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What should I do if I reported a work injury, my employer filed a First Report, but then denied workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers’ compensation was originally designed to be an uncomplicated administrative payment scheme. However, it has evolved over time, and today employers and their insurance carriers have a right to contest cases they believe are not compensable. Workers usually have the right to be told a claim is being contested within certain time limits. If benefits are not being paid, all states have procedures where an injured worker can have the merits of a case determined by a commissioner, hearing officer, or administrative law judge.

To get your case administratively processed you would typically have to file a benefits’ claim form. In some states these are called Petitions for Award of Compensation. Processing a case can be complicated. You may want to retain the services of an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation and is familiar with the system in your state. You should also contact your state’s Workers’ Compensation Board or Commission seeking their advice and direction. Some states have staff who are charged with responding to employee inquiries, help the injured individual fill out appropriate paperwork, and manage their claims.

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