Every employee today is entitled to workers' compensation benefits after getting injured or falling ill due to workplace conditions or events. These benefits are designed to help you meet your needs as you recover. You can use the payouts to cover medical expenses, buy food and pay other bills.
So, what qualifies you to get the money? While hiring compensation lawyers can help speed up the process, you still need to meet certain requirements to qualify for the payout. Here are some eligibility requirements you should know.
Are you an employee?
The first thing the insurer will consider before releasing the compensation is to confirm if you are an employee. Both part-time and full-time workers are entitled to reimbursement. But it's crucial to understand that the definition of an employee may vary from one state to another.
For instance, if you were working for a subcontractor, you'll need to identify who is responsible for the compensation benefits in case you suffer an injury while working. Is it the general contractor, the project's owner or the subcontractor? Your lawyer will help set the record straight so you can get your benefits.
When did you file for workers' compensation?
Suffering a work-related illness or injury and choosing to keep silent can cause you problems. By law, you are required to notify your employer after seeking medical attention. Then, you should file for the compensation benefits immediately after you regain your physical strength. However, there are some exceptions to this regulation.
For instance, your employer might be aware of the event that caused the injury, someone may have prevented you from informing your employer about the accident or illness, or you were physically or mentally incapacitated. If any of these scenarios occurred and you have evidence, then you will get compensated even if you didn't report the case in time.
Did you seek medical attention right away?
Insurance companies and employers are always looking out for employees who might decide to fake an injury or illness to get compensated. So when you get injured or ill, you must seek medical attention right away. You are required to allow the physician to examine and treat you accordingly. Even missing one appointment or failing to take your medication as instructed can easily cost you the benefits.
You also need to avoid rescheduling appointments with medical professionals like counsellors, therapists, doctors or diagnostic processes like MRIs and X-rays. Just know that you may not be compensated if you fail to seek medical help or skip your appointments.