The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has set up several methods for injured employees to file for Workers’ Compensation Claims, called a “C-3” claim. It should be filed as soon as you can. First, though, let’s go over what you should do to make sure your employer is aware of your claim.
The most important thing to do after getting medical help is to make sure that you notify your employer IN WRITING that you were injured on the job. You may have already filled out an accident report at the scene, or your supervisor has done so, if your employer required one. Or maybe the police and EMS were called to the scene. While those reports are all good to help show that you had an injury and it was reported “that day,” you should still send your employer a separate notice containing the basic facts of when, where and how you were injured or became ill while working on the job, and that you intend to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim. It is important because your employer must then notify his insurance carrier.
There are some types of injuries that do not show up right away. These are illnesses such as working with chemicals or substances that are later found to cause illness. In New York you must file a claim within two (2) years of the accident or if you became ill on the job. If it was not a physical accident, within two years after you knew or should have known that the illness you contracted was due to the nature of your employment. Sounds complicated to determine. Well, it can be, but we can help you better understand that time limitation.
Ok so now we have established the claim with your employer. How do you go about filing the claim? The Workers’ Compensation board permits a claim – a C-3 - to be filed online, over the phone or by mailing or handing in a form to any customer service center or district office. Often it can be overwhelming to deal with filing and taking care of yourself. We can help. We will file the claim on your behalf.
The next step is that of your employer. Your employer must agree that your injury was work related. If your employer agrees then your benefits may come very soon. But there are times when an employer will not verify that the injury was work related or say that you had that injury before you came to work at his place. Then we will have what is called a “controverted” claim. What that means is that we will have to attend a hearing and testimony will be taken from both you and your employer on the facts surrounding your accident or illness to determine if you are eligible to collect benefits. If the judge determines that you are eligible then he or she will also determine the amount of your benefit and how long you will receive it. If your claim is denied then you may file an appeal in writing within 30 days of the judge’s decision. The appeal’s process is not a simple one but don’t worry: we can help with all of this. Each step in the process has a deadline so it cannot go on forever and some cases are eligible for “priority processing.” We will help determine if your case is eligible for priority under the law.
And we can also help with options. If your claim is controverted you can seek benefits under the New York State Disability Benefits Program. These payments are smaller that Workers’ Compensation benefits and given for a shorter time. And if we ultimately win your compensation appeal you will have to pay these benefits back. But know that these options are there and we can help with them as well. We here at the Platta Law Firm understand your needs and can help you with the red tape involved in a Workers’ Compensation Claim. Call us today.