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New workers’ compensation website a thorn in the side of many

Complaints about Pennsylvania's new online workers' compensation appeals system are stemming from many who say that the site often erases paperwork they've already taken an extended amount of time to fill out and will not allow them to download other necessary documents.

On October 21st, a spokesperson from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry said that her agency is diligently working to fix the problems and that it may be more of a systems error on behalf of Deloitte Consulting, the company hired to build and maintain the site. 

The spokesperson also said when major overhauls such as this take place for necessary websites, there are always glitches to be expected, but that when all is said and done the new workers' comp appeals process will be easier to use and much more efficient.

However, injured workers, their attorneys, and workers' compensation judges say that the new system is holding people up from getting fair hearings and that it is causing an even worse backlog of cases than was already in place. Some have even reported that when decisions are made on certain cases, the worker, their attorney, employer, and insurance company are not being notified, causing even more of a problem.

The Department of Labor and Industry's near $45 million overhaul of this workers' compensation process is using new software to modernize the progression of filing claims, but thus far it has failed miserably and medical bills and back-pay are piling up for many who have been hurt on the job. One person interviewed has been waiting some time for his hearing and said that although it is scheduled to take place the last week of October, he thinks that it will be delayed because the appropriate legal paperwork he filed through the new system over a month ago has not yet reached the judge.

Source: Philly.com, "Computer woes plague Pa. worker comp system" 23 October 2013

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