Wisconsin workers' compensation

How to Apply for Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Important: We updated this article in December 2022 to ensure the information below was both accurate and current. Unless you’re a federal employee, state law outlines who gets Wisconsin workers’ compensation benefits and how the process works. If you were injured or got sick on the job in the Badger State, you should focus on getting better, not stressing about your claim. We’ve gathered the information you need in order to get the benefits you deserve.



Wisconsin Workers’ Comp Eligibility

Federal workers (such as postal delivery carriers and VA employees) are covered under the Federal Employers Liability Act. Nearly every employer in this state must carry Wisconsin workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Important: Domestic workers, some farm employees and volunteers are not covered.

How to File Your Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Claim

According to the state’s Department of Workforce Development, there are 5 steps to apply for Wisconsin workers’ compensation benefits. Every workers’ comp case is different, so your experience may vary.

Important: Seek treatment immediately if you require emergency or urgent care. Tell the doctor your injury or illness is work-related.

  1. You must report your work-related illness or injury to your employer within 30 days.
    Important: Failing to report within two years may disqualify you from successfully claiming any workers’ comp benefits.
  2. Your supervisor has seven days to report your workplace injury or illness to your employer’s insurance carrier.
  3. The claims administrator must notify the Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Division within 14 days.
  4. If approved, you should get an insurance check within 14 days of filing your claim. This will repay you for any out-of-pocket medical expenses.
    Important: Keep all medical bills and payment records to submit to your employer’s insurance provider. The insurance company should pay all reasonable treatment bills. And if you have to take off more than 3 days of work, they’ll compensate you for lost wages.
  5. If denied, you can apply for a hearing to dispute it. If you don’t have an attorney, they’ll refer your case to the Division’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Unit instead. Important: Consider working with an experienced workers’ comp attorney for free, confidential claim assistance.

Every Wisconsin workers’ compensation case is different, so your experience may vary. For more about the Wisconsin workers’ compensation program, contact the WC Division staff directly.

Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation Statistics

Recordable cases in America’s Dairyland dropped dramatically from 82,400 in 2017 to 70,600 in 2021, fueled largely by disruptions from COVID-19. Cases reported in the service industry decreased from 43,900 to 39,000. The number of employees in all sectors who missed work, transferred jobs or received restrictions changed only slightly during the same period.

Learn more about workers’ compensation benefits.

Related: How to Apply for Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Benefits

When you’re dealing with a work-related illness or injury, navigating the workers’ compensation system shouldn’t make you feel worse. Experienced workers’ comp attorneys typically work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay unless you win benefits. So you only owe a reasonable, one-time fee if your case is successful.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Then click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

Get Your Free Benefits Evaluation

Margot Lester

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: @word_factory LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/margotlester.