Current through P.A. 10 of the 2021 Legislative Session
Section 418.841 - Disputes or controversies concerning compensation or other benefits; submission to bureau; determination of questions arising under act; director as interested party; referral of claims to small claims division; notice; filing request for removal; hearing; representation; rules of evidence; record; claim exceeding 2,000.00; finality of decision; request for hearing under 418.847(1) Any dispute or controversy concerning compensation or other benefits shall be submitted to the bureau and all questions arising under this act shall be determined by the bureau or a worker's compensation magistrate, as applicable. The director may be an interested party in all worker's compensation cases in questions of law.(2) Any claim for which an application under section 847 is filed after March 31, 1986 shall be referred to a small claims division of the bureau if the claimant requests in writing that it be referred and the claim is any of the following: (a) For $2,000.00 or less, concerns a definite period of time, and the employee has returned to work.(b) For $2,000.00 or less and is for medical benefits only.(c) For $2,000.00 or less, as determined by the bureau, with regard to any dispute or controversy.(3) Upon a claim being referred to the small claims division, the bureau shall notify the carrier and any other opposing parties of that referral. A party opposing the claim, within 30 days of the notification being sent, may file with the bureau a request in writing that the claim be removed from the small claims division and be set for hearing under section 847. Upon receipt of the written request, the claim shall be removed from the small claims division and shall be set for hearing.(4) A worker's compensation magistrate shall hear a matter referred to the small claims division.(5) The parties to a matter heard in the small claims division may represent themselves or be represented by an authorized agent but shall not be represented by an attorney. If a party is represented by an attorney, the matter shall be removed from the small claims division and shall be set for a hearing under section 847.(6) The rules of evidence as applied in a nonjury civil case in circuit court shall be followed as far as practicable, but a magistrate may admit and give probative effect to evidence of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their affairs. Depositions shall not be allowed to be used as evidence. Medical reports may be used as evidence.(7) A record of a hearing shall not be made in the small claims division.(8) If it is determined by the magistrate, or the parties before a decision is rendered, that the claim exceeds $2,000.00, the matter shall be removed from the small claims division and shall be set for a hearing under section 847 unless the parties agree in writing that the matter shall be heard in the small claims division.(9) A worker's compensation magistrate's decision as to any dispute or controversy in a matter heard in the small claims division shall be final and nonappealable in the absence of fraud as provided in section 28 of article VI of the state constitution of 1963.(10) The parties to a matter decided under subsections (2) to (9) may request a hearing under section 847 with respect to any other dispute or controversy for which there has not been a worker's compensation magistrate's decision in the small claims division.1969, Act 317, Eff. Dec. 31, 1969 ;--Am. 1985, Act 103, Imd. Eff. July 30, 1985 ;--Am. 1994, Act 271, Imd. Eff. July 11, 1994 .