Workers’ compensation can be a challenging, confusing process. While there aren’t many steps on paper, the actual process requires a lot of documentation and paperwork to be filed in a short timeframe. If you have been hurt on the job, you’ll want to get started on an application claim as soon as you can.
What Does the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process Involve?
The workers’ compensation claims application process includes two very important steps.
1. Report Your Injury
You must report the injury to your employer within 30 days following the incident. Ideally, this should be reported in writing. If you can’t complete a formal accident report, send a text or email to your employer detailing the situation.
2. File a Claim
Once your employer has written notice of the incident and injuries sustained, you need to file a claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. This form is called a C-3 and can be completed online through the Workers’ Compensation Board’s website. You have two years from the date of the incident to file claims for accidental injuries like slips and falls.
If your injury was not caused by a specific accident but is instead an occupational disease–a condition that developed over time–the filing deadline is a little less clear. In general, you need to file your C-3 form within two years of when you determined you were suffering from a work-related condition.
What Happens After Filing a Claim?
After your injury has been reported, it’s crucial to see a doctor so you can have proper documentation and begin the treatment you need. Many doctors will insist that you file a workers’ compensation claim and obtain a case number from the board before they begin your treatment, which is why you should file your claim as quickly as you can.
Your doctor will need to complete a C-4 form that documents their preliminary findings within 48 hours of your initial treatment. A copy must also be sent to your employer or directly to your employer’s insurance carrier. Additionally, documentation from your doctor should be provided to these parties regularly as your treatment progresses.
If your employer and its insurance provider agree your injury is a workers’ compensation case, you’ll receive weekly payments and have your related medical expenses covered. However, if there are disputes concerning your case, your case may be denied. In this event, you would need to file an appeal and attend hearings, ideally with legal counsel, to seek resolution and benefits.
Find A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
You’re not required to have a workers’ compensation lawyer to file your claim and represent you during hearings. However, having legal counsel can be a huge help. At Lewis & Lewis, our team will assist you in completing the necessary forms, determining the proper time to file your claim, and helping you receive maximum benefits.