Sustaining an injury while you are on the job can leave you unable to return to work. Employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance that allows them to pay workers who have sustained a qualifying injury while these employees are in recovery.
If you find that your employer is withholding workers' compensation benefits from you after you file a claim, you have a few courses of action that you can take to help remedy the situation.
Here are three things that you should do if your employer is withholding your workers' compensation benefits in the future.
1. Check Your Paperwork
In order to take legal action against your employer for withholding workers' compensation benefits, you need to ensure that you have met all of your obligations by checking your paperwork to see if you have overlooked any action that needs to be taken on your part.
In order to qualify for workers' compensation payments you need to provide timely notification of your injury, seek immediate medical treatment, follow your doctor's recommendations, and submit all off-work slips to your employer within the specified time frame. Failure to comply with any one of these requirements could be grounds for your employer to withhold your workers' compensation benefits.
By looking through your records, you will be able to determine if your employer is unreasonably withholding your benefits, which could be grounds for legal action.
2. Petition for an Immediate Hearing
Once you have determined that your employer is withholding your workers' compensation benefits despite the completion of all necessary steps to access financial help on your end, you can file for an immediate hearing.
Preparing a petition for an immediate hearing allows you to bring your case in front of a judge or panel of administrators responsible for overseeing the administration of workers' compensation programs in your state.
Once you have presented evidence showing that you have complied with all necessary submission deadlines and regulations, the judge or panel of overseers will have the ability to force your employer to begin making timely workers' compensation payments in the future.
3. File for Penalties
In addition to filing a petition for an immediate hearing when your employer is withholding your workers' compensation benefits, you should work closely with your attorney to file for penalties as well.
Being forced to live without the financial assistance provided by your workers' compensation payments can place you and your family under undue stress. As a result, you are often able to seek compensation for the inconvenience in the form of penalties.
The penalties you may want to file for can include late fees, a percentage of your total workers' compensation benefits, and the payment of your attorney fees and costs associated with taking legal action against your employer. Filing for penalties along with a petition for an immediate hearing allows you to maximize the amount of financial assistance you will receive if your employer is ordered to begin paying you the workers' compensation benefits you are owed.
When you are counting on timely workers' compensation benefits to pay for vital living expenses, having your employer withhold these payments can be devastating. If your employer is delaying the payment of your workers' compensation benefits or refusing to pay outright, consult with Alan David Tucker Esq. P.C., an attorney with experience navigating workers' compensation cases.
By partnering with an experienced attorney, you will be able to verify you have complied with all regulations, file for an immediate hearing, and file for penalties in an effort to get your employer to pay you the financial benefits you are entitled to while recovering from an injury.