State law dictates how most injured employees must file their workers’ comp claims and what benefits they can get. Federal employees are the only notable exception, since their workers’ comp process is identical in every state. If you have a workplace injury or illness, follow the steps below to apply for Indiana workers’ compensation benefits. Then, learn how the Indiana workers’ compensation program changed from 2014 to 2018 in our interactive chart.
Does Your Employer Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Indiana workers’ compensation insurance covers all eligible employees from their first day on the job. This coverage includes all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal workers in this state. However, some workers are exempt from this mandatory coverage under current state law, including:
- Railroad workers
- Independent contractors
- State employees (i.e., highway patrol officers, elected officials, etc.)
- Truck drivers injured while passing through Indiana that neither reside there nor work for an employer based in this state
- Injuries that arise from intoxication, self-harm or criminal acts usually aren’t covered
Steps to Apply for Indiana Workers’ Compensation Benefits
According to the Workers’ Compensation Board of Indiana, you must follow the steps outlined below to apply for benefits:
- Report your workplace injury/illness to your employer as soon as possible and ask which doctor can treat you. That’s because you’re responsible for paying medical bills if you see a doctor not authorized under your employer’s insurance plan. If you don’t report your injury or illness within 30 days, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation. We strongly recommend notifying your supervisor in writing to protect your rights!
- Ask your supervisor to prepare a written accident report and give you a copy for your records. This ensures that your employer reports your workplace injury to the Board in a timely manner. Your deadline to file your workers’ compensation claim is two years from your illness or injury report date.
- Your employer must submit a report to their insurance provider after you miss more than one day of work. This officially starts the clock on your workers’ comp claim.
- The insurance carrier has 30 days from your employer’s injury report date to investigate your Indiana workers’ compensation claim. If approved, the insurance company should mail your first check 15 days after the date you reported your injury.
- If denied benefits, you have three ways to appeal. From mediation to informal disputes and formal hearings, get the appeal forms from the Board’s website and follow their directions.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Statistics, 2014-2018
Workers’ comp program data for most states is available in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual report. This report shows total claims filed, how many people missed work, received job restrictions or changed jobs, etc. In addition, you can find claims data listed for individual job sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, etc. You can see how Indiana workers’ compensation program numbers changed from 2014-2018 in our chart below:
We almost never see as much movement as the Indiana program shows during this five-year period. Total claims fell 13.1% from 2014 to 2018, while service-industry workers filed 8.5% fewer claims in that same timeframe. Injured employees receiving work restrictions, changing jobs or taking time off to recover saw the biggest single-year change. From 2015 to 2016, that category fell a whopping 8.3% year-over-year. Like most other U.S. states, Indiana’s service-industry workers file the majority of claims. On average, about 54% of all Indiana workers’ compensation claims come from that job sector in any given year. About half the people either sickened or hurt at work in Indiana qualify for lost wage benefits. In all other cases, Indiana workers’ compensation covers medical bills related to their workplace injury or illness, but that’s it.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Your Indiana workers’ compensation claim may get denied if you seek medical treatment from your own doctor. In addition, pre-existing conditions are the main reason people get denied lost wage payments. Since you must see your employer’s preferred healthcare provider, why not have an Indiana workers’ compensation attorney review your case?
We can match you with one in your area today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. All workers’ comp lawyers work on contingency. That means you’ll pay $0 in workers’ compensation lawyer fees unless your case wins. And if you win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free benefits evaluation online now!
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.