How To Cope With An Uncooperative Workers' Comp Insurer
It's surprisingly common for workers to be unable to get their claims approved after a work injury. This form of insurance is paid for by the employer, but the insurer can be difficult to work with. If you, like many others, are having problems with the workers' compensation insurance company that services your employer, read below for some tips.
What Might Go Wrong?
You are not alone in your frustration at the workers' comp insurer. Your problem may be on the list of common issues many hurt workers experience while applying for coverage:
- The claim is denied for unjust, vague, or illegal reasons.
- The insurer is difficult to contact, is late with disability wage payments, or has stopped the benefits with little to no notice.
- The worker is ordered to return to work even though they are not healed from their injuries or illness.
- The insurer has made a ruling about a permanent disability that the worker disagrees with.
- The worker is offered an inadequate amount of money for a settlement.
What Workers Should Do
In most cases, workers have rights, but they may not know or exercise them. If any of the above happens to you, don't hesitate or waste time with the insurer. Workers' compensation matters can be time sensitive. A workers' comp lawyer will educate you about appealing rulings that are not just, and they will arrange for you to have second opinion medical examinations. Here is what else workers can do:
- Contact your state board of workers' compensation. Every state has its own board as this type of insurance is not a federal matter. Workers' comp laws vary from state to state.
- Apply for unemployment benefits if you are denied workers' comp or once your benefits are cut off. If you qualify for payments, it might help bridge the income gap while you wait for action on your claim. Be prepared, though, to pay back the unemployment if your workers' comp is approved and you are paid back pay. Also, ask your lawyer about using your own healthcare benefits until your coverage kicks in.
- Consider a settlement loan. This type of loan is based on your case and the potential for a lump sum settlement in the future. In most cases, you won't have to pay the loan back unless you win a lump sum settlement from the insurer.
Get more tips and information from a workers' compensation lawyer.