The state is closing its Workers’ Compensation Board Service Center on State Street in September, part of an effort to save millions by consolidating offices and reducing staff, officials said.
The center at 328 State St. is one of 11 to be closed over the next two years. Its two hearing judges will move to other facilities, said Brian Keegan, spokesman for the state Workers’ Compensation Board.
The Schenectady service center is primarily used to hear appeals to claims the state has denied, Keegan said. The center hears approximately 2 percent of the 300,000 appeals statewide.
Hearings scheduled at the State Street center will be held instead at the nearest hearing site, which would likely be in Albany, Glens Falls or Utica, depending on where the claimant lives. Those sites are not part of the board’s consolidation plan, he said.
“Special care was taken to make sure no claimant will have to travel more than fifty miles to reach a board location,” Keegan said. “It is our hope that any disruption felt by either employees or claimants will be minimal.”
No other center in the Capital Region is scheduled to close; the nearest is in Oswego. The closures will leave 18 service centers.
Keegan said the state hopes to save $6 million over the next 10 years through the consolidation, mostly through reductions in its staffing and in overtime and through better use of technology.
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