Where do I file an Application with the WCAB: Is it where I live or where I work?
In order to dispute whether an employer or insurance company has provided all necessary benefits in a workers compensation case, an application must be filed with the Workers Compensation Appeals Board. There are offices throughout the state, and where you file may depend on several factors.
You can file your case, in the County where you live at the time you file, regardless of where the injury occuredLabor Code Section 5501.5 contains the rule about where you can file your workers compensation case in California. Labor Code Section 5501.5 states that, "(a) The application for adjudication of claim shall be filed in any of the following locations: (1) In the county where the injured employee or dependent of a deceased employee resides on the date of filing."
You can file your case, in the County where the injury occurredYou can file your case in the County where your injury occurred. Labor Code Section 5501.5(a)(2) states specifically, that, you can file your case "In the county where the injury allegedly occurred, or, in cumulative trauma and industrial disease claims, where the last alleged injurious exposure occurred."
You can also file your claim in the County where your attorney maintains his or her main place of businessYou can also file your claim in the county where your attorney has his or her office. Labor Code Section 5501.5(a)(3) states you can file an application, "In the county where the employee's attorney maintains his or her principal place of business, if the employee is represented by an attorney." Labor Code Section 500.5(c), provides however, that "If the venue site where the application is to be filed is the county where the employee's attorney maintains his or her principal place of business, the attorney for the employee shall indicate that venue site when forwarding the information request form required by Section 5401.5. The employer shall have 30 days from receipt of the information request form to object to the selected venue site. Where there is an employer objection to a venue site under paragraph (3) of subdivision (a), then the application shall be filed pursuant to either paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a)." Therefore, if your attorney files in the county where his or her office is located, and the employer objects within 30 days, then jurisdiction would be moved to either the county where the injured worker resides or the county where the injury took place.
If there is no WCAB office in the county where you would otherwise be able to file, you can file your claim in the next nearest county.If there is no WCAB office in the county where you live, where the injury occurred or where your attorney maintains his or her office, you can file your claim in the next nearest county.