Employees in Southern California often take comfort in knowing that if they ever obtained injuries in the workplace that they have workers’ compensation benefits to help them pay for medical and basic living costs. However, there are times when those benefits are delayed or even denied by their employer. Understandably, people are confused as to what their next move should be. Thus the following includes further information on the options you have on hand if your workers’ comp benefit request is not accepted.
Delay in employer decision
The reality behind obtaining benefits is that your employer does have a window of time where they can research the incident, create the forms and make their final decision. This timeline is usually around 14 days. However, there are times when that decision is delayed, which then allows them to extend it to 90 days. This, of course, can be a very frustrating experience for injured employees. That is why it is important to also understand that you have the right to collect up to $10,000 in medical costs from your employer during this delay. This only applies to medical bills and not day-to-day bills such as utilities.
Denied by employer?
Being denied workers’ comp is a very real possibility. Employers may believe that you were at fault for the incident, and thus you should not be allowed to collect any benefits. Fortunately, you do still have options if denied. The most common and often best route is to begin appealing the decision. This is where you state that you have evidence contradicting your employer’s decision, and thus you should collect workers’ compensation benefits.
As stated above, filing an appeal is a great step to take after rejection of your request. However, it’s likely that you won’t be successful with your case unless you have the legal guidance of an attorney, specifically one that is experienced in dealing with these types of cases. Failure to take this step may lead to having to pay all your expenses out of pocket.