Worker's Compensation Law

Workers’ Compensation Law Specialization Examination
• 6 hours long (two 3-hour sessions)
• 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Morning Session – 
• Includes approximately 100 objective (multiple choice or true/false) questions. 
• Answers are coded on a “scantron” sheet. 
• Allow slightly less than 2 minutes per question.
• Open book materials will be provided for the morning session only.
• Calculators are allowed.

Two-hour lunch break

Afternoon session – 
• Includes approximately 5 short essay questions. 
• Includes approximately 30 short answer questions. 
• Allow approximately 18 minutes per essay question and 3 minutes per short answer question.
• No open book materials.
• Examinees are strongly encouraged to type their answers rather than handwrite.
• Calculators are allowed.

All questions are allocated "points" and require responses that demonstrate accuracy, clarity, sound reasoning, recognition of the problem presented, knowledge of the principle of law involved and correct application of those principles. Full or partial credit for answers may be given.

The open book exam materials include:

The Statutes in Chapter 97 (the Workers’ Compensation Act)
The Industrial Commission rules

These materials are provided by the North Carolina State Bar and are available for the morning session only. Applicants are not permitted to bring any materials with them into the exam sessions unless otherwise specifically allowed.

Subject Matter - The examination may cover the applicant's knowledge and application of the law in the following topics:

(A) Chapter 97 of the NC General Statutes and the case law interpreting Chapter 97

(B) Workers' Compensation Rules of the NC Industrial Commission

(C) Rules for Utilization of Rehabilitation Professionals of the NC Industrial Commission

(D) Rules for Mediated Settlement and Neutral Evaluation Conferences of the NC Industrial Commission

(E) The intersection of any federal or state law with the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and related rules and cases.

Study Tips: Read Chapter 97 and Annotations; Read the Industrial Commissions’ Rules; Read the appellate case law which interprets the major issues, including but not limited to:

Accident Cases
Appeal Procedures
Average Weekly Wage
Attorney Fees
Burdens of Proof and Presumptions
Change of Condition
Compensation from Sources Outside the Workers’ Compensation Act
Conditions Precedents and Statutes of Limitations
Death Benefits
Disability Compensation
Forms and Form Agreements
Independent Contractors and Subcontractors
Industrial Commission Procedures
Medical Compensation
Medical Rehabilitation 
Vocational Rehabilitation
Occupational Disease
Return to Work Issues

Sample Questions/Answers

(Please note that sample questions were taken from previous exams and are included only as a reference for types of questions and suggested answers. They are not intended for use as legal authority.)

1. Plaintiff has prevailed through the appellate chain. Interest is:

A. Not Payable
B. Payable on the indemnity compensation accrued
C. Payable on medical compensation accrued
D. B and C

Answer: D

2. If all parties agree, can they utilize neutral evaluation instead of a mediation without the consent of the North Carolina Industrial Commission

A. No
B. Yes, as long as it is concluded within the time allowed for mediation
C. Yes, as long as they notify the Dispute Resolution Coordinator prior to the appointment of a mediator
D. Yes, if they comply with (B) and (C).

Answer: A

3. An employee who sustains an injury to the low back which results in dysfunction in the leg may be legally entitled to receive permanent partial impairment benefits for both the back and the leg. True or False?

Answer: True

4. Please name 9 of the 18 enumerated diagnoses that are deemed to be “occupational diseases” under the Workers’ Compensation Act.   

(1) Anthrax
(2) Arsenic poisoning
(3) Brass poisoning
(4) Zinc poisoning
(5) Manganese poisoning
(6) Lead poisoning
(7) Mercury poisoning
(8) Phosphorus poisoning
(9) Poisoning by carbon bisulphide, menthanol, naphtha, or volatile halogenated hydrocarbons

217 E. Edenton Street (27601) • PO Box 25908 • Raleigh, NC 27611-5908 • 919.828.4620
Copyrightę North Carolina State Bar. All rights reserved. • Website design provided by