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33 U.S. Code § 919 - Procedure in respect of claims

(a) Filing of claim

Subject to the provisions of section 913 of this title a claim for compensation may be filed with the deputy commissioner in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary at any time after the first seven days of disability following any injury, or at any time after death, and the deputy commissioner shall have full power and authority to hear and determine all questions in respect of such claim.

(b) Notice of claim

Within ten days after such claim is filed the deputy commissioner, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary, shall notify the employer and any other person (other than the claimant), whom the deputy commissioner considers an interested party, that a claim has been filed. Such notice may be served personally upon the employer or other person, or sent to such employer or person by registered mail.

(c) Investigations; order for hearing; notice; rejection or award

The deputy commissioner shall make or cause to be made such investigations as he considers necessary in respect of the claim, and upon application of any interested party shall order a hearing thereon. If a hearing on such claim is ordered the deputy commissioner shall give the claimant and other interested parties at least ten days’ notice of such hearing, served personally upon the claimant and other interested parties or sent to such claimant and other interested parties by registered mail or by certified mail, and shall within twenty days after such hearing is had, by order, reject the claim or make an award in respect of the claim. If no hearing is ordered within twenty days after notice is given as provided in subsection (b), the deputy commissioner shall, by order, reject the claim or make an award in respect of the claim.

(d) Provisions governing conduct of hearing; administrative law judges

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, any hearing held under this chapter shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of section 554 of title 5. Any such hearing shall be conducted by a [1] administrative law judge qualified under section 3105 of that title. All powers, duties, and responsibilities vested by this chapter, on October 27, 1972, in the deputy commissioners with respect to such hearings shall be vested in such administrative law judges.

(e) Filing and mailing of order rejecting claim or making award

The order rejecting the claim or making the award (referred to in this chapter as a compensation order) shall be filed in the office of the deputy commissioner, and a copy thereof shall be sent by registered mail or by certified mail to the claimant and to the employer at the last known address of each.

(f) Awards after death of employee

An award of compensation for disability may be made after the death of an injured employee.

(g) Transfer of case

At any time after a claim has been filed with him, the deputy commissioner may, with the approval of the Secretary, transfer such case to any other deputy commissioner for the purpose of making investigation, taking testimony, making physical examinations or taking such other necessary action therein as may be directed.

(h) Physical examination of injured employee

An injured employee claiming or entitled to compensation shall submit to such physical examination by a medical officer of the United States or by a duly qualified physician designated or approved by the Secretary as the deputy commissioner may require. The place or places shall be reasonably convenient for the employee. Such physician or physicians as the employee, employer, or carrier may select and pay for may participate in an examination if the employee, employer, or carrier so requests. Proceedings shall be suspended and no compensation be payable for any period during which the employee may refuse to submit to examination.

(Mar. 4, 1927, ch. 509, § 19, 44 Stat. 1435; June 25, 1938, ch. 685, § 9, 52 Stat. 1167; Pub. L. 86–507, § 1(30), (31), June 11, 1960, 74 Stat. 202; Pub. L. 92–576, § 14, Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1261; Pub. L. 95–251, § 2(a)(10), Mar. 27, 1978, 92 Stat. 183; Pub. L. 98–426, § 27(a)(2), Sept. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1654.)

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “an”.
Editorial Notes

1984—Subsecs. (a), (b), (g), (h). Pub. L. 98–426, § 27(a)(2), substituted “Secretary” for “commission”. See Transfer of Functions note under section 902 of this title.

1978—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 95–251 substituted references to administrative law judges for references to hearing examiners.

1972—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 92–576 substituted provisions for conduct of hearings under section 554 of title 5 by a hearing examiner qualified under section 3105 of title 5 and vesting in hearing examiners the powers, duties, and responsibilities vested in deputy commissioners on Oct. 27, 1972, for former provisions authorizing claimant and employer to present evidence with respect to claims and for representation of a claimant under a written authorization.

1960—Subsecs. (c), (e). Pub. L. 86–507 inserted “or by certified mail” after “registered mail”.

1938—Subsec. (g). Act June 25, 1938, authorized transfer of cases, with administrative approval, at any time after filing of claim for the additional purposes of making investigations and taking other necessary action instead of after issuance of compensation order without anyone’s approval.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–426 effective Sept. 28, 1984, see section 28(e)(1) of Pub. L. 98–426, set out as a note under section 901 of this title.

Effective Date of 1972 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 92–576 effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1972, see section 22 of Pub. L. 92–576, set out as a note under section 902 of this title.