If you are dealing with a serious workplace injury or illness, you may soon realize the impact it will have on your life in the future. Specifically, it may hinder your ability to earn a living, throwing your finances into disarray.
But then you realize that you can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. You won’t receive as much money as you would when working your regular job, but it’s better than no paycheck at all.
What if you are denied benefits?
However, there is no guarantee of a workers’ compensation approval. You could receive a denial letter for many reasons, such as:
- Lack of medical treatment immediately following the accident
- No (or insufficient) evidence that the injury occurred at work
- Employer disputes that you were injured on the job
- Did not file the claim on time
- Did not report the injury to your employer
If you receive a workers’ compensation denial, you’re left with two scenarios: give up or appeal the decision.
You need the income and you have a legal right to receive workers’ compensation payments, so giving up isn’t an option. Appealing the denial provides the opportunity to eventually receive the compensation that’s owed to you.
Before you file an appeal, you will need to collect more information and evidence to back up your claim. In some cases, this may be all you need in order to have the original decision overturned by the insurance company.
As you move through the appeals process, you could eventually find yourself in a hearing before an administrative law judge or workers’ compensation board.
Understanding that a workers’ compensation denial isn’t the end of the road is only half the battle. You then need to take action to protect your legal rights, as neglecting to do so will leave you lost and looking for answers.
You hope that your employer doesn’t put up a fight if you file a workers’ compensation claim. But since this will impact their insurance rate in the future, they may do everything they can to stop you from receiving the money you deserve.
Before you appeal a claim denial, it would be wise to consult an attorney who handles workers’ compensation litigation. That attorney can determine how to document the extent of injury or illness and your medical treatment to provide the best foundation for appeal.