While some industries are more dangerous to work in than others, any job can lead to work-related injuries. Individuals who suffer workplace injuries have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. Being aware of the ins and outs of workers’ compensation in Missouri will allow injured workers to have the information needed to start claims.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that provides injured workers with cash benefits for their missing wages and payments that cover their medical bills directly related to the workplace accident. While filing a workers’ compensation claim is meant to be straightforward, injured workers often find it is anything but simple.
Workers’ Compensation Is Required By Law
It is important to note that workers’ compensation is required by law for most employers. Companies with five or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance in the state of Missouri. There is one exception to this requirement. In the construction industry, an employer must carry this insurance if they have at least one employee.
What Happens During the Claims Process?
Workers who have never gone through a workers’ compensation claim likely do not know what to expect. There are a few steps involved in the process. The following are the steps injured workers can expect to go through.
- One of the first steps injured workers will need to handle is reporting the injury to their employer. Report the injury promptly to ensure the claims process proceeds smoothly.
- Next, the injured worker should seek immediate medical attention, no matter the extent of their injuries. Insurance companies often have workers screened by their doctors.
- The employer is responsible for filing a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance company. The employer has thirty days to file a WC-22, which is the answer to the workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ Compensation Claims Get Denied
Even rightful workers’ compensation claims sometimes face denial. Injured workers need to know just because their employer denies the claim, this does not mean that decision is the final answer. The Division of Workers’ Compensation will make the final decision.
Yes, denials are stressful, and the process of getting benefits after a denial is more complicated, but not impossible. Unfortunately, many injured workers simply give up at this point and try to go back to work. It is important to fight a denial.
When Do Injured Workers Receive Their Benefits?
Those who become injured on the job will begin receiving their medical benefits right away. The non-medical benefits will not begin until the worker’s injury claim gets approval by the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
Should Injured Workers Get Legal Help?
If an injured worker feels like they get the runaround or they receive a denial, it is wise to consult with a lawyer. A lawyer will help injured workers take care of the steps involved in the claims process.
No injured worker should have to go through the process of filing for workers’ compensation alone. Although hiring a lawyer will not guarantee a favorable outcome, many injured workers who seek legal help end up being approved.
Injured workers should protect their rights to get workers’ compensation benefits. Scheduling a consultation appointment with a lawyer is a vital first step in the process. Get started now to ensure you get the benefits you deserve.