Workers’ compensation benefits can help workers and their families through some of their most difficult times. For that reason, workers who have been denied workers’ compensation benefits should be familiar with how to bring a petition for benefits if a claim has been denied.
Petition for workers’ compensation benefits
Once an employee has provided notice of a workplace injury, the employer or insurance carrier has 21 days to respond and may deny the claim in writing. In general, the employee then has 3 years from the date they are injured to file a claim petition for benefits. Once the employee has filed a petition, the case will be assigned to a workers’ compensation judge. A hearing date will be set and the employee and other parties who are involved will be notified of the date, time and place for the hearing.
During the hearing, the workers’ compensation judge hears evidence and also accepts evidence presented by the injured worker and the employer or insurer who has denied the claim. This may be done in one or more hearings and the process can be extended if there is a need to obtain additional medical records or hear from other witnesses. An alternative dispute resolution session can be held. Following that, the workers’ compensation will issue a written decision, rendering their determination.
After the judge’s decision
Following the workers’ compensation judge’s decision, either the employee or the employer has 20 days to appeal the decision to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board. There are further workers’ compensation appeal options to the courts with important timelines also associated with them. Workers’ compensation is a vital resource for many injured workers and their families which is why they should be familiar with the different options available to appeal a denied claim for benefits.