What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Comp is the financial and service-based compensation that an employer pays an employee that suffers an injury in the day-to-day duties of his or her job.
As an example, if you work in a paper supplier’s storehouse and stumble off a ladder while doing your assignment, you would be entitled to remuneration for the cost of the accident.
However, this extends beyond just medical bills.
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) is the primary system responsible for handling the review, adjudication, and resolution of workers compensation claims.
There are four programs that your compensation falls under:
- Wage Replacement Benefits: Benefits that directly replace the wages you would have earned had you not been injured on the job.
- Medical Treatment Benefits: Compensation for any medical expenses incurred as a result of the workplace injury.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: Services offered to eligible servicemen, servicewomen, and veterans with service-connected disabilities.
- Other miscellaneous payments: The remaining legally eligible workers’ compensation cases.
How to file your workers’ compensation claim
Step 1: Reporting the Injury
This is the initial step that you have to take. Often times, when you’re injured in the workplace it is witnessed by co-workers or administrators who may or may not facilitate the procedure.
Regardless, you have to report the injury as soon as you can.
Sometimes, employers will drag the process out, or they’ll downplay the incident’s severity.
You need fair treatment, and reporting the injury is the first step in ensuring your equal treatment and well-being are primary concerns.
Step 2: File The Claim
After disclosing the injury and filling out the appropriate forms, the employer is legally obligated to file a claim with both their insurance provider and his or her respective state workers’ compensation agency.
It’s also important to do this as timely as possible, as the odds of a case processing with proper benefits decreases as time elapses after the issue.
Differing states have different cut off periods, and it’s wise to know yours.
View this helpful tool to discover your time filing deadlines.
And if you’re a federal employee, check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s Division of Federal Employee’s Compensation Act.
Step 3: Facilitate the Process
From here, the insurance firm will hold their investigation of the matter, but it’s important to stay active during this time.
Insurance companies typically concern themselves more with the employer that pays them and less with the laborer that was actually injured.
While they seek to remain within the confines of the law, this doesn’t mean insurance corporations are your ally. It’s important to follow up and assist them with all the evidence you can.
Your Best Bet
There are a ton of variables with this process. Before the claim is even ready to file, employers will drag their feet and inhibit the procedure.
From taking time to provide the proper paperwork to the time necessary to file the paperwork on their end, the process gets dicey, and assistance is often needed.
Often times the claim get’s denied and you have to file an appeal. With the appeal, there is a further incident examination process with even more stringent deadlines and requirements.
What’s your best bet? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer.
Especially when claims deny, Personal Injury Lawyers have the training to advise you on the legitimacy of your case, the necessary deadlines, and the right paper requirements needed to get your compensation.
Usually, financial payment isn’t even necessary, and it’s only due if you win your case.
When injured on the job, it is workers comp that will get you paid for the time you spend injured and unable to work.
During this time there are many steps to go through, and it’s smart to have an experienced personal injury lawyer.