Rick Percy, Chief
of Operational Policy, Analytics and Compliance (Signature on file)
I. POLICY PURPOSE
The purpose of this
policy is to ensure that Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) staff recognize
and apply the general legal concept of a “mailbox rule” to all documents it
receives via U.S. regular mail for claims processing, unless specifically noted
This policy applies
to BWC staff and managed care organizations (MCO) who accept documentation used
in the course of claims processing.
Mailbox Rule – generally accepted legal premise that assumes
successful regular U.S. mail delivery within a prescribed number of days and
which adds the prescribed number of days to the number of days allowed for
filing or submitting documentation.
It is the policy of
BWC to prescribe four (4) days or less as an acceptable time period for the U.S. postal service to execute mail
delivery, unless the filing/submitting party can evidence extenuating
circumstances that allow delivery to take longer than four (4) days.
The prescribed four
(4) additional days accommodates U.S. postal service delivery time and is added
to the specified timeframe provided on the appeal or the correspondence, unless
noted otherwise. Therefore, BWC staff shall consider all submissions or
filings timely filed if the stated deadline on the appeal or the correspondence
was on or within four (4) days of BWC’s receipt of the documentation, unless
specifically noted otherwise in the appeal or the correspondence.
If documentation or
an appeal is not timely filed, BWC shall:
1. If it is an issue for which BWC has original
jurisdiction, continue processing the claim or,
2. If it is an issue for which the Industrial
Commission (IC) could exercise jurisdiction, complete a Notice of Referral.
Injured worker (IW) receives a
BWC Order on May 18 stating that the IW has fourteen (14) days to file an
appeal to the order. The filing deadline for an appeal to the BWC
order is June 1. The IW mails the document on June 1 and BWC receives the
document via U.S. regular mail on June 5. The submission is considered
timely because the IW had fourteen (14) days to file the appeal and an
additional four days for mailing per the mailbox rule.
IW receives a letter dated
September 1 stating that s/he must provide documentation to BWC within ten (10)
days of the date of the letter. The IW waits until September 10 to mail
the documentation, and BWC receives it on September 14. The submission is
timely because the IW submitted the documentation within ten (10) days of the
date of the letter and was permitted up to an additional 4 days for mail
delivery by U.S. regular mail.
IW receives a BWC Order on May 18
stating that the IW has fourteen (14) days to file an appeal to the
order. The filing deadline for an appeal to the BWC Order is June
1. The IW claims that the appeal was mailed on June 1 but BWC receives
the document via U.S. regular mail on June 14. Staff shall refer such
matters to the IC so that the IC can determine if extenuating circumstances
BWC sends a letter to the
employer specifically stating that the employer must submit information to BWC
and that BWC has to receive the information within
10 days. BWC sends the letter June 2. The employer sends the information
on June 12, and BWC receives the information on June 16. This is an
untimely submission because the correspondence specifically stated that BWC had
to receive the information within 10 days, not that the employer had to
submit the information within 10 days.