DECISIONS


§ 131.111. Decisions of judges.

 (a)  Following the close of the evidentiary record and the hearing of oral argument, if any, as provided in §  131.102(a) (relating to oral argument), the judge will issue a written decision, which will contain findings of fact, conclusions of law and an appropriate order based upon the entire evidentiary record.

 (b)  The decision of the judge will be a final order, subject to correction or amendment under §  131.112 (relating to correction or amendment of decision) or appeal.

 (c)  In any petition which may result in the payment of a monetary award subject to 23 Pa.C.S. §  4308.1 (relating to collection of overdue support from monetary awards), a decision will not be issued until the claimant provides to the judge a written statement signed by the claimant and made subject to 18 Pa.C.S. §  4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities), including:

   (1)  The claimant’s full name, mailing address, date of birth and Social Security number.

   (2)  Whether there is an outstanding child support order against the claimant, and if so, whether payments are current or in arrears.

   (3)  Written documentation of arrears from the Pennsylvania Child Support Enforcement System web site, or, if no arrears exist, written documentation from the web site indicating no arrears.

 (d)  Subsections (a)—(c) supersede 1 Pa. Code § §  35.190, 35.201—35.207, 35.225, 35.226 and 35.241.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  131.111 amended under sections 401.1 and 435(a) and (c) of the Workers’ Compensation Act (77 P. S. § §  710 and 991(a) and (c)); section 2205 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  565); and section 414 of The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act (77 P. S. §  1514).

Source

   The provisions of this §  131.111 adopted March 29, 1991, effective March 30, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1401; amended December 6, 2002, effective December 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6043; amended October 16, 2009, effective October 17, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 6038. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (341998).

Notes of Decisions

   Bench Order Not a Decision

   A bench order issued by the Workers’ Compensation Judge for the convenience of the parties is not a written decision and, therefore, was not considered a ‘‘decision’’ or ‘‘final order.’’ Strawbridge & Clothier v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board, 777 A.2d 1194 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001).

   Effect of Written Decision

   Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) did not err in voiding compromise and release agreement between claimant and employer because agreement contained a provision stating that it was null and void upon claimant’s death if not approved by a judge and there was no dispute that the order approving it was not issued until claimant passed away. Crawford v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Centerville Clinics), 958 A.2d 1075 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2008).

   Where the workers’ compensation judge (WCJ) held a hearing to consider an agreed-upon compromise and release, orally approved the same and signed a written order of approval the next morning, the decisions of the WCJ and the Board to affirm the order were proper, even though the claimant died only hours after the hearing from a nonwork related illness. There was no indication of fraud or concealment, and the employer’s attorney had ample opportunity to cross-examine the claimant about his medical condition. Department of Corrections v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (McClellan), 794 A.2d 977 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002).



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