You may find yourself in the unfortunate position of being injured in a work-related accident or having a work-related illness and being denied benefits. You can be turned down for workers compensation for several reasons, but you should never simply accept the ruling. There are steps you can take to get compensated for workplace injuries. Read below for more information.
Reasons to be turned down
You will receive a letter detailing the reasons for your workers compensation denial.
A common reason given is that the employer claims that the injury did not occur, did not occur at work or was not serious enough for a claim. To refute this, you must make sure that you have medical evidence to the contrary and witnesses to your injury or illness.
Another reason used may be that you did not file in a timely manner. Most states have time limits for filing a claim. The only way to get around such time limits is to prove that your injury or illness did not become apparent until a later time. For example, repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome sometimes take months or years to become serious enough to cause problems doing your job.
What you can do
Review your claim denial letter carefully for the reason. It is entirely possible that the reason is simply a misunderstanding, typographical error or other accidental omissions. Get in touch with the workers compensation insurance carrier, and try to resolve any issues if this the case. Sometimes, you can get your claim reinstated with a quick phone call.
The denial letter will normally contain information on how to file an appeal to the denial. Pay close attention to the times given for filing the appropriate paperwork in the appeals process. Most states will hold an administrative hearing to allow you to plead your case and present evidence about your injuries. These hearings are often before your state's department of labor or the workers compensation board. You will need your complete medical records related to your injury at this hearing. There are also normally additional levels of hearings if you are once again denied.
Once you receive your initial letter of denial, you should strongly consider contacting a workers compensation lawyer, like those at Neifert Byrne & Ozga. You will be faced with short timelines, and the stress of appearing before a board and proving your case. You are already suffering from your injuries, and you don't need the added trauma of going through this process alone. Your workers comp lawyer will help you be fully prepared to get your claim approved and get you the compensation you deserve.