Many people are not aware that the workers’ compensation laws here in Oklahoma changed on February 1, 2014, with this change came a lot of confusion and multiple problems have popped up that have caught many in the state by surprise. While Oklahoma workers’ compensation laws needed an overhaul, the Administrative Workers Compensation Act was pushed through without legislators being able to fully understand what was in it. Some of the main problems that have been caused by this new change include: constitutional challenges to the law, open meetings law violations, and a major slowdown of the overall process that determines how benefits are calculated for an injured worker. On top of these problems, there are several others that have created unseen consequences that lawmakers, attorneys, and injured workers are getting caught up in, such as how appeals are procedurally handled and should hearings be stereographically reported.
Your Tax Dollars At Work
With the new law, there are now two different workers’ compensation forums: one for workers injured before 2014 and one for workers injured after February 1, 2014. Why does this affect you? Well with the new dual system, it now will cost the Oklahoma taxpayers – you – $5 million dollars more than it had in the past. That is a lot of money above and beyond what was already being spent on the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation court system.
The Commission Members
On top of the tax burden that the new change has caused, there is also a strange set up for the members of the commission. There are three members that sit on the Workers’ Compensation commission, which should make it easier right? Wrong. The three members are prohibited from speaking privately about the commission to work out new rules or changes to old rules, how to handle appeals from administrative law judges, or even how to save money for the state within the Workers’ Compensation commission. Since they are not allowed to talk privately, it creates a long lag in the system and makes it almost a cumbersome task to fix any part of the system that is not working right.
While these two changes are not the only things that can affect your new workers’ compensation claim, they are two major areas of the new law that are causing problems. If you have a workplace injury, make sure that you choose an attorney who is familiar with the new Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation laws. Many attorneys in the Tulsa area are not taking new cases under the new law due to all of the problems. Here at Armstrong & Vaught, our experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney has over 30 years of experience and is taking new cases under the new Oklahoma law.
Call us today for a free consultation on your work related injury at (918) 582 – 2500.
Make sure that you read these other great articles on our site:
How Changes In The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Laws Affect You: Injuries No Longer Covered
FAQ: I’m Getting Treatment For A WC Claim, How Long After Can I Seek Additional Benefits?
FAQ: Can my employer deny my injury if I did not give them notice of the injury at the time it happened or with in a certain time thereafter?
FAQ: Can I Still Have A Workers Compensation Claim If I Quit Or Get Fired?