Important: We updated this article in July 2023 to ensure the information below is both current and correct. State law outlines who receives Mississippi workers’ compensation benefits and how the process works. If you’re a Magnolia State resident who’s experienced an accident or illness on the job, you should focus on feeling better ― not feeling anxious about the claims process.
We’ve got the information you need in order to get the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Eligibility
According to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC), any employer with at least five employees employees must carry insurance coverage. The only workers automatically exempted from this mandatory coverage requirement are:
- Domestic employees
- Farm laborers
- Federal employees, including maritime, railroad or transportation employees covered by federal workers’ compensation
- Independent contractors and sub-contractors
- People who work exclusively for non-profits, charitable groups, religious and/or cultural organizations
How to File Your Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Claim
Important: Get treatment immediately if you require emergency or urgent care. Tell the doctor your case is work-related and keep all receipts and bills.
1. Report your work-related illness or injury to your supervisor within 30 days of your accident or diagnosis.
You must file a claim for compensation within two years of your diagnosis or injury date to qualify for benefits. Your employer then has 10 days to notify their insurance provider. This officially starts your claim for workers’ comp benefits. If your accident forces you to miss at least five work shifts, your employer must notify the WCC.
2. Seek medical treatment from a doctor or provider that you trust.
Mississippi workers’ compensation law allows you to choose the doctor who treats you. That doctor can refer you to a specialist without approval from your employer’s insurance provider. All other referrals must be OK’d by them, though.
Important: Your employer can request you attend an independent medical exam to confirm your injury or diagnosis. If you skip that appointment, then you may lose your right to receive payments.
See what a Mississippi workers’ compensation doctor can do for you.
3. Wait for a decision.
A recent WCC annual report shows insurance providers denied claims from at least 1 in 5 applicants (22%).
If your claim’s approved, your employer’s insurer pays all related medical bills directly to your healthcare provider. You may qualify for lost-wage payments if your illness or injury requires you to miss at least five days of work. Those first five days are unpaid time off until you miss at least 14 days. After that, you get partial disability payments once every two weeks until you reach maximum medical improvement.
Important: The most money you can receive in lost-wage benefits for 2023 is $585.82 per week. In most cases, lost-wage workers’ comp payments total 2/3 of the average weekly wage set by the WCC on January 1.
4. Take action if you’re denied.
Contact your employer’s insurer first to appeal a denial. If you need more help, contact the WCC to request mediation or a hearing with an administrative law judge within 20 days. You might also hire a workers’ compensation attorney at this point.
Learn more about workplace accident claims.
More Facts About Mississippi Workers’ Compensation
Pre-existing health conditions are a major reason workers’ comp claims are denied in Mississippi. If you have one, then you may want to consult a lawyer about your case.
Your employer can also force you to take a drug and alcohol test on the spot after a work accident. If you fail, then your employer’s insurer will automatically deny your claim for benefits.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Important: You can get free, confidential claim assistance.
When you’re living with a work-related illness or injury, navigating the Mississippi workers’ compensation system can make you feel even worse. That’s why we recommend hiring an experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation attorney. These specialists work on contingency. If you don’t win a cash settlement, then you owe your lawyer $0. If your case is successful, then you pay only a reasonable, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you qualify? Click the button below to sign up for a free phone call during regular weekday business hours:
Margot Lester is the CEO of The Word Factory, a B2B & B2C content marketing agency that provides services for Fortune 100 brands, healthtech companies and SaaS developers. An award-winning business and brand journalist, she writes for daily and weekly newspapers and business journals, national magazines, in-flight publications and leading websites. Margot is also an in-demand writing coach and organizational communications trainer, helping individuals and teams write more effectively. Twitter/X: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.