(a) Prior Notification. Before requesting a benefit review conference, a disputing party must notify the other parties of the nature of the dispute and attempt to resolve the dispute.
(b) Who May Request. A request for a benefit review conference may be made by an injured employee, a subclaimant, or an insurance carrier. An employer may request a benefit review conference to contest compensability when the insurance carrier has accepted the claim as compensable.
(c) Subclaimant. A request for a benefit review conference made by a subclaimant under Labor Code § 409.009 must also comply with the requirements of § 140.6 of this title (relating to Subclaimant Status: Establishment, Rights, and Procedures).
(d) Request for Benefit Review Conference. A request for a benefit review conference must be made in the form and manner required by the division. The request must:
(1) identify and describe the disputed issues;
(2) provide details and supporting documentation of efforts made by the requesting party to resolve the disputed issues, including but not limited to, copies of the notification provided in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, correspondence, emails, faxes, records of telephone contacts, or summaries of meetings or telephone conversations. For the purposes of this subsection, copies of the notification provided under subsection (a) of this section, correspondence, emails, faxes, records of telephone contacts, or summaries of meetings or telephone conversations should not include all attachments of pertinent information exchanged with the opposing parties as required by § 141.4 of this title (relating to Sending and Exchanging Pertinent Information);
(3) contain the requesting party's signature to show that the party made reasonable efforts to resolve the disputed issues before requesting a benefit review conference, and provide any pertinent information in their possession to the other parties as required by § 141.4(c) of this title; and
(4) send the request to the division and opposing parties.
(e) Complete Request. A request that meets the requirements of subsection (d) of this section is a complete request for a benefit review conference. The division will schedule a benefit review conference if the request is complete and otherwise appropriate for a benefit review conference.
(f) Incomplete Request. A request for a benefit review conference that does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) of this section is an incomplete request. The division will deny an incomplete request.
(1) A denied request for a benefit review conference does not constitute a dispute proceeding, except as provided by subsection (g) of this section.
(2) If the division denies a request, it will provide notice to the parties and state the reasons for the denial.
(3) On notice from the division, the requesting party may submit a new request for a benefit review conference that meets the requirements of this section.
(g) Incomplete Request Denials. If a party disagrees with the division's determination that the request was incomplete, or if a party has good cause for failing to meet the requirements of subsection (d) of this section, the party may pursue an administrative appeal of the division's determination under Chapter 142 of this title (relating to Dispute Resolution--Benefit Contested Case Hearing). The party may also request an expedited contested case hearing under § 140.3 of this title (relating to Expedited Proceedings).
(h) Setting. If a request meets the standards of subsection (e) of this section, the division will schedule a benefit review conference:
(1) within 40 days after the division received the request; and
(2) within 20 days after the division received the request, if the division determines that an expedited setting is needed.
(i) Notice. After setting the benefit review conference, the division must provide, by first class mail, electronic transmission, or personal delivery, written notice of the date, time, and location to the parties and the employer.
(j) Method for Conducting. The benefit review conference will be conducted by telephone or videoconference, unless the division determines that good cause exists for conducting the benefit review conference in person. Unless the division determines that good cause exists for the selection of a different location, an in-person benefit review conference will be conducted at a site no more than
75 miles from the injured employee’s residence at the time of injury.
The provisions of this §141.1 adopted to be effective June 7, 1991, 16 TexReg 2876; amended to be effective October 1, 2010, 35 TexReg 7430; amended to be effective December 9, 2021.