(a) Any party to a claim may consult with an Information and Assistance Officer at any time to seek advice and assistance in the resolution of any misunderstanding, dispute, or controversy. The request for assistance need not be in writing, or be in any particular form, but it shall apprise the Information and Assistance Officer of the nature of the dispute and any other pertinent information to facilitate an appropriate inquiry by the Information and Assistance Officer. The Information and Assistance Officer shall communicate with the parties and provide information and assistance in resolving disputes.
(b) If an Application for Adjudication of Claim has been filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, any party may consult with an Information and Assistance Officer to seek assistance in resolving controverted issues or misunderstandings at any time prior to the filing of a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed. If the employee is not represented or by consent of the parties, the Information and Assistance Officer may continue to provide assistance after a filing of a Declaration of Readiness to Proceed.
(c) The Information and Assistance Officer shall provide assistance to asbestos workers in obtaining benefits from the Asbestos Workers' Account and/or the responsible employer pursuant to Section 4410 of the Labor Code.
(d) When the injured worker is not represented by an attorney or other representative, and either a Compromise and Release agreement or Stipulations with Request for Award, other than those presented at or subsequent to a regularly scheduled hearing, has been filed with the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, the information and assistance officer shall: review the documents; contact the parties when indicated; coordinate with other units within the Division of Workers' Compensation; seek to determine that the employee is aware of the significance of the agreement; and make recommendations to the parties and the workers` compensation judge. The Manager of the Information and Assistance Unit shall notify the Presiding Workers' Compensation Judge when this service cannot be provided timely.
NOTE: Authority cited: Sections 133, 139.6, 5307.3 and 5451, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 5450-5455, Labor Code.
1. Amendment filed 10-16-81; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 81, No. 42).
2. Amendment filed 7-15-83; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 83, No. 30).
3. Editorial correction of 7-15-83 order redesignating effective date to 8-1-83 pursuant to Government Code Section 11346.2(d) filed 7-19-83 (Register 83, No. 30).
4. Repealer of subsection (d), subsection relettering and amendment of newly designated subsection (d) filed 2-16-95; operative 2-16-95. Submitted to OAL for printing only pursuant to Government Code section 11351 (Register 95, No. 7).