An occupational injury can be severe enough to prevent you from returning to work. If your doctor advises that you stay at home for a few weeks or months, you may start to worry about earning an income. Knowing when and how you receive workers’ compensation benefits can help you prepare your finances while recovering.
How the process works
After an accident, you have 45 days to notify your employer. However, reporting the incident immediately may work better in your favor. After initiating a workers’ compensation claim, your employer’s insurance provider must check your eligibility, which may take time.
In most cases, benefits should kick in after a three-day waiting period. However, certain factors surrounding your case may delay the investigation and the benefits you are due.
The waiting period
After receiving notice of your accident, your employer must immediately inform their insurance carrier or workers’ compensation administrator. If your doctor believes you should not work for at least three days, your employer must take either of the following steps:
- Start paying temporary total disability (TTD) benefits; or
- Provide you with a written explanation of additional requirements you need before payments can start
- Provide you with a written explanation of why your claim is denied.
In case your disability lasts for 14 days or more, then your employer must also compensate you for the three working days you lost. You should receive about two-thirds of your prior gross income.
What may cause a workers’ comp claim to be denied?
Receiving a rejection can be devastating. Nevertheless, your employer should provide an explanation for denying you benefits. Among the most common reasons are:
- The injury did not happen on the job
- The injury was caused by a pre-existing condition
- The employee’s report was insufficient
In your situation, you should be prioritizing recovery, but that may be difficult to do when facing financial uncertainty and complicated claims processes. If you encounter problems with receiving your benefits, there are many legal resources available that may help you.