How to Qualify for Workers' Compensation Benefits

The most important factors in evaluating how to qualify for workers’ compensation are where, when, and in what capacity you were working when you were injured. Simply having been injured on the job does not mean you automatically qualify for workers’ compensation.

As an injured employee, your first point of reference should be the employee handbook issued by your company or place of work. If you have been issued such a handbook, very often it will contain guidelines for procedures regarding workplace injuries.

If you do not have an employee handbook or still have unanswered questions, you must then consult the workers’ compensation board for the state in which your employer is based and/or the state in which you were injured. Guidelines vary from state to state, but there are some general factors that can help you determine your eligibility for workers’ compensation. The following questions are provided to assist you in a determination:

  • Were you injured at your place of work?
  • Was the injury a result of employer negligence?
  • Were you injured during work hours?
  • Has the injury limited your ability to perform your job?
  • Have you received medical treatments for this injury?
  • Do you have medical bills as a result of this injury?
  • Have you lost wages as a result of this injury?
  • Are you unable to return to work because of your injury?

If you answered “yes” to four or more of these questions you may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim.

An attorney that is experienced in workers’ compensation claims understands the qualification requirements and how to work with the insurance companies to get you the benefits that you deserve.

How Long Must I Be Out of Work?

If you are unable to work for more than seven days you will be eligible for a workers’ compensation claim in most states. The claim will cover the period of time you were unable to work. Generally, if you have been unable to work for a period of time longer than 21 days, the claims process becomes more complex.

It is important to note that the days you are unable to work do not need to be consecutive. Thus, if you miss three days of work one week and five days of work another week due to the same injury you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. If you have a work-related injury that has limited the number of days you are able to perform your job, keep a record of days missed as a result of this injury. When filing your workers’ compensation claim it will be important to document the days you missed as a result of your injury. Furthermore, be sure to alert your employer when you are unable to work as a result of this injury.

Get a free evaluation of your workers’ compensation claim and determine if you meet your state’s eligibility requirements.

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