Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Our Lawyers Help You Appeal and Get the Benefits You Are Entitled To
When workers are injured on the job, the only thing that they may be able to take some comfort in is the fact that they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which pay for the full extent of necessary and reasonable medical care, and may even provide wage replacement benefits if workers are unable to return to work. However, while workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, these benefits are often denied. If you are injured on the job in Missouri and dealing with a denied workers’ compensation claim, here’s what you need to know:
Why Are Benefits Denied?
Workers’ compensation benefits are denied for a number of reasons. If your benefits have been denied, it may be because:
- Your employer claims that you were not performing a work-related task at the time of your injury, or your injury did not occur on workplace premises;
- You failed to provide your employer notice of your injury within the required amount of time;
- You received treatment from an unapproved medical provider;
- Your employer is claiming that you have a pre-existing condition; or
- The insurance adjuster/employer does not feel as though your injuries are serious enough to justify benefits.
Are Workers’ Compensation Denials Normal?
An outright denial of a workers’ compensation claim doesn’t happen all of the time, but it does happen frequently enough that our law firm has represented dozens of workers dealing with claim denials. Denying a claim is often the easiest way for an employer and insurance company to save money, especially when it is assumed the worker won’t seek legal services. Workers often feel powerless against their employers, leading them to accept claim denials.
Should I Appeal My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you believe that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and have been denied the benefits that you deserve, you do not have to accept this. Rather, you have the right to appeal your claim, and should if you deserve medical benefits and wage replacement benefits that have not been provided for you. If your claim is denied, you should:
- Contact the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations’ dispute management services;
- Attend a conference with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to discuss your case; or
- Request a pre-hearing and file your own claim for compensation.
If the above steps are unsuccessful and you are still denied benefits, you can appeal the decision after you have gone through the hearing process before an ALJ. You must file your appeal within 20 days of the ALJ’s decision.
Do I Need to Work with an Attorney?
Working with an attorney when your workers’ compensation claim has been denied is strongly recommended. There are a number of regulations and deadlines for appealing a case, and an attorney can help you to understand the laws applicable to you. An attorney will also present your case competently, aggressively negotiating on your behalf and offering evidence to prove that you deserve benefits.
At the offices of Morrison, Webster & Carlton, we have more than 45 years’ worth of combined legal experience, and our talented Missouri workers’ compensation attorneys truly care about you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more.