Workers’ Comp Qualifications 101
No matter where you work or what industry you’re employed in, every job comes with some risk. If you suffer a work-related injury due to these dangers, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Employers are required to carry hurt-on-the-job insurance so you’re well taken care of in the event of an injury. Before you can receive full benefits, however, you’ll have to meet a few qualifications.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR INJURED WORKER BENEFITS
Most importantly, you must be an employee. While this seems common sense, some companies will misidentify their employees as independent contractors in order to avoid paying benefits. If you think this is the case, you should immediately contact a workers’ comp attorney.
In addition to being an employee, you must also have suffered an injury related to your work. This could be a temporary disability caused by a particular accident or a long-term injury caused by continuous strain at a job. The great thing about hurt-on-the-job benefits is that it doesn’t matter who is at fault. If you’re injured during the course of employment, you are eligible for benefits.
If something happened at your place of employment that prevents you from working or that requires medical care, you should immediately begin applying for benefits.
APPLYING FOR WORKERS’ COMP BENEFITS
If you qualify for injured worker benefits, there are a few steps you must take to receive compensation. First and foremost, promptly alert your employer. Failing to do so could result in the manager saying your injury wasn’t work-related. After reporting, the employer should fill out a form to start the process of receiving your benefits.
Some employers, though, will try to avoid this. After all, their rates could go up if the insurer believes the work environment is especially unsafe. If your employer is dragging their feet or refuses to file the appropriate paperwork, that’s another occasion to immediately contact a workers’ comp lawyer. At this point, you’ll need to get a Workers’ Comp Form WC-117 submitted to the state. Fortunately, you can do this without your manager’s consent.
A Form WC-117 is the first step in the workers’ comp claims process. Keep in mind, though, that your employer isn’t the only one who might drag their feet. The insurance company may also try to give you less than you deserve.
FACING A WORKERS’ COMP DENIAL
The fact that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be approved. Insurance companies are working for themselves – not you. The main thing to remember is that a denial isn’t the end of the road. In fact, many people only receive fair benefits after being denied once and appealing the decision.
You’ll first want to read over the Notice of Dispute letter that confirmed your benefits were denied. After doing this, however, it’s important to contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately. These legal professionals are working for you – not the insurance company. Even if you end up successfully appealing on your own, you may not get the fullest benefits without representation.
At Levine Benjamin, we strive to make sure you receive every dime you deserve after suffering an injury at work. You may be eligible for lost work time coverage, medical care and necessary prescriptions. Don’t take the chance of missing out on the injured worker benefits owed to you. Contact the workers’ comp attorneys at Levine Benjamin today.