Even though your employer is responsible for ensuring your safety at work, accidents can happen. In such situations, you may need to file a workers' compensation insurance claim within the specified time to receive medical treatment and compensation for lost wages. Otherwise, you may be denied reimbursements concerning your losses. This blog will guide you through the process of filing a workers' compensation insurance claim so that you can file it with ease and get your benefits.
How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim?
- Report the Incident to Your Employer
If you suffer an injury at the workplace, make sure to inform your employer in writing as soon as possible. While most states set deadlines for reporting injuries, say within 30 days in New York, other states provide employees over a year to report an injury. Several injuries qualify for reimbursements, such as slips and falls, developing carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive typing, etc. Injuries that aggravate over time such as mesothelioma (caused by exposure to asbestos) should be reported as soon as possible.
- Proceed with the Necessary Paperwork
Your employer will give you a claim form to fill out the nature of your injury, along with where, when, and how it occurred. They may also have you fill out a first report of injury form that you will submit to your state’s worker's compensation board.
- File the Claim Form
Your employer will send the claim form and other documentation (including any witnesses or evidence of injuries to support the claim) to the workers' compensation insurance carrier. Sometimes, your doctor may also need to submit a medical report of your injury. You may also require reporting the injury to your state's Division of Workers' Compensation board, even if you are not seeking compensation.
- The Claims Process Begins
After filing the claim, your insurer will look into it to decide whether to approve or deny it. If your claim is approved, your insurer will contact your employer and you and hand over the payments. You may negotiate the lump-sum settlement if you are not okay with what is offered. If your claim is denied, you can request your insurer to reconsider it or file an appeal through your state’s workers' compensation board or commission.
- Come Back to Work If you have recovered from an injury and can return to work, inform your insurer and employer about it in writing. If your employer organizes return-to-work programs, you can join them to enhance your skills or get adjusted working hours or duties until you can work to your full potential.
Workers' Compensation Claims Process
To kick start your workers' compensation claims process following a workplace accident, as an employer, you must:
- Have your employee complete the paperwork stating the date, place, time, and circumstances of the incident.
- Look for witnesses and include their statements in a document to support the claim.
- Provide your insurer with the completed form and supporting documentation.
- Submit the first report of incident form to your state’s workers' compensation board if needed.
Workers' compensation insurance is designed to protect both the employer and the employee during a workplace injury, accident, or other related mishaps. So, employers must have it while being informed about filing a claim and the benefits they are entitled to in case of workplace mishaps.
Concerned About Workplace Accidents? Get Worker's Compensation Coverage!
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