For many people, a work related injury doesn't just mean pain and suffering. It means days of work will be missed, medical bills will pile up, or money will get tight. Most people will need their workers' compensation benefits as soon as possible.
So, how long will a workers' compensation claim take? When will you start receiving money?
Do not wait to get medical treatment for an injury. Even if you fear you can't afford treatment, do not wait. Most states require your employer, or the employer's insurance company, to pay your medical bills as soon as you file a claim. You do not have to wait until your claim is allowed or approved to receive compensation for medical costs.
Physician's Report - Your doctor will then fill out the necessary forms and reports within three working days of your treatment.
Employer Report to Insurer - During this time, your employer has to report your injury to its insurer or third party administrator within six working days of receiving notice of your intent to seek medical treatment.
Employer's Wage Verification - Your employer must then complete and file with the insurer the wage verification form within six days of receiving your Employee Claim for Compensation Form.
Claim Determination - After receiving your Claim for Compensation Form or Accident Notification to the Employer, the insurer has 30 days to either accept or deny your claim and notify you of its decision. If your claim is accepted, the insurer must start paying out benefits soon after.
Appeal Hearing - If your claim is denied and you wish to appeal the determination, you may request a hearing within 70 days of receiving notice of denial. Within five days of receiving your request, a hearing date will be set within 30 days. After the hearing, the hearing officer has 15 days to make a decision.
Again, different states may set different guidelines. Be sure to check your own state's laws.
If you believe that you have suffered a work related injury, an experienced local workers' compensation attorney may be able to help you file a timely claim.