Workers Compensation Lawyer
Workers’ compensation is a federally mandated program that states manage independently. Laws about how the program works vary from state to state. As an experienced workers compensation lawyer can explain, the purpose is to provide benefits to people who are injured on the job. It is immaterial whether a worker negligently caused his or her own injuries or whether an employer was at fault. The objective is not redressing wrongdoing but rather providing safeguards for people who are injured in the course of their employment.
Types of Benefits
One of the most important features of workers’ compensation programs is that they provide full payment for all expenses related to the cost of an injury that happens in the workplace. Unlike private insurance, beneficiaries do not pay copayments or need to reach deductibles.
Another key benefit is lost wages. States pay different amounts of compensation to employees who are injured so severely that they are unable to work. For the most part, they tend to be around two thirds of a person’s wages. There is typically a maximum payment amount, so individuals with very high salaries could receive far less than two thirds of their salaries from their benefits.
Programs often include benefits aimed at rehabilitating people to get back to work. They can assist with participation in return-to-work seminars and occupational therapy.
The Application Process
After a person sustains an injury in the workplace, he or she must begin the process by completing an application for benefits. It will also be necessary to produce evidence showing the injury took place, what treatment is necessary, and how it affects a person’s ability to work. Medical documentation such as a physician’s visit notes and imaging studies can establish adequate proof of an injury.
A claims examiner will review an application within a set amount of time after a claimant has successfully submitted all required materials. In some states, a third-party agency rather than a government entity reviews claims on the state’s behalf. If any information provided by a claimant is questionable or insufficient, an examiner may be unable to authorize benefits. This does not necessarily mean that a person is ineligible but rather must address concerns about an application by initiating an appeal.
Ultimately, individuals who are hurt at work need to take advantage of the opportunity to apply for benefits before the time that they have to do so runs out. Benefits can offer essential financial support and also enable people to seek the medical care that they need to recover and resume working.
Thanks to the team at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their expertise on the subject of workers compensation.