If you have been injured on the job, you may be wondering when workers’ compensation will start paying for your medical bills and lost wages. Unfortunately, the answer is not always straightforward. The timeline for workers’ compensation payments can vary depending on several factors, including the severity of your injury, the type of medical treatment you require, and the efficiency of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.
To help you better understand the workers’ compensation process and when payments are likely to start, let’s take a closer look at some key factors to consider.
- Report Your Injury as Soon as Possible
The first step in the workers’ compensation process is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. In Minnesota, you must report an injury within 14 days in order to be eligible for benefits. However, it is always best to report the injury right away, as any delay can make it more difficult to establish a clear connection between the injury and your work activities.
Once you have reported your injury, your employer is required to notify their workers’ compensation insurer. The insurer will then investigate to determine whether your injury is covered under your employer’s policy and how much compensation you are entitled to receive.
- Medical Treatment and Wage Replacement
Assuming your injury is covered under the workers’ compensation policy, your medical treatment will typically start right away. The insurer will cover the cost of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your work injury. This may include everything from doctor visits and surgeries to physical therapy and medication.
As for wage replacement, this typically starts once you have missed at least three days of work due to your injury. If you are off work for less than 10 days, you will only receive wage replacement for the days you missed. If you are off work for more than 10 days, you will receive wage replacement for the entire time you were out.
If your injury is severe enough to prevent you from returning to work for an extended period, you may be eligible for long-term disability benefits. These benefits will provide ongoing wage replacement until you are able to return to work or until you reach maximum medical improvement.
- Factors That Can Delay Workers’ Comp Payments
While workers’ compensation payments are supposed to start promptly, there are several factors that can delay the process. For example, if your employer disputes your claim or the insurer decides to deny your claim, it can take months or even years to resolve the issue.
Another common delay is related to medical treatment. If you require specialized medical care, such as surgery or physical therapy, it can take time to schedule appointments and complete the necessary treatment. This delay can be frustrating, but it is important to remember that the insurer is required to cover the cost of all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your work injury.
- Working with an Experienced Workers’ Comp Attorney
If you are experiencing delays or complications with your workers’ compensation payments, it may be time to seek legal assistance. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the complex process and ensure you receive the benefits you are entitled to.
At Harvey & Carpenter in Mankato, Minnesota, our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience representing clients in all types of workers’ compensation cases. We understand the challenges you may be facing and we are committed to fighting for your rights. Contact us today at 507-779-7529 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.