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The Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission (Commission) serves Michigan's employees and employers by addressing and resolving their workers' compensation appeals expeditiously, impartially, and judiciously. Three governor appointees serve as commissioners with one designated as the chairperson.
THESE GUIDELINES ARE PROVIDED FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. THEY ARE NOT AUTHORITATIVE. YOU SHOULD CONSULT ALL APPLICABLE STATUTES AND RULES.
An order issued by the Board of Magistrates may be appealed to the Commission up to 30 days from the mailing date of the order. If a party can show sufficient cause for filing a late appeal from an order of the Board of Magistrates, the Commission may accept a delayed appeal. An order issued by the Director of the Workers' Disability Compensation Agency may be appealed to the Commission up to15 days from the mailing date of the order. The Act does not allow for late filing of an appeal from an order of the Director.
FILING OF DOCUMENTS
All documents must be filed directly with the Commission. The mailing address is P.O. Box 30468, Lansing, Michigan 48909. The physical location of the Commission is 2501 Woodlake Circle, Okemos, MI 48864. Be sure to include in the address the full name, "Workers' Disability Compensation Appeals Commission," or your mail, overnight, or other delivery may be mis-delivered. The telephone number is 517-284-9312 and the facsimile number is 517-284-5391.
All filings by US postal service, delivery service, or hand delivery received by the Commission during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., are considered received on the date of receipt. A filing by facsimile or approved electronic filing system will be accepted as filed on the date it is received before midnight. All documents received outside of these guidelines will be considered received the next business day.
The appealing party is responsible for filing the complete hearing transcript with the Commission not later than 60 days after filing the claim for review. Copies of the transcript must be served on all opposing parties. Section 861a(5). The court reporting service will not file transcripts directly with the Commission. Please refer to the Workers' Disability Compensation Agency's website for information on obtaining transcripts.
EXTENSION OF TIME FOR FILING TRANSCRIPTS
The Commission will consider extending the time for filing the transcript when a motion is filed in compliance with R 418.68, Rule 8 and R 418.70, Rule 10. If a motion for extension of time is not filed or sufficient cause is not shown, the claim for review may be dismissed.
The appealing party's brief is due not later than 30 days after the complete transcript is filed. Section 861a(5) and R 418.67(2), Rule 7(2). If the hearing was not recorded or the parties stipulate that a transcript is unnecessary, the brief is due 30 days after the claim for review is filed. R 418.66, Rule 6.
If a party wishes to file a responsive brief, that brief should be filed not later than 30 days after receipt of the appealing party's brief. Section 861a(6), and R 418.67(4), Rule 7(4).
Parties wishing to file a cross appeal must do so no sooner than the filing of the appealing party's brief and no later than 30 days after that date. Section 861a(6) and R 418.65(1), Rule 5(1). The cross appeal must be filed on the claim for review form (WC-262), specifically identifying it as a cross appeal. R 418.65(5), Rule 5(5). The cross-appealing party's brief is also due 30 days after the appealing party's brief is received. Any response to the cross appeal should be filed within 30 days after the cross-appealing party's brief is filed. Section 861a(6) and (7); R 418.67(4), Rule 7(4). Cross appeals are derivative; if the appeal is withdrawn or dismissed, the cross appeal is extinguished as well. R 418.65(4), Rule 5(4).
Delayed cross appeals cannot be accepted. An extension of time in which to file a reply brief does not extend the time in which to file a cross appeal or brief in support of a cross appeal. R 418.65(3), Rule 5(3).
A party may submit a supplemental brief, directing the Commission to current developments in the law, at any time after the initial pleadings are filed. A supplemental brief may not raise new issues. R418.67(6), Rule 7(6).
EXTENSION OF TIME FOR FILING BRIEFS
The Commission will consider extending the time for filing a brief when a motion demonstrating sufficent cause shown is filed in compliance with R 418.67(5), Rule 7(5) and R 418.70, Rule 10. Demonstrating sufficient cause requires a detailed explanation that the brief cannot be filed on a timely basis. If the appealing party fails to timely file a brief and does not file an extension request, the appeal may be dismissed. If the responding party fails to timely file its brief and files no extension request, the brief might not be considered.
All motions shall be in writing. A party opposing a motion shall have 21 days from the filing of the motion in which to respond. R 418.68, Rule 8.
SERVICE ON OPPOSING PARTIES
A copy of all pleadings and correspondence sent to the Commission must be provided to all other parties to the case. Pleadings, including transcripts, motions, briefs, and responses, must also be accompanied by written certification that a copy has been provided to all other parties.
PENDING APPEALS AND REDEMPTIONS
The Commission urges parties on appeal not to request return of a file to the Agency for a redemption hearing while settlement negotiations are still ongoing or tentative. It is important, however, for the Commission to be promptly informed of actual settlement agreements. When a settlement agreement has been reached, all parties to the appeal should send a stipulation or joint letter (or each party should send its own letter) indicating that the settlement has been reached. Once this information is provided to the Commission, then the file will be returned to the Agency for the redemption hearing.
Any party disagreeing with a final order of the Commission has 30 days from the mailing date, stamped on the order, to file an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals and request that the record be certified to the Court. Section 861a(14); MCR 7.205. This deadline cannot be extended. The certification request must be made in writing and submitted to the Commission along with the $50.00 certification fee, payable to the State of Michigan. Upon expiration of the 30-day appellate window, the Commission's order is final and binding on all parties.
The primary legal basis for the Commission is found in Act No. 317 of the Public Acts of 1969, as amended, also known as the Worker's Disability Compensation Act of 1969 (MCL 418.101 et seq.; specifically Sections 274, 859a and 861a). The Act provides general policies for administration, gives the chairperson work assignment authority, grants rule-making authority to the Commission as a body, sets out the scope of review, and provides procedures for employers, insurance carriers, attorneys and employees seeking review. The provisions of the Act were further modified by Executive Order No. 2019-13.