What are the procedures for filing a workers' compensation claim?
In the state of Missouri, employers are obligated to offer workers’ compensation insurance to their employees. Generally, an injured employee is entitled to benefits for work-related accidents. There are requirements an employee should comply with to receive these benefits.
Who Can File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Employees involved in work-related accidents can file a workers’ compensation claim. A spouse or dependents are not allowed to file the claim in behalf of the injured employee.
Death Benefits Are Exceptions
The workers’ compensation system allows spouses or dependents to file for benefits for work-related deaths. These benefits offer a stop-gap measure for the loss of income following the death of an employee. These benefits normally end upon:
- the remarriage or death of the spouse
- the death of the dependents
Payments Made For the Claim
Although a wide variety of workers’ compensation benefits are offered, employees involved in work-related accidents can receive:
Procedure for Claiming Benefits
1. Missouri workers' compensation laws require employees to provide a notification about the injury within 30 days. An employee may lose the right to receive benefits if the employer is not informed within the specified time period. If possible, an injured employee should inform the employer about the injury as soon as possible. Although no special form may be required to inform the employer or state agency about work-related injuries, some laws require written notices. The employer or state agency may also have a form for the employee to fill out. It is advisable for employees to provide a written notification and retain a copy for their records.
2. The employer will contact their insurance company, which may result in one of two things:
- Claim is approved. The employer and insurance company may approve the claim and provide a notice of compensation payable to the employee.
- Claim is denied. If the claim is denied, the employee can file a claim with the state workers’ compensation agency. The state provides a specific time period for employees to file claims. The time period may range from one month up to three years from the injury date. In occupational disease cases, the time period starts from the date when the disease is diagnosed.
Filing an Appeal
An employee can file an appeal if they feel they should receive more benefits or their claim was denied. The employer or insurance company can also file an appeal if they think the claim was too high or it should have been denied. Workers' compensation cases can become quite complicated. Consult with The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 to ensure that you get the right amount of compensation.