ADR Ombudsman

Workers' Compensation ADR Programs

Workers' Comp Ombudsman

Also known as a conciliation or facilitation process, a workers' compensation ombuds process is a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that assists injured workers and their families to navigate the workers' compensation system. Accordingly, a workers' compensation ombudsman is a neutral third party who is tasked with providing information, support, and assistance to parties involved in a workers' compensation dispute. The ombudsman is an independent, impartial, and confidential resource that can help parties to understand their rights and obligations under the workers' compensation system and facilitate resolution of disputes.

The workers compensation ombuds process typically involves several activities:

  1. Initial Contact: The injured worker or their family contacts the ombudsman for assistance. The ombudsman will listen to the concerns and provide information about the workers' compensation system, its purpose, and its limitations.

  2. Inquiry: The ombudsman will conduct an inquiry into the claim, gathering relevant information from all parties involved in the dispute. The ombudsman may also research policies, procedures, and relevant laws that may apply.

  3. Assessment: The ombudsman will assess the situation and identify options for resolution. The ombudsman may also provide guidance (not legal advice) to parties about how to approach the issue.

  4. Facilitation: The ombudsman will facilitate communication between parties and help them find a mutually acceptable resolution. The ombudsman may provide suggestions for resolution, but the parties are responsible for determining their own outcome.

  5. Follow-up: The ombudsman will follow up with parties to ensure that the resolution has been implemented and that the situation has been resolved.

Effective Dispute Resolution

The workers compensation ombuds process is a valuable ADR tool that provides injured workers and their families with an informal, confidential, and impartial way to resolve disputes related to workers' compensation claims. The ombuds process is flexible, collaborative, and empowering, and it often results in creative and effective solutions that are beneficial for all parties involved.