Are there time limits on workers’ compensation benefits?

Most injured workers have their hands full with emergency medical care and follow-up health appointments to begin thinking about filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, these claims are subject to a variety of different deadlines, beginning with the time frame to report a workplace accident to an employer. Time limits on workers' comp

Time Limits Applied to Workers’ Compensation in Rhode Island

There are time limits on nearly every aspect of a workers’ compensation claim. Here is a brief overview of those deadlines:

  • How long do I have to give my employer notice of my injury? You have 30 days to report an injury or illness to your employer. However, it is best to report your condition as soon as possible, since your employer is required by law to file a declaration form with the Rhode Island Division of Workers’ Compensation.
  • How long do I have to file a claim? Workers can file a workers’ compensation claim up to 2 years from the date of injury. The deadline is lengthy because many injuries and occupational diseases covered under Rhode Island workers' compensation may take a long time to manifest. Employees who file workers’ compensation for repetitive stress injuries or work-related cancers often do not have one sudden incident that results in injury but suffer day-by-day exposure that causes injury over time.
  • How long must I be unable to work before I can collect workers’ compensation? There is a waiting period of 3 days on wage loss benefits. You are officially considered disabled on the 4th day of missed work.
  • How long can a person receive benefits? Employees who are temporarily or partially disabled may continue to receive benefits for up to six years as long as they maintain disability status. If a person is permanently and completely unable to work, benefits may continue indefinitely.
  • How long does my employer have to hold my job? Rhode Island is one of only a handful of states that protect your right to return to your old job. Once you are cleared for return to work by your doctor, you must claim your position within 10 days.

No matter the time limits, you should take action immediately to report your injury or file a claim. Any hesitation to do so may be seen as evidence that your injury isn’t severe, potentially damaging your case. The attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can examine the details of your case and help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us by filling out our online form to tell us what happened in your no-cost initial consultation.