State laws require that employers carry workers’ compensation coverage. There are also state and federal laws that carefully regulate the insurance industry to help ensure that people with appropriate and covered claims don’t wind up denied necessary benefits.
Unfortunately, there are still many people who need workers’ compensation but wind up receiving a denial notice when they file a claim. Although California does allow workers denied benefits to appeal, that process can be stressful.
Some people who make mistakes in their initial application or reporting process may find that they have effectively lost the right to claim benefits or will need to do much more work to receive their benefits. Understanding the timeline for your obligations as an injured worker can decrease the likelihood of missing important deadlines and losing out on your workers’ compensation coverage.
Workers should report injuries as soon as possible
The first step in the workers’ compensation claim is reporting the injury to the company that carries the insurance. If there’s a machinery malfunction on a factory line or you cut yourself with a knife in the kitchen, you should alert a manager as soon as possible.
You may need to fill out paperwork before you seek medical care or have your manager initiate that paperwork while you receive emergency care. You can then go back once your condition is stable to finish filling out the necessary paperwork. In California, unless your medical condition somehow precluded you making a report and filing claim paperwork, you have to report the injury to your employer within 30 days to give your employer the opportunity to investigate.
Your employer will provide you with additional paperwork
You may require not just emergency medical care but ongoing treatment. In that scenario, your employer will provide you with paperwork so that you can request necessary care and examinations. These documents also need to be returned in a timely manner.
It’s important to be quick about returning paperwork to ensure that you are as accurate as possible when describing the situation that led to your injury and its impact on your life or ability to do your job. Careful attention to detail and compliance with the rules can make all the difference when it comes to getting approval for workers’ compensation benefits.