(a) The Board will consider an application for a lump sum payment of all remaining income benefits or a lump sum advance of a portion of the remaining income benefits, but will not consider any application unless benefits have been continued for at least 26 weeks. The employer/insurer may make a lump sum payment or lump sum advance without commutation of interest and without an award from the Board.
(b) In lieu of a hearing, the Board will consider applications for lump sum advances and lump sum payments in accordance with the following procedure:
(1) A request for a lump sum advance or lump sum payment must be submitted on Form WC-25, and a copy must be sent to the employer/insurer and any other interested parties. The request will not be granted unless the current Form WC-25 is completely filled out with appropriate supporting documents as directed on the form.
(2) The parties have 15 days from the date of the certificate of service to file objections to the application. Objections to an application must be accompanied by documents in support of the objections, may be accompanied by counter-affidavits, and must be served upon the party or the attorney making the application. A certificate of service must accompany the objections attached.
(3) If any party elects to cross-examine an adverse party, it must notify the Board within 15 days of the date of the certificate of service of the Form WC-25 of its intention to submit a deposition. The deposition must be filed with the Board no later than 30 days from the certificate of service on the Form WC-25, unless an extension is granted by the Board upon a showing of just cause.
(4) If, in the judgment of the Board, there are material and bona fide disputes of fact, the Board may schedule a hearing or assign the case to an Administrative Law Judge for the purpose of receiving evidence, or schedule a mediation conference on the issues.
(5) The maximum amount of attorney fees which will be awarded in conjunction with an advance will be 25 percent of the amount of the advance or $500.00, whichever is less, unless specifically authorized by the Board. In the event the attorney obtaining the advance has a fee contract that has been previously approved by order or award of the Board, attorney fees will be authorized in accordance with the terms of the order or award.