Suffering an injury at work can be a devastating experience, both physically and financially speaking. When you are unable to work, your income drops immediately and you are suddenly facing huge medical bills; fortunately, workers’ compensation insurance is meant to protect you in just this kind of event.
You can think of your workers’ compensation benefits as two separate benefits: medical benefits and financial benefits, known as wage loss benefits. Many injured workers are unsure of their rights when it comes to these benefits, including when they can expect to receive each kind. Fortunately, you do not need your claim to be processed and approved before seeking much-needed care.
Benefits Will Come Now…and Later
Your medical benefits begin the moment you are hurt. You have the right to seek medical treatment for your workplace injuries immediately, and even if your employer has not completed your workers’ compensation claim, your medical bills will be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. This allows you to receive prompt care for your injury without the worry of waiting for the claim to process.
Your wage loss benefits, on the other hand, are dependent on your claim being approved. If your claim is initially denied, you may appeal the decision, but you will still be unable to collect this type of benefit until your claim is accepted by your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. Approval is generally contingent on your treating physician’s assessment of your inability to work due to your injury.
Your first priority after an injury at work is to receive the medical care you need immediately. Your second priority is reporting your injury to your employer as soon as possible to ensure that your claim is filed promptly—that way, you can begin receiving your wage loss benefits and ensure that your medical benefits continue for the duration of your injury.
Have You Been Injured At Work?
If you've been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Augusta office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule your free consultation.