rules are subject to legislative review pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-21.3. An annotated version of the Tort Rules is available here.
 

Inclement Weather Notice

Please be advised that, due to inclement weather, certain North Carolina Industrial Commission functions may be disrupted over the next few days. In the event of inclement weather, please call the Industrial Commission Inclement Weather Hearing Cancellation Hotline at (919) 807-2600 for updates on any hearing cancellations.
 

Congratulations to Judge Brian Ratledge

The Industrial Commission's General Counsel, Brian Ratledge, was recently elected to serve as a Wake County District Court Judge. Brian has been the Commission's General Counsel since January 2017. The Governor has appointed Brian to fill a judicial vacancy, so his last day at the Commission was November 30, 2018. While the Commission will miss his wise legal advice and sense of humor, we wish him the best of luck in this next chapter.
 

"Group 1" Permanent Rule Changes, Effective December 1, 2018

On November 15, 2018, the Rules Review Commission ("RRC") approved amendments to Rules 11 NCAC 23A .0101, .0102, .0103, .0108, .0302, .0411, .0503, .0602, .0603, .0608, .0609A, .0610, and .0611. The RRC also approved the repeal of Rule 11 NCAC 23A .0618. Please click here to view an annotated version of the approved rules, detailing all amendments. For the convenience of the Commission's stakeholders, an overview of the substantive changes is available here. The changes will go into effect December 1, 2018.
 

Commission Adopts Changes to "Group 2" Rules and Public Safety Employees' Death Benefits Act Rules

On November 19, 2018, the Industrial Commission formally adopted changes to the "Group 2" Workers' Compensation Rules and Tort Rules. The Group 2 Rules as adopted by the Commission are available here. Amendments made in response to public comments are highlighted. The Rules Review Commission will consider the proposed changes at its December meeting.

Additionally, the Commission adopted changes to the Public Safety Employees' Death Benefits Act Rules under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 150B-21.5(a). The amendments reflect the title of the Act being changed from the Law Enforcement Officers', Firemen's, Rescue Squad Workers' and Civil Air Patrol Members' Death Benefits Act to the Public Safety Employees' Death Benefits Act. The Rules Review Commission will also consider these proposed amendments at its December meeting. The proposed changes are available here.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, November 19, 2018 in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Health Care Providers Must Review the Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS) When Prescribing a Targeted Controlled Substance

Health care providers must now review the CSRS when prescribing a targeted controlled substance to an injured worker with a workers' compensation claim. The health care provider must also document in the injured worker's medical record the review and any potential contraindications to prescribing a targeted controlled substance found in the CSRS.

North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules 11 NCAC 23M .0201(k), .0202(k), and .0203(k) provide the specific review requirements health care providers must follow. The Executive Summary of the North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules for the Utilization of Opioids, Related Prescriptions, and Pain Management in Workers' Compensation Claims may found here.
 

Controlled Substances Reporting System Review Requirements Become Effective November 1, 2018

Beginning on November 1, 2018, health care providers will be required to review the Controlled Substances Reporting System (“CSRS”) when prescribing a targeted controlled substance to an injured worker with a workers' compensation claim. Click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Commissioner Causey Approves Decrease to Workers' Compensation Rates

North Carolina business owners may soon enjoy lower operating costs. On October 19, 2018, Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey approved an average 17.2 percent rate decrease for workers' compensation insurance to be effective April 1, 2019. Click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Mediation Rates Continue to Impress in FY 2017-18

The Mediation Section continues to empower parties in pending cases before the Industrial Commission to take an active role in the resolution of their disputes and, where possible, minimize the need for hearings and appeals. In FY 2017-18, the settlement rate at mediation exceeded 72.5% for the fourth straight fiscal year. Over 9,500 cases were referred to mediation, of which 72.91% were settled at mediation conferences. The overall settlement rate of cases was 76.02%. Prior to FY 2014-15, the annual settlement rate at mediation conferences exceeded 72.5% only once during the initial 20 years of the Commission's Mediation Program. The FY 2017-18 numbers demonstrate the success and resiliency of the Program even in the face of significant changes in the workers' compensation field.
 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: 11 NCAC 23B and 11 NCAC 23L Rules

Please click here to view a notice regarding two proposed adoptions, 15 proposed amendments, and two proposed repeals for rules governing State tort claims. The notice includes the text of the proposed rules, the public hearing time, and information on how to submit public comments.

The Commission held the public hearing on November 29, 2018. Please click here to view a transcript of the public hearing.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

The Employee Classification Section's Efforts Continue to Produce Results in FY 2017-18

In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the Employee Classification Section's work with the Compliance and Fraud Investigation Section of the North Carolina Industrial Commission to identify businesses engaged in employee misclassification resulted in the assessment of over $4.5 million in penalties. There were $576,501 in adjustments, and the Commission collected $611,742 of the penalties assessed. The remaining $3.3 million in assessments are pending and/or in litigation within the Industrial Commission.

The Employee Classification Section also continues to work with the United States Department of Labor, the NC Division of Employment Security, the N.C. Department of Labor, and the N.C. Department of Revenue to identify noncompliant businesses. For more information on the Employee Classification Section and how to report employee misclassification, click here.
 

Proposed Decrease to Workers' Compensation Insurance Rates

On August 29, 2018, the North Carolina Rate Bureau filed a proposed average 17.2 percent decrease in its residual market rate filing. As part of the proposed decrease, the Rate Bureau proposed a 15.9 percent decrease in loss costs, one of the key variables used to calculate insurance rates. For more information, click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Industrial Commission Focuses on Combating Fraud and Noncompliance:
Over 600 Charges Issued and Over $8 Million in Penalties Collected

The North Carolina Industrial Commission's Compliance and Fraud Investigative Division is continuing to proactively identify businesses out of compliance with the Workers' Compensation Act at an unprecedented rate. Please click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Controlled Substances Reporting System Review Requirements
for Health Care Providers Become Effective November 1st

Beginning on November 1, 2018, health care providers will be required to review the Controlled Substances Reporting System ("CSRS") when prescribing a targeted controlled substance to an injured worker with a workers' compensation claim. Health care providers must document in the injured worker's medical record the review and any potential contraindications to prescribing a targeted controlled substance found in the CSRS. The relevant North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules are 11 NCAC 23M .0201(k), .0202(k), and .0203(k).

For more information on the North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules for the Utilization of Opioids, Related Prescriptions, and Pain Management in Workers' Compensation Claims and the Companion Guide, please click here.
 

Industrial Commission Releases Fiscal Year 2017-18 Annual Report

The Commission has released its Fiscal Year 2017-18 Annual Report. Please click here to view the report.
 

Final Order Signed in Litigation Over Commission's Medical Fee Schedule

On September 18, 2018, Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway signed an order affirming the December 14, 2015 Declaratory Ruling of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, ending years-long litigation concerning the Commission's Medical Fee Schedule. For more information, click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Chairman Allen Announces 20/20 Technology Initiative

To improve efficiency and enhance customer service, the Industrial Commission has established goals designed to update and improve the Industrial Commission's public-facing technology. In the coming years, the Commission will embrace technological advances, which will improve efficiency and enhance customer service for attorneys, parties, and other stakeholders. Most importantly, the Industrial Commission will implement a 21st-century case management system, making it easier for our stakeholders to file documents and track the status of their pending cases. Using state-of-the-art modalities, this plan will improve the Commission's current practices to be more responsive to the public's needs. Updates on Chairman Allen's 20/20 Technology Initiative will be posted on the Industrial Commission's website and the Industrial Commission's Twitter account, @IC_NC_GOV.
 

Industrial Commission Inclement Weather Hearing Cancellation Hotline

Please be advised that, due to the continuing impact of Hurricane Florence, certain North Carolina Industrial Commission functions may be disrupted over the next few days. In the event of inclement weather, please call the Industrial Commission Inclement Weather Hearing Cancellation Hotline at (919) 807-2600 for updates on any hearing cancellations.
 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: 11 NCAC 23A Group 2 Rules and 11 NCAC 23B Rules

Please click here to view a notice regarding two proposed adoptions and nine amendments for rules governing workers' compensation claims, as well as two amendments and one repeal for rules governing State tort claims. The notice includes the text of the proposed rules, the public hearing time, and information on how to submit public comments.

The Commission held the public hearing on Wednesday, October 31, 2018. Please click here to view a transcript of the public hearing.

Click here to review the public comments received. The Commission will accept written comments until November 16, 2018.
 

A. Robinson "Robby" Hassell Appointed to the Industrial Commission

Effective August 16, 2018, Governor Roy Cooper appointed A. Robinson "Robby" Hassell as a Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission on an urgent basis, pending confirmation by the General Assembly. Before his appointment as Commissioner, Hassell served as an Emergency Superior Court Judge. Robby Hassell received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Governor Cooper appointed Hassell to the seat of former Commissioner Tammy R. Nance.
 

Notice of Industrial Commission Rulemaking: 11 NCAC 23A Group 1 Rules

Please click here to view a notice regarding thirteen proposed amendments and one proposed repeal for rules governing workers' compensation claims. The notice includes the text of the proposed rules, the public hearing time, and information on how to submit public comments.

The Commission held the public hearing on Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Please click here to view a transcript of the public hearing.
 

Workers' Compensation Fraud Case Uncovered in Craven County

Kimberly Ann Sutton has been charged with two counts of obtaining property by false pretense and two counts of workers' compensation fraud in Craven County. Please click here for more information.
 

Permanent Rule Amendment to Medical Fee Schedule, Effective June 1, 2018

On October 19, 2017, the Rules Review Commission approved the rule amendment to Rule 04 NCAC 10J .0103 (recently recodified as 11 NCAC 23J .0103). Please click here to view an annotated version of the approved rule showing all amendments. However, the rule received ten or more letters of objection. Therefore, this rule was subjected to legislative review with a delayed effective date of the earliest of the 31st legislative day of the General Assembly's session or the date of adjournment.

Upon receiving additional clarification regarding the count of legislative days from the Senate Principal Clerk's Office and the House Principal Clerk's Office, it was determined the legislature reached its 31st day of this regular session on June 1, 2018. This clarification affected the rules of several agencies, including Rule 11 NCAC 23J .0103.

For dates of service between April 1, 2015 to May 31, 2018, the effective rule can be found here. For dates of service on or after June 1, 2018, the effective rule can be found here.
 

Chairman Allen's Law Clerk Is Now Layla T. Santa Rosa

Effective July 10, 2018, Layla T. Santa Rosa will serve as Law Clerk to Chairman Charlton L. Allen. Santa Rosa has served the Industrial Commission for many years in diverse roles, working as a Special Deputy Commissioner in the Executive Secretary's Office and for the Full Commission. Recently, she served as Law Clerk to former Commissioner Tammy R. Nance. Santa Rosa also practiced workers' compensation law for six years as a Senior Associate with a law firm in Wake County. She is a graduate of Peace College and earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Ashley M. Moore Appointed Deputy Commissioner

Chairman Charlton L. Allen is pleased to announce the appointment of Ashley M. Moore as a Deputy Commissioner in the Raleigh office. Moore has served most recently as Law Clerk to Chairman Allen. Previously, she served as Law Clerk to former Commissioner Linda Cheatham and as Law Clerk to Vice-Chairman Yolanda K. Stith. In addition to her work at the Commission, Moore has practiced law in Wake County. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law.
 

Commissioner Myra L. Griffin's Appointment Confirmed by the General Assembly

Commissioner Myra L. Griffin's appointment to the Industrial Commission was confirmed by the North Carolina General Assembly on June 29, 2018. Governor Roy Cooper appointed Commissioner Griffin to fill the unexpired term of former Commissioner Linda Cheatham.
 

Recodification of Industrial Commission Rules

Effective June 1, 2018, the Industrial Commission's rules will be recodified from Title 04 Chapter 10 of the North Carolina Administrative Code to Title 11 Chapter 23 of the Administrative Code. The recodification is part of the Industrial Commission's transfer from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Insurance. As a result of the transfer, the Industrial Commission's rules will move to Title 11 of the Administrative Code, the section under the Department of Insurance. All references and citations to an Industrial Commission rule on or after June 1, 2018, should use the recodified title and chapter citation. Questions should be directed to Ashley B. Snyder, Interim Rulemaking Coordinator.
 

Combating Fraud and Noncompliance: Over $5.1 Million
in Penalties Collected at End of Third Quarter

The North Carolina Industrial Commission's Compliance and Fraud Investigative Division continues to proactively identify businesses not complying with the Workers' Compensation Act at an unprecedented rate. Please click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037, of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Myra L. Griffin Appointed to the Industrial Commission

On May 3, 2018, Governor Roy Cooper appointed Myra L. Griffin as a Commissioner of the N.C. Industrial Commission on an urgent basis, pending confirmation by the General Assembly. Commissioner Griffin was appointed to the unexpired term of former Commissioner Linda Cheatham, who resigned from the Commission, effective January 2018.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018, in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Opioid Utilization Rules and Companion Guide, Effective May 1, 2018

The North Carolina Industrial Commission Rules for the Utilization of Opioids, Related Prescriptions, and Pain Management in Workers' Compensation Claims are effective as of May 1, 2018. To assist employees, employers, carriers, health care providers, pharmacists, attorneys, and other stakeholders in the North Carolina workers' compensation system in understanding and implementing these Rules, the Industrial Commission has adopted a Companion Guide, effective May 1, 2018. The Companion Guide does not cover every aspect of the Rules, but rather provides guidance on rule provisions or topics as deemed necessary by the Industrial Commission. The Companion Guide also contains some additional guidelines established by the Industrial Commission that are not contained in, but complement, the Rules.

Please click here for additional information and to access these materials.
 

Opioid Utilization Rules Approved by Rules Review Commission

On April 19, 2018, the Rules Review Commission approved nine rules adopted by the Industrial Commission for the utilization of opioids, related prescriptions, and pain management treatment in workers' compensation claims. Six of the nine rules were approved with technical corrections. Please click here to view the nine approved rules. No letters of objection were received. Therefore, these rules will go into effect on May 1, 2018.
 

Permanent Rule Amendment Approved by Rules Review Commission

On April 19, 2018, the Rules Review Commission approved the rule amendment with technical corrections to Rule 04 NCAC 10A .0107. Please click here to view an annotated version of the approved rule showing all amendments. No letters of objection were received. Therefore, this rule as amended is effective as of May 1, 2018.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Sumit Gupta Designated Interim Chief Deputy Commissioner

On April 15, 2018, Chairman Charlton L. Allen designated Deputy Commissioner Sumit Gupta as interim Chief Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Click here for a short biography of Mr. Gupta.
 

Chairman Allen's Law Clerk Is Now Ashley Moore

Effective April 2, 2018, Ashley M. Moore will serve as Law Clerk to Chairman Charlton L. Allen. Ms. Moore joined the Commission in 2015. She has served as Law Clerk to former Commissioner Linda Cheatham and, most recently, as Law Clerk to Vice-Chairman Yolanda K. Stith. Prior to joining the Commission, Ms. Moore practiced family law in Wake County. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and earned her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law. Please send all motions, correspondence, or updates for Chairman Allen to ashley.moore@ic.nc.gov.
 

Notice of Meeting

The Commission will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, in the Industrial Commission Law Library, Room 6037 of the Dobbs Building. Please click here for more information.
 

Notice of Letter to Rules Review Commission Regarding Periodic Review Exemption Request

Please click here to review the April 11, 2018 letter sent to the North Carolina Rules Review Commission requesting an exemption from the current round of periodic review of existing rules.
 

Important News Regarding Ambulatory Surgery Center Fee Schedule Rule [UPDATED]

On November 21, 2017, by a unanimous decision, the Court of Appeals issued an Opinion reversing the August 9, 2016 Decision of Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway and remanding the case for entry of an order affirming the Industrial Commission's December 14, 2015 Declaratory Ruling. The Court of Appeals held that the ambulatory surgery center provisions of the workers' compensation medical fee schedule that became effective April 1, 2015 were promulgated in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act and are valid retroactively and prospectively. Please click here to read that decision.

On April 6, 2018, the North Carolina Supreme Court denied Surgical Care Affiliates' request for a Petition for Discretionary Review. This leaves in place the November 2017 Court of Appeals decision in favor of the Industrial Commission. Rule 04 NCAC 10J .0103, effective April 1, 2015, continues to be the effective fee schedule for ambulatory surgery centers.
 

Fraud Investigation Leads to Criminal Charges in Cabarrus County

After receiving a complaint, the Fraud Investigation Section of the North Carolina Industrial Commission initiated an investigation, leading to criminal charges in Cabarrus County. Please click here to view an Industrial Commission news release.
 

Attention: Deputy Commissioners' Section to Send Calendars Via E-mail

Effective April 2, 2018, the Deputy Commissioners' section will no longer send calendars and uniform pre-trial orders via fax. Deputy Commissioners shall serve calendars and uniform pre-trial orders to represented parties via e-mail. If an attorney's e-mail address is unknown or if a party is appearing pro se, mail or certified mail will be used in lieu of e-mail. If you would like to ensure the Commission has record of your email address, you may e-mail dockets@ic.nc.gov.
 

Archived News

Click Here for Older News Items

Older News Items and Announcements are archived. Clicking the link above will take you to the Archive page.

N.C. Industrial Commission Bulletin

The N.C. Industrial Commission Bulletin is available here.

Announcements

Mileage Rate for 2021

As of January 1, 2021, the IRS mileage rate for business travel is $0.56 per mile. This is the rate to be used for reimbursement for mileage incurred for medical treatment in workers' compensation cases. The updated Form 25T Itemized Statement of Charges for Travel reflects this change.

2021 Max Comp Rate

Please click here for information regarding the maximum weekly benefit for 2021.

Updated Spanish Form 17

The Industrial Commission has updated the Spanish Form 17.

Contempt and Noninsured Hearing Dockets

The Industrial Commission is holding frequent contempt, noninsured, and/or penalty-enforcement hearings before Deputy Commissioners. The calendars for these hearings may be found on the Deputy Commissioners' Calendars pages.

Comment from the Commission

In the interest of better serving the employees and employers of North Carolina and enforcing the provisions of the North Carolina Workers' Compensation Act, the North Carolina Industrial Commission began in late 2009 to review its contempt procedures in consultation with state judicial officials.

Throughout 2010, contacts were made and meetings held with various judicial and law enforcement officials to seek assistance in developing and refining lawful contempt procedures. Necessary forms and procedures were drafted and revised multiple times with consulting officials. In 2011, these meetings continued to refine the procedures and receive training. Additional contacts were made with law enforcement and local prosecutors.

As a result of this investment of time and effort and the generous assistance of judicial and law enforcement officials, the Industrial Commission is scheduling regular contempt hearing dockets.

New FAX Numbers for Medical Rehab Nursing Forms

We now have new FAX numbers for the Medical Rehab Nurses Referral Form and the Form 25N Notice to the Commission of Assignment of Rehabilitation Professional. The Referral Form should now be faxed to 919-508-8350 and the Form 25N should now be faxed to 919-508-8325. Please see the Nursing & Medical Rehab Section on the Forms page for more information.

Case Numbers for New NCIC Cases Will Be Eight Digits, Starting January 1, 2013

Case numbers for new N.C. Industrial Commission cases will change from six digits to eight digits, beginning January 1, 2013. The six-digit numbers for cases received prior to that date will remain the same. To read NCIC Chair Pamela T. Young's November 15, 2012 memo about this change, click here.

Electronic Claims and Medical Bill Reporting: Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

The North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) is implementing two (2) Electronic Reporting processes for workers' compensation claims:

  1. Claims, beginning
    January 2, 2013
  2. Medical Billing, beginning
    March 1, 2013.

For further details, CLICK HERE.

Commission Issues Form 23

The Form 23 Application to Reinstate Payment of Disability Compensation (G.S. § 97-18(k)) is now available on the Industrial Commission's website. This form was created to comply with N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-18(k), which became effective June 24, 2011, as part of the recently enacted House Bill 709 (see Page 2, Section 5). Please note that the Form 23 may not be used to request medical compensation or to request payment of disability compensation in denied claims or admitted claims in which no disability compensation has been paid.

Archived Announcements

Click Here for Older Announcements

Older News Items and Annoucements are archived. Clicking the link above will take you to the Announcements section of the Archive page.