When a workplace injury leaves you out of work, it's important to get the benefits you need. The paperwork blizzard that comes along with a workers' comp claim might surprise some people -- particularly those that are new to work insurance issues. The guide below outlines some of the most important documents and records you should be keeping up with, so read on and get your workers' compensation paperwork organized and ready for whatever may happen with your claim.
Every aspect of your medical treatment is important, and you should plan on keeping up with all records of treatment. Each doctor's visit, diagnostic test, hospital stay, surgery, and more should all be noted. Keep all receipts and claim statements in a folder in order of occurrence. Remember, all related medical treatment should be covered by workers' compensation insurance without you having to pay anything out of pocket. It may become necessary to prove the extent of your injuries at some point, and medical records are hard proof of that.
Workers' Compensation Claim Documents
You can expect quite a large quantity of documents related to your claim:
- The initial claim form from your accident or occupational illness.
- Correspondence from the workers' comp carrier to you, and copies of any correspondence you sent to them.
- Acceptance of the claim and denial letters.
- Correspondence from your state's workers' compensation board.
- Work restriction orders.
- Witness statements.
- Notes of phone conversations relating to your claim -- be sure to note when the call occurred, who you talked to, and what was discussed.
Your Own Expenses
While you won't need to pay for your medical expenses, there are some expenses that you may need to pay for and then apply for reimbursement. Be sure to keep records of any parking fees, toll fees, mileage, public transportation costs, and more. Keeping a list or spreadsheet of all out-of-pocket expenses is a good idea, along with the receipts to back up the expenses. Since memories can be fleeting, be sure to note on the list where you were going and why. The places visited should all be directly related to your work-related injury claim to be eligible for reimbursement.
Workers' compensation provides hurt workers with a partial salary known as disability wages. The salary is about 35% less than your normal salary, and the exact figure varies by state. Be sure to keep all disability pay stubs as well as a record of all time you miss from work. Until you are back at work full-time, keep up with your time.
If you are having problems with your workers' comp benefits, speak to an attorney right away. Legal professionals like those at Johnson/Turner Legal can offer more information.