If you do business in any state in the US- except Texas- then you must carry workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is designed to help both the employee as well as the employer. If a worker is injured or harmed on the job because of their work duties, then workers’ compensation takes care of the financial losses the employee will incur until they’re ready to return to work.
As for the employer, you don’t have to worry about paying for the expenses or, worse, dealing with litigation against your business for the injuries.
Now, when an injury does occur at work, and you are informed about it, it’s your responsibility as the employer to initiate the worker’s comp claim process.
How Long Do You Have to File a Worker’s Comp Claim?
Usually, workers comp claims have a time limit, which varies depending on the state of residence. However, the general rule is that an injury notice must be given within three years from when the injury happened. That said, if you don’t file a claim within this timeframe, compensation can still be given if:
- A written notice of the injury was given within 30 days or;
- The employer was made aware of the injury within 30 days of its occurrence.
Overall, it comes down to the injured staff reporting their workplace injuries on time. Employees must report injuries to their employers as soon as possible after a work accident. If they don’t report within these 30 days, their employer may argue that they should not receive any benefits. Waiting for even a week or two can have the carrier questioning the delay and, consequently, the worker’s credibility.
How to File a Claim
So, now that you know the importance of filing your claim early, how do you go about the process? You should kickstart the process the moment your staff or their supervisor informs you about the injury. Then:
- Get a claims form; you can typically download this on the carrier’s website.
- Have the employee fill it out with details about the accident and injuries sustained, and then sign it.
- Once the form is returned to you, fill out your section as the employer and also sign.
- Send the form to your workers’ comp insurance provider as soon as possible.
- Wait for the carrier to respond; the insurance will either approve or deny the claim. Usually, a denial means the claims administrator believes workers’ comp doesn’t cover the injuries. This decision can, however, be challenged.
- The employee is treated and returns to their role.
Apply Workers Comp and File Claims on Time to Protect the Most Important Part of Your Business
Healthy, productive, and happy employees are integral to your business’s success. So, you want to protect your workforce as well as your business by getting workers’ compensation insurance. That said, injured employees are not eligible for compensation forever. You want to file your claim as soon as possible to avoid denial.