“Did you Know? There are Deadlines with Filing for Workers’ Compensation.”
The Workers’ Compensation Law is designed to protect an injured worker by providing them with lost wages and medical coverage for treatment of their work-related injuries. If an injured worker sustains a permanent injury, the law may also provide for cash payments. In order to claim workers’ compensation, there are certain deadlines you should be aware of.
Initially, when a worker is injured at work, they have a duty to report the injury to the employer. The law allows you up to 30 days from the accident to notify the employer of the injury. However, it is a good idea to notify the company as soon as possible after the accident. This allows the employer a chance to conduct an investigation of the accident, if they wish, and to speak to any witnesses. Employers also usually have written policies in place requiring the injured worker to immediately notify their supervisor or other designated representative in case of an accident. While failure to give notice per the employer’s policy will not necessarily prevent you from filing a workers’ compensation claim, it may leave you subject to discipline by the employer for not adhering to their written policy. Workers who contract an occupational disease over time like carpal tunnel syndrome, have two years to notify the employer from the date they learn they have a work-related illness.
After you give notice, you need to file a claim with the workers’ compensation board. This is done by completing and filing a C-3 claim form. These forms can be obtained from Fine, Olin & Anderman. We will help you complete the forms and then file them with the workers’ compensation board on your behalf. Under the law, you have two years from the accident date or the date you learned you have an occupational disease, to file the C-3 claim form with the Board.
If you attended a hearing without a lawyer and received an unfavorable decision from the Judge, you have the right to appeal. The law provides you with 30 days from the filing date of the decision to request administrative review. Appeals must be filed in writing with the board. The appeal must set forth the arguments supporting why your claim was improperly denied.
If you have received workers’ compensation claim in the past and now have a flare up in your medical condition, you may reopen your claim. Under the law, you have lifetime medical coverage for an established workers’ compensation claim. This means your coverage applies, even after you retire from work or relocate to a different place to live! If your condition becomes worse, you may also be entitled to new payments of cash workers compensation benefits. You have the later of 18 years from the accident date or 8 years from the last payment of workers’ compensation benefits to reopen a claim for further cash awards.
If you have been seriously injured at work, you may have been classified with a permanent partial disability and awarded weekly cash payments for a period of years. Once that award period expires, you may be able to get further benefits. The law allows injured workers classified with greater than a 75% loss of wage-earning capacity to apply for continuing benefits where an extreme hardship would arise with the loss of workers’ compensation payments. To qualify, the injured worker has to provide the board within one year prior to their benefits running out, a list of household income and expenses. The Judge will then determine if the worker qualifies for an extreme hardship redetermination.
Many claims may be denied by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier for various reasons. In order to force the carrier to pay the claim, a hearing before a Judge may be required. If you think you have been denied benefits you are entitled to or simply have a question, speaking to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help. Fine, Olin & Anderman has represented injured workers since 1963. We can be reached at 800-522-9001 or check out our website at foalaw.com for more information.