The initial part of your claim is handled informally with the Department of Labor serving as a mediator. If an issue arises, your case will be set for an informal conference with a representative of the Department of Labor, the Employer/Carrier, the Claimant, and Claimant’s attorney. Claims that cannot be resolved informally, will be referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) for formal hearing. This is an actual trial in front of a Judge. Here you will be asked to testify with other possible witnesses and doctors’ medical evidence will be offered. The Judge alone will decide your case. Decisions by an administrative law judge may be appealed to the Benefits Review Board and to the federal courts.