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Revised rules for Florida workers comp adjudications take effect in November

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A revised set of Florida rules for workers compensation claim adjudications will take effect next month, according to the state’s Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims.

David Langham, the office’s deputy chief judge of compensation claims, detailed changes to the Florida Rules of Procedure for Workers' Compensation Adjudication in a blog post on Wednesday. The revisions include updates on electronic submission of data for workers comp cases and clarifications on terms used in the rules manual.

The rules, which were filed for adoption on Oct. 21, will become effective Nov. 10.

In addition to submitting a mailing address and telephone number to the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims, employers, self-insurers, third-party administrators and insurers are now required to submit an email address for receipt of all electronically served documents, including petitions for benefits, Judge Langham said.

“E-service is coming for employers,” Judge Langham wrote in the blog post, noting that “as the programming comes online to accomplish utility of this data, we will update the community.”

The term “amendment” was clarified in the rule manual as well, Judge Langham wrote.

“Any amendment, supplement, or other filing shall only be accepted if it clarifies the claims and/or defenses pled,” according to the revised manual. “Absent an agreement of the parties, in no event shall an amendment or supplement be used to raise a new claim or defense that could or should have been raised when the initial pretrial stipulation was filed, unless permitted by the judge for good cause shown.”

Judge Langham also noted that motions for rehearing will “deemed denied” in Florida workers comp cases if no order is entered “by the close of business 10 days after service.”