Every state has its own unique rules and procedures for filing a workers’ compensation claim. If you’re a New Hampshire resident who’s been injured in the workplace, following the correct claims filing process is crucial for securing needed benefits. Here is a quick look at the steps you’ll need to follow when filing a New Hampshire workers’ compensation claim.
How the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Process Works
According to the New Hampshire Department of Labor, all employers in the state of New Hampshire are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to all part-time, full-time and temporary employees. This New Hampshire workers’ compensation insurance requirement protects the employer as well as the employee, who may need compensation for an injury or illness in order to cover medical fees and lost wages. Below is the step-by-step process you must follow for filing a New Hampshire workers’ compensation claim.
- If an injury or illness occurs at your workplace, you should notify your supervisor as soon as possible.
- Your employer should provide you with a Notice of Accidental Injury or Occupational Disease Form 8aWCA to fill out. You have up to two years to report your workplace injury or illness, but it’s better to do so immediately.
- You can choose your own doctor for treatment and also have the right to seek a second opinion. For workers’ compensation carriers that specify “managed care,” you need to choose from an approved list of doctors.
- Be sure to tell your health care provider that your condition is work-related and that any treatment reports or documentation says this and accurately describes your condition. All medical bills should be sent directly to your employer for payment.
- You must have your doctor complete a New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Medical Form (75WCA-1) before you can go back to work. Any limitations on what you’re allowed to do for your job should be listed, and your employer must abide by your doctor’s instructions.
- If your employer’s insurance carrier denies your claim, you can request a hearing with the New Hampshire Department of Labor to dispute the denial. Nearly half of all workers who appeal their denials get approved at the dispute hearing.
It’s important to note that every New Hampshire workers’ compensation claim is completely unique. Your own experience may be slightly different, but this outline should give you an idea of what to expect.
What Benefits Are Available For Injured Employees?
Employees who are injured on the job may be able to receive a variety of benefits, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident that caused the injury to occur.
- Weekly Indemnity Benefits – weekly wage paid to the injured employee by the workers’ compensation insurance provider. The amount is calculated as a percentage of employee wages earned over the past 26-52 weeks and changes every July 1.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits – if an injured employee returns to work and is unable to earn an equivalent wage prior to becoming disabled, the employee receives a temporary partial benefit equivalent to 60% of the difference between pre-injury and post-injury earnings.
- Death Benefits – weekly compensation paid to the employee’s surviving dependents, if the fatality is determined to have been caused by a workplace injury. Burial expenses not to exceed $10,000.00 may also be paid by the employer.
- Medical Expenses – all medical, remedial care and hospital bills related to the injury must be paid by the employer.
- Permanent Impairment Award – compensation for the percentage of permanent loss of use to a compensable body part. The total award amount is calculated by multiplying the percentage of loss by the number of weeks, which is again multiplied by the injured employee’s compensation rate.
- Temporary Alternative Duty – Any New Hampshire employer with five or more employees must provide temporary alternative work opportunities for those who become injured.
- Reinstatement of Employee Sustaining Compensable Injuries – any injured employee must be reinstated to his or her former job position within an 18-month period.
- Cost of Living Adjustment – any injured employee is entitled to a weekly compensation rate adjustment if he or she is still receiving total disability benefits three years after the injury occurred, has been denied Social Security benefits and is paid less than 60% of the current state average weekly wage.
- Vocational Rehabilitation – If an injured employee is unable to return to the same job for which he or she already had training or prior experience, the state will provide re-training opportunities to help that employee return to work earning similar wages.
Get Professional Help Filing Your New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Claim
If the New Hampshire workers’ compensation process seems overly complicated or you’re worried about having your claim rejected, consider seeking professional legal representation. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you collect necessary paperwork and other medical evidence to support your claim, deal with the insurance company on your behalf, and appeal an unfavorable decision. Best of all, these attorneys work on a contingency basis – you’ll pay no out-of-pocket fees to get legal help filing your New Hampshire workers’ compensation claim.
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