– Legislation authored by Rep. Rich Irvin (R-Huntingdon/Centre/Mifflin) that would allow for faster workers’ compensation claims settlements was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Currently, within the workers’ compensation system, claimants who are eligible to receive a final lump-sum settlement on a claim – referred to as a Compromise and Release agreement – must have two witnesses see them sign the legal paperwork or have it signed before a notary. This is required even though the claimant would need to still be sworn in to testify that they understood the full legal significance of the agreement by a judge.
“My legislation changes the current law to allow for a claimant to, instead, when appearing before a workers’ compensation judge, provide sworn testimony that he or she fully understands the agreement in place of having the agreement signed in front of two witnesses or a notary,” said Irvin. “This is a small but significant change that will greatly improve the process for many individuals seeking compensation claim adjudication.”
Irvin noted these Compromise and Release agreements have led to a faster claims adjudication process by avoiding litigation and allowing parties to resolve contested issues without overburdening the workers’ compensation system. And by eliminating the signature verification component, the process would only be further streamlined.