Whether you got hurt on the job or developed a work-acquired medical condition, you probably expected workers’ compensation to protect you. The benefits could pay for your medical care and also replace some of the wages you can’t earn right now.
Unfortunately, the path to workers’ compensation benefits is not always a straight line. Sometimes, workers who should receive benefits end up facing a denial of their claim instead of an approval. Either their employer or the insurance company involved might try to keep you from medical coverage or disability benefits.
You don’t have to accept an unfair denial. You can fight back and try to get the workers’ compensation benefits you need. What are your rights and options as someone who needs benefits in Missouri?
Workers can request a hardship hearing
If you need medical treatment or disability benefits, particularly if you qualify for temporary total disability, your employer should try to accommodate you during your recovery. If they unjustly refuse to give you the benefits you deserve, you could request a hardship hearing to show how you are in immediate need of support.
Workers can request mediation
Disputed claims and appeals often involve the participation of an administrative law judge. If an applicant with a denied claim can show that there is support for their appeal request, they may be able to ask the judge for mediation.
Sitting down and reviewing the details of the case with the other party and possibly finding a compromise could help someone in need of workers’ compensation benefits. You may be able to arrange a settlement or convince the other party of how your injury connects to your employment.
Workers can litigate an appeal as well
You don’t have to reach a settlement behind closed doors. You have the right to request an appeal and possibly a hearing in court in front of an administrative law judge.
You can use that opportunity to present evidence that shows the severity of your medical condition and directly connect it to your employment. Witnesses present at the time of the incident could testify. You may also need medical documentation or testimony from physicians who have helped in your treatment.
Understanding the different options available after facing a denial of your benefits will make it easier for you to get the workers’ compensation benefits you need.