What is a supersedeas?

by Karl Voigt

When an insurance carrier files a petition to stop or reduce your workers’ compensation benefits, it will usually request a supersedeas. So what exactly is a supersedeas? First, “supersedeas” is Latin for “you shall desist”. The carrier is essentially attempting to convince a judge to issue a temporary (or “interlocutory”) order to stop your benefits. This is

Thankfully, the carrier needs a judge’s permission to stop or reduce your checks. By filing a petition, the carrier is trying to get a permanent order to stop your benefits. This process can take months. When it requests a supersedeas, the carrier feels it has such compelling evidence against you that they think a judge should stop those benefits before the case is even fully litigated.

Thankfully, the judge can’t stop your benefits until a hearing is held. And this gives you time to prepare. At that first hearing, the carrier will introduce its evidence against you to pursue its request for supersedeas. After that, the judge must rule on the request within 14 days. Therefore, at the first hearing, you must be prepared to submit your own documentary evidence to combat the employers request for supersedeas.

If you have just hired an attorney because the petition has been filed, that attorney will present that evidence on your behalf. Namely, the attorney will likely submit medical records from your treating physicians as well as perhaps an affidavit signed by you. All of this evidence is being presented on your behalf to convince the judge not to grant that request for supersedeas. Assuming the judge actually denies the employer’s request for supersedeas, it is at this time that the judge will likely approve of the deduction of your lawyers fees.

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