A worker is entitled to claim for compensation if he/she has suffered on-the-job injury or illness. Workers’ compensation covers part of their lost wages, medical bills and last but not the least, physical pain and mental suffering during the recovery period. If the injury leaves the worker disabled with permanent or long-lasting limitations, the person enjoys rights to claim for permanent disability benefits. However, the injured worker must report his/her injury and file a claim as per the state rules and laws.
Reporting On-the-Job Injury
Though laws vary across different states in the USA, reporting occupational illness or injury to the employer is mandatory irrespective of where the worker lives. However, the time limit for reporting your injury or illness is not uniform in all states. Usually the deadline is limited to 30 days but in some states, it can be as long as one year or as short as a week.
Regardless of the time limit, you should report to the employer about your injury as early as possible. If you are late in reporting your injury or illness, it is more likely that your employer or its insurer will grow suspicious of the motives behind your compensation claim.
Some injuries are severe and can be threatening to your life if treatment is not started immediately. Go to the nearby hospital to receive immediate care. Ensure to have all the medical reports and bills ready in place, as you need to submit those while making a comp claim.
Filing a Compensation Claim
After reporting your injury, you will receive necessary forms from your employer to fill out. The employer will submit the forms to the insurer as well as the state workers’ compensation agency. If your claim is denied and you are in favour of appealing the decision, you will be required to submit the official paperwork to the state workers’ comp agency as per rules in some states.
In other states, the injured worker is required to file a compensation claim form officially with the state workers’ compensation agency. The deadline is not the same across the states in the country.
The injured worker can get information, forms and guidance from the workers’ compensation agency in his/her state. It is most unlikely that your employer won’t agree to cooperate with you but if such an unfortunate event happens, dial the number of your nearby workers’ compensation office for immediate help.
Federal employees need to follow a different system for workers’ compensation claim. Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation has its own website. Visit the website, read the instructions, download the forms, fill out those and submit.
Once you are done with submission of forms, the insurance company will start its investigation for granting or refusing your claim. Even after the insurance company approves your claim, you won’t receive benefits immediately. In case the claim is rejected, you can always appeal the decision. As rejection of claim happens more often, you should reach out to an experienced Columbus Ohio employment lawyer for the next step.
There may be several reasons such as, missed deadlines, disputes for denials. The process of appeal involves complications with strict time deadline. Therefore, a lawyer’s help will feel like bliss in such a tough situation.