When you are injured at work, the odds may already seem against you. Employers have workers’ compensation insurance to pay you for your injuries, but many are left to navigate this complicated process alone. Any mistake or insufficient evidence could lead to your claim getting denied, which would put even further stress on you and your family.
You are entitled to benefits when you are injured on the job. But any misstep could cause your claim to be denied anyway. As you go through the workers’ compensation process, consider these common reasons claims are denied.
- You failed to report your injury to your supervisor. The moment you are aware of your work-related injury, you must report it to your employer. If you fail to report it within a certain amount of time – 30 days for Missouri workers, 45 days for Illinois workers – you could be denied any claim to benefits.
- You didn‘t file in time. While you only have a couple of weeks to report your injury to your employer, you have much longer to file your official workers’ compensation claim. Depending on the case, you have up to three years to file – but if you wait any longer, your claim may be denied.
- You didn‘t receive medical treatment. In order to be compensated, you often have to provide medical records showing that you received treatment for your injuries. Failure to do so could jeopardize your benefits.
- Your injury isn‘t work-related. Workers’ compensation is only for injuries that occur at work. Some injuries, such as those caused by repeated stress, are difficult to prove happened at work. Your claim may be denied if you cannot prove your injury happened on the job.
Just because your claim is denied does not mean the fight is over. You can appeal any denial of benefits, and make your claim before an administrative law judge. Workers’ compensation attorneys exist to help you through the process, ensuring every step is done completely and accurately. With proper evidence, your appeal could reverse the decision, granting you the benefits you desperately need.