Steps in Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Employers in the U.S. are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage on behalf of their employees, with very few exceptions. The specific rules and regulations regarding the scale and scope of insurance carried varies by state as do the rules for employers filing workers’ compensation claims. These steps, though, are fairly consistent across the board. Don’t forget to check with your business insurance provider, though, for the specific requirements and claims processes in your state.

Receive Notification of Work Related Injury or Illness from Employee

You can’t do anything until you know about the injury that’s taken place. Employees should notify you immediately of injuries and accidents occurring on the job.

Once this occurs, you are responsible for giving injured employees the appropriate paperwork detailing their benefits, rights, and responsibilities, as covered by their workers’ compensation coverage. This should also spell out the claims process for them.

After employees have visited an approved healthcare professional, they should supply you with supporting documentations from the physician detailing the injury and the validity of their claim.

File a First Report of Injury of Fatality Form

Whenever any workplace injury occurs that will cause a loss of work time beyond the day of the injury event or requiring treatment that goes beyond basic first aid, employers are required to file a First Report detailing the occurrence. Failure to do so in a timely manner may result in stiff penalties. These penalties vary by state.

Subsequent injury reports should be filed as new details of the injury, treatment, and anticipated recovery become available. This report must be maintained for a minimum of 18 years and may be reviewed by the state Board at any time during that period.

You have seven calendar days, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, in which to file the report with the convening authority in your state and your workers’ compensation insurance provider.

Always double check your state’s laws and regulations though to make sure you’re not missing a document or step that’s somewhat unique to your location.

Report Worker’s Wages to Board

Additionally, the employer must report the wages of the injured worker to the board through a Statement of Wage Earnings, as well as any changes in the worker’s pay or status as a result of the injury.

Once you’ve taken these steps, the insurance company and other convening authorities will take over the claims process for you. As a small business owner, it’s nice to have the safety net that worker’s compensation insurance coverage provides as well as a simple and straightforward claims process. These easy-to-follow steps take the burden from your shoulders leaving them in the hands of qualified professionals who handle the finer details on your behalf.