A claim application for workmen compensation benefits should be filed by the workman immediately after an accident occurs. When a workman suffers injury in employment and while on duty then he should file for a compensation claim. Also, when a worker is diagnosed with a disease arising due to the nature of his work then the policy benefits can be claimed.
A delayed filing of the worker’s compensation benefits after an injury at work or after contracting a diseased related to his work can lead insurance providers to potentially deny compensation benefits. The WC policy claim should be filed as early as possible. Begin the filing process as soon as the injury occurs. Any delay in filing can create doubt on the legitimacy of the compensation.
The right time to file a case:
In case of illnesses developed over time such as mesothelioma or carpal tunnel syndrome, knowing the right time of claim filing can work to your advantage. These diseases are also known as ongoing or cumulated trauma injuries. In these diseases, you should file the claim when:
- You take a leave from your work to visit a doctor relating to the injury or illness
- You come to know that your work was responsible for your injury or illness.
The first stage of filing the WC policy process is sending a notification to the worker’s employer relating to the injury at work or illness caused by work. Also, filing a formal workmen compensation insurance claim application is necessary. The notification of injury or illness to the employer should include these details:
- Date: Time and place of injury
- How the injury occurred (as detailed as possible)
- A list of witnesses (if available, and if injury/accident was caused in a specific workplace)
Sharan Kumar was working in the J.S Manufacturing facility for the last five years. He was a responsible worker who never took unnecessary leaves and was also very punctual with his work.
Read More: What is the Workmen’s Compensation Act?
However, last Monday, Sharan did not report to the office, and his team manager called him to know the reason. His wife informed that Sharan felt a pull while moving some containers at the workplace. However, he thought nothing of it until it started getting worse over the weekend.
The doctor told Sharan that he had a potential herniated disc and he should rest until he got fine. Sharan’s manager (who called him) sanctioned his ten days leave over the phone.
The next day, Sharan’s wife visited the J.S Manufacturing facility and filled the workmen compensation claim. She gave complete detail of the accident, such as date, time, place of injury, etc. and informed the insurer too.
As Sharan’s wife timely informed the workmen compensation insurance company, the latter considered the claim application. As the accident occurred during working hours, the worker compensation insurance company paid compensation to Sharan without the case going to the workers’ courts.
Here the early communication helped in the timely settlement of the claim.
Rahul Malhotra, a retail sales associate, injured his elbows and legs while hauling clothes at the workplace. As the injury was not looking major, he continued working in the store. When he reached his home, he had pain in his right elbow which also became motionless.
His family went to attend a relatives’ marriage so he called his friend -Varun. He took Rahul to a private clinic for X-rays and tests. The doctor found a severe swelling in Rahul’s right elbow and gave him an injection and medicines for some relief. Once the swelling went, the doctor advised Rahul to go for physiotherapy as well.
Due to the injury, Rahul had to miss the office for ten days. When after ten days, Rahul re-joined the office, his colleagues asked for the reason for his leaves. Then only he told them about his injury.
Rahul got a major shock when his colleague, Suraj asked him “Did you inform HR of this work-related injury?” The thought of informing the insurance company never came to Rahul in the last ten days. He bore all the medical expenses from his pocket.
Rahul rushed to the HR department to fill the workmen compensation insurance claim application form. He also phoned the insurer. However, the insurance company refused to consider it as a workplace injury. It rejected the claim due to the delay of 10 days.
Rahul neither informed anyone about his injury nor registered his claim within a stipulated time frame. Hence, the workers compensation insurance company rejected his claim.
Knowing the right time and process to file a workmen compensation claim can benefit both the worker and employer.