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Processes You Must Go Through Before Receiving Your Workers' Compensation Benefits

Depending on your jurisdiction, reporting your injuries to your boss doesn't guarantee you workers' compensation benefits. You must go through certain processes before you can start receiving the benefits. Here are some of the mandatory processes you may have to go through:

Filing with the Agency

In some states, employers are responsible for filing workers' compensation claims on behalf of their employees. In other states, you have to make a separate filing directly to your state's workers' compensation agency.

You are entitled to medical benefits immediately after you file for workers' compensation. You don't even have to wait for anybody's approval before you can start receiving them. This legislation is in place to ensure each worker gets prompt medical care, which benefits all parties since it prevents your injuries from getting serious and requiring more resources to manage in the future.

For this reason, you should file for workers' compensation as soon as possible. In a typical injury case, you should report to your employer, seek treatment (don't forget to tell the physician you were injured on the job), and file for workers' compensation.

As for non-medical benefits, there are a few things you need to do before you can receive the payments. Depending on the nature of your injury and available evidence, here are three things you usually have to do or wait for:

1. Approval

For non-medical benefits, you have to wait until your claim is processed and approved. The insurance company has to analyze the available evidence to ascertain you are entitled to the benefits. It has to confirm you were injured on the job, got prompt medical care, and are consistent in your injury claims. You will receive a notice of approval if it is satisfied your case demands compensation, after which you will start enjoying the benefits.

2. Appeal

The insurance company will send you a denial notice if it deems your case ineligible for workers' compensation benefits. However, just because the insurance denied your initial claim doesn't mean your case is closed, and you can't receive any benefits. You are entitled to an appeal, which you ought to lodge as soon as you receive the denial notice.

The appeal process varies by state, but the first process usually involves contacting the employer or workers' compensation insurer to understand why your claim was denied. You usually have to go through a hearing to prove why you are entitled to the benefits. You receive your benefits if and when you succeed with the appeal process.

3. State-Specific Requirements 

In many states, there are specific requirements you have to avail before you can receive non-medical benefits. This means even if your case has been approved, you have to meet the requirements to start receiving the benefits. A common requirement is that your physician has to write a letter certifying you as physically unable to work. 

To learn more, contact a workers compensation attorney in your area.