The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has officially launched virtual hearings for New York workers who were injured on the job. The new hearing process utilizes video conferencing technologies, so injured workers can attend hearings through a computer or another mobile device with a camera. Injured workers no longer have to travel to a hearing site.
If workers prefer to attend an in-person hearing, they can continue to do so. However, everyone who is attending a workers’ compensation hearing, whether online or in-person, must check in through the online Virtual Hearing Center. There will no longer be customer service people to check people in at the hearing sites. This is intended to streamline the process.
To attend a virtual hearing, here are the requirements for your system:
- Computer or another mobile device with camera or web cam
- An internet connect that is at least 1-1.5 megabits per second
- Disabled or delayed sleep or standby mode on the device you are using
The Workers’ Compensation Board also recommends you test the link to attend the hearing at least 48 hours before your scheduled appearance.
What to expect during your virtual hearing
On the day of your hearing, it is recommended that you sign in a half an hour before your hearing starts. You go to the link and select attend your hearing. Then you enter your hearing id and first and last name.
This brings you to a virtual waiting room. If you need to step away for any reason, you can mark yourself unavailable on the my status dropdown list. Do not take longer than 15 minutes, or you are automatically signed out of the hearing. When your hearing is called up, you receive a message in the dashboard warning you that the hearing starts in 20 seconds. A chime and a pop up message appears when your hearing begins.
After you click enter hearing, you are prompted to connect your audio and video. A window appears showing a live video of your hearing judge. Do not close your waiting room tab while you are in the hearing because it will boot you completely out of the system.
If you have hired an attorney for your workers’ compensation hearing, he or she can represent you at your virtual hearing.