All Rhode Island employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to pay for an injury on the job. However, this does not mean an injured worker will automatically receive benefits after a work accident. Workers’ compensation may be denied for a variety of reasons, and employees must work quickly to ensure that they receive the benefits they are owed.
Steps to Take If You’re Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your employer’s insurer has denied your workers’ compensation claim, you must go through the process of filing an appeal to get benefits. There are a few things you will need to do to get started, including:
- Find out the reason for the denial. Your denial notice should give a clear reason for the decision to deny benefits. Reasons for workers’ compensation denial can range from ineligibility due to worker classification to technical reasons (such as late filing or incomplete paperwork).
- Call your employer or insurance carrier. If the denial was caused by a typographical or clerical error (such as a mistyped name or date), you may be able to resolve it by speaking to your employer or the insurance carrier. If the denial is due to a dispute, you may move on to file an appeal.
- Begin your appeal. Injured employees must file a petition with the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court to appeal a denial of benefits. They must complete the correct forms and pay a filing fee. After the appeal is filed, they will be given a date for a pre-trial conference with their employer and a judge.
- Gather medical evidence. You will need to prepare for the appeal by gathering as much documentation as you can to dispute the reason given for denial. Potential evidence may include test results, medical records, timecards, photographs, or other proof that shows why the denial is in error.
- Speak to an attorney. If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, it’s important to speak with a lawyer who can help you through the appeals process. Our workers’ compensation attorneys help claimants understand their legal options and only charge for our services if we succeed in getting your benefits approved.
The legal team at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can answer your questions at no cost to you. To speak with a member of our team, fill out the easy online contact form on this page.