Working citizens in California that get sick or injured on the job are entitled to certain benefits because of what is known as the California Workers Compensation Act. Employers are required by the State to provide workers with protection in the form of full payment for any medical bills caused by a workplace injury/infection as well as a percentage of salary during a specified recovery period. This is common knowledge for most people, but one thing that can be tricky is knowing how to actually file an application for workers’ compensation – messing up the wrong steps can spell the end of your workers’ comp claim so it’s vital that everyone understands how to do this.
The first thing to understand is that the process of filing a workers’ comp claim starts on the date your workplace injury or sickness occurred. In general, injuries and/or illnesses sustained at work must be reported to your employer using Form DWC-1 within thirty days of the date of your injury – so it is of utmost importance to know exactly when any such incidents happened. This is easy enough to determine in most cases, but injuries and ailments caused by long-term “cumulative trauma or occupational diseases” may pose more of a challenge. In such instances, it is important to refer to one of two key dates: either the first time you missed work or the first time you needed to see a doctor because of the said injury or disease.
Once you’ve reported your situation to the employer, you must also file for an “Application For Adjudication Of Claim” at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB). Known as Form WCAB-1, this document must be submitted no later than 12 months after any one of these three dates: the date of your injury or sickness, the date of your last employer-sponsored medical benefits, or the last day of benefits for temporary disability. In the case that you miss this deadline, it is still worth the effort of seeking an workers’ comp attorney for advice – as technicalities exist that may garner an extension on your due date. When in doubt, seek the guidance of legal experts that specialize in the industry as they may be a valuable source of knowledge that can help ensure you understand your rights and even represent you in court in the case an employer disputes your claim.
Thanks for reading up about California Workers’ Compensation issues on our website. Keep checking back for weekly updates – and if you are looking for back-office solutions to QME reporting, then look no further! Get in touch with TukkoMed now and learn how we can help remove the pain of your process.