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How do matters come to the Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission?The Commission entertains and decides appeals and cross appeals from final orders of the Director of the Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency and from the Workers’ Compensation Board of Magistrates. At its discretion, the Commission may also entertain and decide interlocutory appeals from matters pending before the Board of Magistrates. Appeals from most orders must be filed within 30 days of their mailed date, although certain orders of the Director (redemption review, vocational rehabilitation, fee dispute) must be appealed within 15 days.
What authority does the Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission have in this process?Findings of fact by a magistrate will be sustained if supported by competent, material and substantial evidence (CMS) on the whole record. MCL 418.861a. Questions of law are reviewed under a “de novo” standard, meaning the Commission can come to its own independent conclusions on legal issues. Factual review of a Director’s order concerning a redemption is whether he/she has appropriately exercised discretion to reach an order which is “just and proper”. MCL 418.837(3). Conclusions of law reached by the Director are reviewed “de novo”. Pursuant to MCL 418.861b, the Commission may impose sanctions upon a party it deems to have engaged in “vexatious” actions with respect to a workers’ compensation appeal.
How are matters handled by Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission? Are there hearings?Appeals to the Commission commence with the filing of a Claim for Review. The Commission does not hold a new hearing or accept new evidence. Instead, it reviews the transcript of the prior hearing, along with any exhibits or depositions admitted at the hearing. Parties to workers’ compensation appeals are required to submit briefing with respect to their positions on appeal and waive any issue they do not expressly raise in their briefs. The Commission will then issue an opinion explaining their ruling.
How does a party appeal a decision issued by the Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission?A party that disagrees with a final order or decision of the Workers’ Disability Compensation Appeals Commission may appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals within 30 days after the mailed date of the decision, by filing an application for leave to appeal with the Court. The application is a brief that requests that the Court hear the appeal. Appeals to the Court of Appeals are not automatic. An application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals can be filed at any of the Court’s offices throughout the state. Offices are currently located in Detroit, Troy, Grand Rapids, and Lansing. The Michigan Court Rules detail the procedure for filing an application at MCR 7.205.