In: Workers' Compensation

What Is the Time Limit for Filing a Petition for Benefits in MO?

While the time limit for reporting injuries to your employer is short, you may have up to two years after an on-the-job accident or illness to file your workers’ compensation claim.

When on-the-job accidents and occupational injuries occur, workers’ compensation benefits can provide the help you need to recover. Reporting your injuries immediately and filing your claim within the appropriate time period can help to ensure you get the compensation for medical benefits, lost wages, and other expenses you are entitled to.

Missouri Workers’ Compensation Time Limits

At Morrison, Webster & Carlton, our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys find that there is often some confusion among clients about the time limits in which they must file their claim. The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations advises that you must report your injury to your employer immediately after an on-the-job accident or after being diagnosed with an occupational injury. Failure to report your condition within 30 days of the incident can result in your claim being denied. However, once it is reported, you have additional time to file an actual petition for workers’ compensation benefits.

Under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act, you have up to two years after your accident or illness to file this petition. While it is in your best interests to file as soon as possible, this extra time provides several benefits:

  • It allows time for your doctor to make a complete diagnosis and to get a better idea of any long-term disabilities that will likely result;
  • It allows you to reopen your claim, if you return to work and find you are unable to complete certain tasks at your job;
  • It allows additional time for family members to claim benefits in the event your injuries or your illness proves fatal.

In some cases, you may have even longer than two years. If your current condition combines with a prior disability, you may be eligible for compensation under the Second Injury Fund. This could serve to extend the time allowed for filing your benefit claim.

Protect Your Rights to Missouri Workers’ Compensation Benefits

While two years may seem like a long time in which to file a petition for benefits, the sooner you act the more likely you are to get the total amount of workers’ compensation you deserve. Follow these steps to protect your rights:

  • Report any injuries or illness immediately to your supervisor, and inform your employer in writing within thirty days;
  • Check to see if your employer requires you to go to a specific health care provider;
  • Go to the doctor as soon as possible, and report that your injuries were work-related;
  • Follow all of the doctor’s instructions regarding work and activity restrictions;
  • Speak to our attorney about filing a claim for lost wages and other types of compensation.

To ensure you get the maximum amount of benefits you are entitled to, reach out and contact Morrison, Webster & Carlton, Attorneys at Law to request a consultation with our Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys in our Springfield or Joplin office today.