Policies and Procedures – Compensation Panel Review and Decision
The Board and Program Director recognize that the amount and frequency of the claims submitted to the Compensation Panel is too difficult to forecast at this point. We do anticipate that the number of claims will initially require the Panel to convene multiple-day sessions, and that each session will require preparation work on the part of the Panel members.
PRD-1 Two weeks prior to a session of the Compensation Panel, completed claims will be sent to each Panel member for their review. The claim will consist of the following:
- Document of attendance at either the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf or the Maine School for the Deaf (see BCA 10). This document will be signed and dated by authorized Governor Baxter School staff.
- If Governor Baxter School is unable to locate any records pertaining to the claimant, other documents such as report cards, school certificates, or year book documentation may be used.
- Documented testimony of claimant to be signed and notarized.
- Corroborative information and documents: school records, medical records, counseling records.
- Claim Consultant Summary to include basic information (demographics, number of times met, basic content of the claim file).
The claim folder will be one of three colors to identify a panel member as the lead for that claim in the subsequent full-panel meeting.
PRD-2 During the two weeks prior to the Panel meeting each Panel member will do a preliminary assessment for each claim. At the end of each preliminary assessment the Panel member will complete a Preliminary Assessment form (BCA11).
PRD-3 When the Panel convenes, each claimant will have the opportunity to meet with the Panel in person. At this time, the claimant can offer actual testimony and/or be available to answer any question the Panel may have. The Panel retains the option to request an appearance of the claimant to a session providing that the purpose for the appearance is to offer clarification rather that to submit to examination. If the claimant chooses not to appear before the Panel, the Panel will have the option to seek clarification from other sources i.e. the claims consultant working with the claimant.. The claimant may also choose to provide a video-tape for the Panel to view.
PRD-4 For each claim, the lead Panel member will offer a summary of the claim and the results of their preliminary assessment. At the conclusion of the summary the other 2 Panel members will have an opportunity to offer their conclusions regarding the claim.
PRD-5 At the conclusion of each claim discussion, the Panel will take a vote as to the eligibility of the claim. All three Panel members must be present for the vote which will be majority driven. An eligibility document (see BCA 12) will be filled out for each claim. The term “present” for the purposes of Panel voting is defined as a Panel member actually being on site or present by virtual access such as ITV (interactive television).
PRD-6 If the Panel determines that a claimant is not eligible, a letter informing the claimant of the Panel’s decision and the claimant’s appeal rights will be sent to the claimant (see BCA 13). The Panel will also inform the claims consultant working with the claimant and the Program Director of their decision before the letter is mailed. The Program Director and the claims consultant will discuss what supports may need to be available for the claimant, and if the information should be provided directly to the claimant by the claim consultant or a support professional.
PRD-7 At the conclusion of each session, the Panel will make a final assessment and decision (see BCA 15) regarding the level of compensation for each of the eligible claims. This decision will be by a majority vote. All 3 Panel members must be present for the vote. Previous to the vote Panel members should feel free to discuss any aspect of a claim or claims with fellow Panel members.
PRD-8 A letter will be sent to the eligible claimant informing them of the Compensation Panel’s decision regarding the claimant’s eligibility for compensation and the compensation amount (see BCA 16). If the decision regarding the amount reflects a tier 1 or 2, a letter (see BCA 17) to the claimant will also include the claimant’s right to appeal the decision.