It's A Matter Of Time: Filing For Workers' Compensation
If you have been injured at work and need to take advantage of your employer's workers comp insurance, you should be aware that time is of the essence when it comes to receiving benefits. Workers comp benefits are a valuable financial resource provided to you by your employer at no cost to you. When you are injured in a work-related accident, workers compensation will pay for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages while you recuperate. Failing to file for benefits in a timely manner could put you at risk of losing this resource, so read below for the facts you need to know about workers' comp deadlines.
Specific State and Federal Rules
Every state will have their own rules about workers comp filing deadlines, but the following information refers to general and commonly used guidelines that many states follow. For Federal employees who are injured on the job, workers compensation is a separate program administered by the Department of Labor.
Immediately After Your Injury
Regardless of where you live, prompt reporting of your accident or illness is vital to the success of your claim. While most states do not have a specific deadline in place for contacting your supervisor about your injury, it's in your best interest to do so at the earliest possible time. Failing to report your issue in a reasonable amount of time could make it appear to the workers compensation insurance company that your injury is not serious or work-related.
Verbal notification of your injury is normally sufficient, but be sure to specify to your supervisor that your injury was work-related and you wish to file a workers' comp claim. It is your employer's responsibility to file the claim, but it is in your best interest to ensure that it gets done by checking back in with your supervisor on the claim's status.
In most states, your employer has about 30-90 days to file your workers' compensation claim, but this varies by state. You can usually locate more state-specific information about the workers' compensation program and filing deadlines under your state's department of labor.
Exceptions to the Deadline
Being hospitalized, in most states, will extend the filing deadline for workers compensation. Additionally, those afflicted with a cumulative injury must file once they become aware of the injury or are diagnosed with the injury or disorder by a doctor. Disorders that are caused by continuous motions, such as carpel tunnel syndrome, are cumulative in nature; it may take some time for most victims to be aware of the condition and the resulting damage to the body.
Contact a workers compensation attorney for more information about filing deadlines and how to get the compensation you deserve for your work-related injury.