Employees who get sick or injured on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Such benefits cover the cost of treatment, lost wages, disability and death benefits. However, you need to inform your employer of your injuries as soon as possible. Waiting for too long without making your employer aware may jeopardize your claim to workers’ compensation benefits.
How much time do you have?
The earlier, the better. Make your employer aware of your workplace injuries as soon as they occur to be on the safe side. For injuries that develop over time, like repetitive stress injuries, inform your employer immediately you discover them. Notifying your employer way later can lead to a denial of your claim unless overbearing circumstances led to the delay. These may include mental or physical incapacitations brought about by your condition that made it impossible to notify them on time.
Note that informing your supervisor may not necessarily mean that your employer is aware of your condition. Therefore, it is advisable to put such notice in writing to prevent any back and forth regarding your case.
Understand your rights
Knowing more about your rights as an employee will go a long way in safeguarding them. For instance, your employer cannot fire you for reporting a workplace injury, nor can it affect your future employment. In addition, they cannot prevent you from seeking workers’ compensation benefits. If it’s the case, you have the right to seek legal redress and possibly press charges.
In addition, it may be helpful to be aware of the steps to take if your workers’ compensation claim is denied. These may include filing a claim petition with the Office of Administrative Hearings if you feel that the reasons given by the insurer to deny your claim are insufficient.