After a work injury, securing your rightful workers’ compensation benefits requires several steps from you and your employer.
As the injured employee, one of the crucial first steps you must take involves a workers’ compensation (WC) packet. This packet must be read and accurately filled out in order to pursue your claim.
What Is a WC Packet?
A WC packet is essentially a pack of forms and instructional guidelines to follow when pursuing workers’ compensation. The packet should be sent to you within three to five business days after you or your employer reports the accident. Remember, employers are legally obligated to report workplace accidents and injuries no more than seven days after the incident occurred. Therefore, you should receive your packet no later than 16 days (seven days your employer has to report and nine days for mailing) after you sustained your injury.
If you do not receive a call or the information packet from the insurance company, you can call the WC hotline at 1-800-342-1741 for assistance.
The packet should include an informational brochure explaining your rights and obligations, as well as:
- A notification letter. This correspondence explains the services provided by the Employee Assistance Office (EAO) of the Division of Workers’ Compensation.
- A copy of your accident report. When your employer reported the initial accident, he should have sent an accident report detailing the situation and the injuries. This report, also referred to as “First Report of Injury or Illness,” should be read carefully to ensure the details are correct and that your employer didn’t omit key facts.
- A fraud statement. This form must be read, signed, and returned as soon as possible to ensure that you understand the legal ramifications of filing a false claim. If this form is delayed, your benefits may be temporarily withheld.
- A release of medical records. To verify your injuries, the EAO must have access to your medical records. This form, once dated, signed, and returned, will authorize the EAO to evaluate your medical procedure, the severity of your injuries, and your medical costs.
- A medical mileage reimbursement form. This form also needs to be filled out and signed to verify any out-of-pocket transportation fees you sustained as a result of your injuries. Ambulance rides can be costly and deserve reimbursement. Once completed, these forms should be sent to your claims adjuster for compensation.
Completing this packet is only one step of many to secure your benefits. However, if you skip it, or fail to firmly put your foot down, you could wind up falling.
Allow Johnson & Gilbert, P. A., to guide you through each form to ensure your packet is properly completed. With nearly 50 years’ worth of combined experience, we have the knowledge and resources you need to secure your rightful benefits. Call us today at 386.673.4412 or toll-free at 800.556.8890 to see how we can help you.