Financial obligations do not take a break even when you have serious injuries. The good news is that you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you were hurt on the job. However, your employer could reject or delay your claim. This could force you to explore other options to pay your bills while appealing or waiting for approval.
How workers’ comp timelines affect your benefits
Your next steps after a workplace injury should be to report and ask for a DWC 1 form. Otherwise, you risk forfeiting financial benefits that can help pay for your medical costs and replace your missed wages.
After receiving notice of your injury, your employer must provide you with $10,000 worth of medical treatment. This applies even if they reject your workers’ comp claim later.
Paying attention to timelines in workers’ comp claims is crucial, as numerous things could go wrong after you report an occupational injury. Employers have 14 days to acknowledge your claim and issue an approval, rejection or delay. However, your employer may refuse to cooperate or their insurance provider may stretch the investigation, potentially delaying your claim for up to 90 days.
Unfortunately, these are common tactics that insurance companies and employers use to avoid or reduce payouts. There may also be discrepancies in your report, causing the delay. Familiarity with the workers’ comp procedure can contribute to a successful claim.
What can you do while waiting for compensation?
Frustrating as delays may be, your bills still need paying. While you wait for the outcome of your workers’ comp claim, consider taking the following actions:
- Cut expenses where you can
- Appeal to your utility companies and creditors or lenders to extend your due date
- Reach out to friends and family for a personal loan
- Review if your hospital has financial assistance programs or payment plans that apply to you
Injured employees have it tough when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. An attorney can understand the gravity of your situation and the time constraints you’re facing. Their assistance could propel your case forward.