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How to File a Workers’ Comp Petition for Reconsideration

When an employee is injured while on the job, he or she generally expects to have the benefit of workers’ compensation to help with medical costs and lost wages. But what if you were denied the benefits you believe you are entitled to receive?

The first step in appealing a workers’ compensation decision in California is to petition for reconsideration. The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) is the judicial body that reviews decisions made by workers’ compensation administrative law judges (ALJ).

There are five basic grounds for appealing the decision of the judge:

  • The Board acted without power or in excess of its powers in the order, decision or award
  • The order, decision or award was obtained through fraud
  • The evidence does not justify the findings of fact
  • There is new material evidence that could not be discovered and produced at the hearing
  • The findings of fact do not support the decision

Petitions for reconsideration from final orders, decisions and awards issued by the Appeals Board are filed at the appeals board office in San Francisco while petitions for reconsideration from all other final orders, decisions and awards are filed at the local district office. The local Appeals Board office must receive your petition within 20 days from the judge’s decision. If the decision was mailed to you at your California residence, you have 25 days. The date of the decision is marked near the judge’s signature on the document.

Because you have a limited time to appeal, it is important to act quickly to protect your right to benefits. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the appeals process, including further appeals to the appellate court and California Supreme Court.

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