Workers’ compensation is mandatory for employers with more than one employee. Injuries in the workplace can happen at any time and are usually unexpected and accidental. Without workers’ comp, you would be left with the burden of paying for your employee’s medical expenses and lost wages out of pocket or facing litigation for the said injuries in court.
That said, as an employer, you must immediately inform your employees about the importance of reporting work-related injuries and illnesses. That’s because there’s limited time to report such incidents and file a claim. Waiting too long could result in a denial of benefits.
So, what requirements do you need to know about before filing a workers comp claim?
You Must Have an Active Workers’ Comp Policy
First of all, your workers’ compensation policy must be active. That means you must have made payments as stipulated by your carrier at the time of the injury or illness.
The Injured Worker Must Be Under Your Employment
Another requirement is that the employee filing a claim must be eligible for benefits. In other words, they must be officially under your employment and therefore accounted for in the workers’ compensation cover.
Workers’ Compensation Must Cover the Injury
Having workers’ compensation doesn’t always mean that a claim will be approved. Sometimes, the carrier may reject the claim if they believe that the policy does not cover the injuries. So, the injuries or illness must be work-related, that is, stemming from a workplace accident or hazard. Injuries that a worker sustains from personal activities or while breaking company policy are not usually awarded benefits.
You Must Fill Out the Appropriate Paperwork and File on Time
To kickstart the worker’s compensation claim process, you will need to submit a completed claims form to your insurance carrier. The purpose of the claim form is to inform the insurance of the injuries and, consequently, costs incurred. So, once you have been informed of an injury, you want to download a claims form from your carrier’s platform and give it to the employee to fill out. Once that’s filled out, you can submit it to your insurance provider.
You Must Submit Supporting Documents, Including First Report of Injury
Every worker’s compensation claim application should be accompanied by supporting documentation. These include witness statements, the first report of injury, usually filled by the immediate supervisor/ manager, medical documentation for treatment administered, and so on. Basically, this requirement helps prove the case and move the claim a little faster.
Follow the Requirements for Filing a Workers Comp Claim to Avoid Rejection
Maintaining workers comp is necessary if you have hired working staff. As such, you want to be familiar with all the requirements for filing a claim. Have an active policy, report injuries early, and give accurate information together with supporting documents, and you should be good to go. In most states in the US, claims are approved in as little as two to three weeks.