If you have been injured on the job, then you may be able to get workers compensation. Your workers' compensation benefits will be paid so that your living expenses will be covered while you are recovering. The benefits are paid by a State Workers Insurance Fund or private insurance companies.
How do I get my Benefits?
One of the keys to making sure that you get your benefits is to report your injury to your supervisor immediately. You will need to let your employer know about the time and date of the injury. Your benefits may be delayed or denied if you do not let your employer know. The employer is also required to report the injury to the Bureau of Workers Compensation.
The employer has the option of accepting or denying the claim. If your claim is denied, then you have the right to appeal.
Types of Workers Compensation
Payment for Lost Wages
You can get wage loss benefits if you are unable to work due to your injury. You must be partially or totally disabled due to your injury.
If a person dies due to their injury, then the person's dependent may be entitled to benefits.
Specific Loss Benefits
If you have loss a body part such as your hand, arm, finger or thumb, then you can get compensation for that. You can also get compensation if you lost your sight, hearing or have been permanently disfigured due to your injury.
Employers are responsible for giving their employees instructions regarding getting medical care after a work-related injury. Employees will be given a written notice that states what they should do after they are injured. You can get the cost of your medical expenses covered by workers' compensation.
What Type of Conditions are Covered by Workers Compensation?
Just about any injury or illness that is caused by your job can be covered by workers' compensation. However, there are some exceptions. For example, if the injury is self-inflicted, then it will not be covered by workers' compensation. The injury will not be covered by workers' compensation if it is caused by alcohol or illegal drug use. Additionally, if the employee intentionally disregarded the employer's rules, then the injury may not be covered.
When Will I be Covered?
If your employer offers workers compensation, then you will be covered the first date that you are hired. You will be able to file a claim as soon as you get injured.
Can I Choose my Health Care Provider?
You have to choose a healthcare provider that is approved by your employer. Most employers have a list of healthcare providers that are accepted. If surgery or an invasive treatment is recommended, then you can get a second opinion. However, you must get this second opinion within 90 days of the first visit. If your employer does not tell you that you have to visit certain healthcare providers, then you will be able to choose your own.
Keep in mind that your claim may be denied if you do not see the healthcare providers that are recommended by your insurer or employer.
Will I Need an Attorney?
You can represent yourself if you need to go to court for workers' compensation. However, a non-attorney will not be able to represent you. It is important to remember that the insurer or employer will be represented by an employer. You will need to discuss cost and fee arrangements with your attorney. The worker's compensation judge has to approve the fee and cost.
What if I get an Offer of Employment?
You may not be able to do the same job after you get injured. However, you may get an employment offer if your employer determines that there is a job available for you that fits your medical needs and in your area. If you decline the job offer, then your benefits may be stopped. They must continue to pay the workers' compensation benefits until a hearing takes place.
The judge will make a decision after listening to you and your employer. The judge will consider your ability to work and the availability of the work before making a decision.