Workers’ Compensation is a significant employment benefit available from the first day you begin a job. This program provides free medical care if you develop an illness related to your work or suffer an injury while on the clock. If your condition forces you to miss more than seven days of work, Workers’ Compensation will pay you a partial wage.
However, these valuable benefits come at a cost—the program has many confusing rules, and failing to adhere to them could result in a denial of your claim. Read on to learn more about how to apply for Workers’ Compensation in Scranton. If you have further questions, contact Gross & Kenny, LLP to discuss your situation with one of our diligent attorneys.
Every employee in Pennsylvania has Workers’ Compensation insurance through their employer. The law at 77 Pennsylvania Statutes §431 requires every employer with at least one employee to participate in the program. The only exceptions are federal employees and those covered by other federal insurance programs, like dock and railroad workers.
The law also requires employers to post information about filing a claim in a prominent spot in the workplace. Many employers post it in the employee cafeteria or break room, the shop floor, or another space where all employees have access. You also might receive information about Workers’ Compensation benefits during your employer’s onboarding process.
Because you already have Scranton Workers’ Compensation, you do not need to apply for it. However, you are responsible for initiating a claim. The first step is informing your supervisor or the Human Resources Department when you suffer an injury at work. If you develop a disease or condition that could be related to your working conditions, you must notify your employer when you receive the diagnosis.
Employers have the right to require you to see a healthcare provider of their choosing. Some bosses allow their employees to see their own doctors, but others may require you to choose from a list they provide. If your employer requires you to see an approved provider, they must give you at least six choices within reasonable driving distance, and at least three must be medical doctors.
Getting medical attention immediately after an accident is critical, even if the injury does not seem serious. Many injuries do not produce symptoms immediately but get worse over time. If you wait until you experience severe symptoms, you may worsen your injuries. In addition, a delay gives the Workers’ Compensation insurer an excuse to question whether your injury is work-related.
If you suffer an injury and your employer requires you to see an approved healthcare provider, you must see that provider for the first 90 days. If your condition still requires treatment after 90 days, you can transfer your care to a provider of your choice. If your personal physician diagnoses an illness or condition that might be work-related, your employer may ask you to see an approved Scranton Workers’ Compensation provider to confirm the diagnosis.
When you report your injury or illness, your supervisor or the HR department should provide you with the information you need to file your claim. Completing the information promptly ensures you are eligible to receive the maximum benefits possible.
If you complete and submit the form within 21 days of your injury or diagnosis, you could receive benefits retroactively to the date of injury. If you wait 21 days or more before filing your claim, your benefits begin as of the date you submit your claim. If you wait longer than 120 days, the Workers’ Compensation insurer could deny you benefits entirely.
The claim form can be confusing, and it is crucial that you complete it correctly. One of our Scranton attorneys could teach you how to apply for Workers’ Compensation if you are uncomfortable handling it yourself. Working with a legal professional from the beginning of a case could prove extremely beneficial, especially if your injury will keep you out of work for more than a week or two.
When you have suffered a work-related injury or health problem, Workers’ Compensation benefits could ensure you receive medical care and can pay your bills while you are out of work. However, accessing your benefits can be tricky.
Our committed Scranton lawyers understand the system and will fight tirelessly for the benefits you deserve. Call Gross & Kenny, LLP today to speak with a seasoned attorney.
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