If you’ve been injured on the job, filing a workers’ compensation claim is important to ensure you receive proper medical care and wage replacement benefits. Unfortunately, these claims aren’t always approved. Knowing where to turn for help can be difficult if your compensation claim has been denied. Here are six steps you should take if your workers’ comp claim is denied.
1. Review the Denial and Letter of Notice
It’s important to read through the denial letter thoroughly and make sure that you understand why the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) rejected your claim. Refer back to your original paperwork and ensure no mistakes or errors were made in submitting it.
Make notes of any discrepancies or weaknesses that may have caused the denial. You should also look at the Letter of Notice that came with your denial. This document will tell you what action to take to dispute the decision.
2. Request an Appeal
If you don’t agree with the WCB’s decision, it’s important to file an appeal as soon as possible. Appeals must be postmarked within 30 days of the denial letter’s date, so time is of the essence. Depending on your state, you may have to fill out a request for reconsideration form or file an appeal directly with the court.
3. Speak to an Attorney
Speaking to an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is a good idea if you appeal the decision. They may be able to offer advice and provide insight into what went wrong with your claim. They also help you to navigate the appeals process and through any paperwork needed for the hearing.
4. Gather Supporting Evidence
Collecting as much evidence as possible that supports your original claim is important. This includes medical records, witness statements, job descriptions, information on wages earned before getting hurt, and any other documents related to your case. Ensure all of these are organized in a way that makes sense and can be easily accessed during the hearing.
5. Prepare For the Hearing
In preparation for your hearing, make sure you know all of the details about your case and have any evidence that may be necessary on hand. The WCB will also call witnesses to testify in the hearing, so you should have a list of people prepared who can speak on your behalf. It’s best to find an eyewitness who saw the accident or a doctor who explains why your injury is work-related.
6. Follow Up
After the hearing, you should receive a decision from the WCB within 30 days of your appeal date. If you haven’t heard anything after this period, you should follow up with the board and ask for an update. You may also want to contact an attorney if you are still unsure about the outcome or have questions about further appeals that can be filed.
If your workers’ claim has been denied, taking the right steps to challenge the decision is important. By following the six key steps outlined above, you’ll be better equipped to handle the appeals process and possibly overturn the denial of your claim.