Notice Of Closure and Reopening Closed Claims
Notice of Closure
When your physician determines that your injury is stable and is not expected to improve with treatment or passage of time your workers’ compensation claim is ready for closure. At that time you will receive a document titled Notice of Closure. We can help you appeal the Notice of Closure. Important things to know about claim closure:
- Permanent disability compensation is set out in the Closure. If you have permanent partial disability and it is not awarded to you, or it is not enough, you must appeal.
- Closure is not the end of you claim. It is the end of an open period of a claim, and a claim can be opened and closed when needed.
- Because closure is the end of an open period of the claim, temporary disability will stop. Payments after closure are out of the awarded permanent partial disability.
- After the Notice of Closure, you will either return to regular or suitable work, or you will need to be evaluated for vocational assistance.
- Closure does not stop you medical treatment benefits, if you are denied treatment after closure, we can help.
Reopening Closed Claims
A workplace injury can last a lifetime, and you may still be covered by workers’ compensation.
Even with medical treatment and time away from work to recover, the effects of a workplace injury can be substantial and long lasting. The workers’ compensation law allows you to reopen a closed claim to receive additional workers’ compensation when your condition worsens.
There are two ways to reopen closed claims.
1) Aggravation Claims, which are filed by your doctor if the accepted condition in your claim has gotten worse.
2) New or consequential medical condition claims. These are filed if you develop another medical condition not yet part of your claim but caused by your injury.
If you received benefits in the past, and your condition came back or got worse, you may be entitled to additional compensation. We can help you reopen your claim and fight for the compensation you still deserve.
What Is an Aggravation Claim?
An aggravation claim is for a worsening of an accepted condition. In workers’ compensation, medical conditions are listed as accepted on documents called Notice of Acceptance. If one of these conditions worsens you can reopen a claim. For example, if you suffered a back injury from a work-related accident years ago, and a herniated disc was accepted, if that herniated disc worsens you may be able to receive compensation through an aggravation claim.
Filing an aggravation claim involves working with your doctor to complete form 827, which you can find in your doctor’s office, or we can provide you with one. Your doctor will also need to document the findings of the worsened condition (for example, if your mobility has worsened, or if swelling has returned).
Do you have questions about aggravation claims in Oregon?
We’re here to help, and every consultation is free. Tell us about your case.
How We Work
At Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin & Ratliff, LLP, you will not be asked to pay anything unless you win. We don’t charge any fees, and we only collect a small portion of the compensation you receive if you win your case. This means that every consultation you have with us is completely free. At your first consultation, we’ll get to know you, learn about your situation, discuss your case, and answer your questions. We’ll cover:
- Your initial claim and the injury you sustained
- How and why your injury has returned or worsened
- The strength of your case
- How the aggravation claims process works in Oregon
If you have had a serious work injury, or your claim has been denied or closed, it may be hard to imagine going through a difficult legal process right now. But we want you to get the compensation you deserve. We’ll do our best to understand your concerns and make the experience as easy as we can.
We’re on Your Side
If you’ve experienced a recurrence or worsening of pain or discomfort from an injury you previously received workers’ comp for, you are not alone. At Ransom, Gilbertson, Martin & Ratliff, LLP, we believe our clients deserve an attorney who listens, understands, and genuinely cares about their situation. If you need to file an aggravation claim, or if you have a denied aggravation claim, our attorneys will work with you and your doctor to fight for the compensation you deserve.