Every employee responds to injuries differently. Some laugh it off and try to pretend they’re okay which can, unfortunately, escalate concerns. Meanwhile, others immediately question the potential complications.
If you get hurt at work, you have the right to seek workers’ compensation, which can allow you time to get better without experiencing severe financial hardship from missed hours at work. However, there’s a limited timeline during which you can apply for benefits.
Act quickly to get the help you need
Depending on your situation, the expenses surrounding an injury could seem unsurmountable. Since approval from the state Workers’ Compensation Board can cover a percentage of your costs, it is in your best interest to start the process as soon as possible.
New York workers’ compensation laws typically limit your opportunity to file a claim to two years from the date of a workplace injury. However, a specific date isn’t always identifiable. For example, the statute of limitations may also begin with the date you became aware of an illness related to your line of work.
To request benefits, you can file electronically, through the postal service or, depending on local office availability, in person. No matter which application you’re comfortable with, time is of the essence.
There can be multiple steps toward recovery
Although you may qualify to receive benefits, financial recovery doesn’t happen overnight. To get claim approval, you’ll have to:
- Inform your employer about your injury or illness
- Seek necessary medical treatment
- File a claim with the Board
From there, the doctor, insurance carrier and employer may submit further documentation relevant to your case.
Do what’s best for you
Many injured workers receive a denial of benefits because of insufficient information or documentation errors. While it’s possible to appeal a decision, it can put you at a disadvantage, lacking the financial backing you need to support your family or seek the treatment you need to get back to work.
A workers’ compensation attorney can help you protect your interests if an unexpected incident or diagnosis throws a wrench in your plans. Meanwhile, just because you can apply for workers’ compensation benefits for up to two years after an on-the-job injury doesn’t mean you should.