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Subject Number 046-1683 Additional Criteria for Section 32 Waiver Agreements Reviewed Without a Hearing

Board Bulletins and Subject Numbers

May 1, 2024

Effective July 1, 2024, the NYS Workers' Compensation Board will utilize a desk review process, as opposed to a formal hearing, to review Section 32 waiver agreements involving claimants who are represented by counsel, in which the gross settlement amount is $10,000.00 or less.

This adds to the criteria for desk review resolution of Section 32 waiver agreements that was established in 2016 (see Subject Number 046-778). At that time, the Board indicated that the desk review process was to be utilized for those settlements in which an injured worker (other than a minor dependent) has legal representation and:

In the years since Subject Number 046-778 was issued, due to staffing levels and the allocation of administrative resources, many Section 32 waiver agreements settling only indemnity benefits continued to be considered at a hearing before a Workers' Compensation Law Judge, and not via the desk review process.

To improve efficiency for the benefit of all parties, it is now the Board's intention to resume the desk review process for a substantial majority of agreements that settle only indemnity benefits. Effective July 1, 2024, most such agreements will be reviewed administratively, via desk review, without a hearing.

The Board reserves the right to schedule a hearing before a Workers' Compensation Law Judge to consider a Section 32 waiver agreement in any case in which the Board, at its discretion, determines a hearing is warranted based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

The Board anticipates that the increased use of the desk review process will significantly reduce the time it takes to approve Section 32 waiver agreements and will allow necessary hearings to be held sooner.

For more information about Section 32 waiver agreements, please see the Section 32 Waiver Agreements Guidance page of or write to the Office of General Counsel at

Clarissa M. Rodriguez