It's only natural to take something you never think you'll need for granted, but when it comes to being hurt at work you will undoubtedly begin to pay more attention to your benefits. Medical care is expensive and you may be unable to work at your job for days or even weeks and you'll want to take full advantage of the valuable help that this form of insurance provides. Unfortunately, things don't always go as planned when you file a claim and you might encounter some of the following issues. Read on to learn more about some simple but effective things you can do to help ensure that you will get the benefits you need from workers' compensation.
Get Your Claim Filed and Organized
It can be difficult to predict how long your injury will take to heal but you won't regret doing the right thing from the beginning. Report your injury, see to it that a claim is filed and get yourself ready for the paperwork that will follow. When medical treatment that took place weeks ago is called into question, you don't want to be scrambling around for the proof or having to contact the medical facility for your records. Get an expandable file holder and set aside some sections for the following common documents that might be coming your way for a typical claim:
- A copy of the original claim form filed by your employers
- All correspondence to and from the workers' compensation carrier
- Any correspondence between you and your employer
- All medical treatment receipts or billing statements (even though you may not have had to pay)
- A calendar with all medical appointments and any other insurance-related meetings annotated
- Letters from your doctors concerning work restrictions and notices.
Be Aware of Your Claims While Out-and-About
Workers' compensation is a for-profit business and they can suffer extreme losses when fraud occurs. To help combat cases of workers falsely claiming to be injured they may hire a private investigator. You may be observed and recorded as you go to your appointments and about your everyday business with the goal of catching actions that you should not be performing or that you claimed you could not perform. Most hurt workers are not out to defraud anyone, but even innocent behavior on your better days could end up harming your claim so be aware of this issue.
Get Help when Problems Arise
Claims are not always approved but it would be a mistake to just give up and attempt to go back to work while still hurt. Speak with various workers comp attorneys if any of the following occur and make sure that you follow up with filing for every level of appeal your state offers.
- You are being told to return to work or lose your job and you are still in too much pain or not fully recovered.
- You have received a notice of denial of benefits
- Your employer is not backing up your claim of a work-related injury
- You are permanently disabled from your injury and are being offered a settlement.
Going this route can make all the difference in the world for you and yours.