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Workers Comp hearings go digital

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Workers Comp hearings go digital

ALBANY — The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board said Thursday that it has formally launched a system that allows injured workers and other participants to attend workers’ comp hearings remotely, from their homes or offices.

The board developed the secure virtual hearings in partnership with the state Office of Information Technology Services to give all parties involved the option of using a smartphone, tablet or computer to attend hearings. It is the first high-definition, all-access system for legal hearings in the nation, and allows multiple users in multiple locations to log in once and move from one hearing to another.

Board Chairwoman Clarissa M. Rodriguez noted that the new technology eases the hardship of traveling considerable distances for hearings that often last only a few minutes.

Testing began in November 2017 in the board’s Capital Region office and has since been used by at least one participant in 33,000 hearings statewide. The technology is voluntary — participants can still opt to attend hearings in person.