ARU threatens to overturn Oregon closures where job analysis not sent to claimant

Jamie CarltonTo determine the extent of disability for the purposes of claim closure, OAR 436-030-0020 requires insurers mail of an accurate job description to claimants prior to closure. The provision applies if the worker has not been released to regular work or has not returned to the job at injury. Job descriptions must contain a description of the physical requirements of the job. They must also be sent by certified mail to claimant and his/her counsel.

If the insurer does not establish compliance with this rule at the time of reconsideration, ARU will likely overturn the Notice of Closure. In one recent claim, a job description, which did not specifically identify the physical requirements of the job, was provided to the medical providers. ARU found the job description inadequate and set aside the closure.

Given ARU’s recent focus on this provision, SBH recommends claims administrators obtain a job description with physical requirements of the job from the employer at injury on all disabling claims. The job description should be sent certified to claimant and legal counsel when disabling status has been confirmed. Employers should verify that job descriptions are up to date, accurate, and outline the physical requirements of the job.

If you have questions about OAR 436-030-0020 or are an employer seeking to update or develop new company job descriptions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 503.595.2127 or jcarlton@sbhlegal.com .