Nothing compares to the trauma of getting injured at work or being diagnosed with an occupational disease. In Vermont, all employers must have workers’ compensation coverage for their employees, although the system doesn’t include independent contractors. Workers compensation insurance helps injured workers financially by covering their medical care and lost wages. Here’s an overview of what you can expect when filing a claim.
Benefits at a glance
The workers’ compensation system is a no-fault one. It doesn’t matter whether your employer was responsible for the accident or negligent in any manner; you can still claim the benefits, provided you are covered. Benefits include the cost of medical care, replacement of most of the lost wages due to an illness or work-related injury, cost of funeral costs if a worker lost their life due to an injury (or illness), and disability benefits. Also, the workers’ compensation system pays for the ongoing costs related to recovery, such as physical therapy.
The temporary disability benefits are available for up to 104 weeks, but if a worker needs financial support even after that period, the outcome is determined by the Vermont Department of Labor.
Informing your employer is a must
Before you file the workers’ compensation claim, you must notify your employer of the injury and seek medical attention without any delay. It is not uncommon to come across cases when injuries have been diagnosed after weeks of an accident. In such cases, the employer should be notified immediately after the diagnosis. Keeping documentation of your injuries and medical care is critical, and don’t merely ignore an injury as a minor issue. This may impact your ability to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
You can choose your doctor
While your employer can ask you to visit a certain doctor of their choice for the initial appointment, you have the right to choose your doctor. In other words, your employer cannot force you to stick to a doctor for your long-term care and treatment.
Once you inform your employer of the injury, they will have to file a claim with the insurance company and notify the Vermont Department of Labor within 72 hours. If your employer failed to report the injury, you could get an attorney who can help you complete the process. The insurance company has 21 days to act on your claim. Once your claim is approved, you will get weekly checks for temporary disability benefits.
Call an attorney to know more.