If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer an accident or get sick on the job, you might have to make a request for workers’ compensation. These benefits pay for hospital treatment, physical therapy, and a certain amount of salary remuneration if you’re forced to take time off from work.
To receive workers’ comp benefits, you’ll need to make a claim and properly comply with your particular state’s requirements.
Making a Claim
Seek medical treatment immediately if you really need it, and remember to notify your boss about your mishap at your earliest opportunity. You need to be very aware of this aspect of filing a workers’ compensation claim, as states set very different limitations on how many days you’ve got to inform your boss.
In the majority of states, 30 days is the max, but it can range from several days to a couple of years.
In case your employer won’t work with you when you make a workers’ comp claim (which is unlikely), calling your regional workers’ compensation provider should help sort things out.
Your employer should provide you with a claim form to complete and send in, or at least be able to get you one quickly. After that, it’s your boss’s obligation to send the document to the appropriate insurance company.
According to the laws in your state, you (as opposed to your employer) might have to make another claim with your local workers’ comp organization. A time limitation applies to this also – usually a year following an injury – but the limit may be shorter in your location.
Getting Approved and Receiving Benefits
As long as your employer and insurance provider do not dispute your claim, approval is the next step, and an insurance adjuster will get in touch with you to guide you through submitting your hospital bills. But sometimes the unexpected happens.
Your employer, in order to prevent their workers’ compensation rates from going up, could challenge your claim for benefits. An effective way to deal with these kinds of problems is to produce good records of all your medical treatment for your injuries.
If your injuries aren’t too severe and don’t force you to miss work, being paid for your health costs will most likely conclude your claim, as you won’t have much left to receive.
If your injury causes you to lose work temporarily, you will soon start getting checks to pay for your income loss as well – generally within a few days after your claim’s approval. Your boss will advise the insurance provider to stop mailing you lost income checks once you have recuperated and come back to work.
Who You Should Contact First
The first thing you need to do is contact the organization that handles workers’ comp claims in the state you live in. A lot of states run benefit hotlines and web pages as well.
Although they are variable as far as how in-depth they go, they should be able to give you the most essential details you need to determine if and how you should make a claim.