Workers’ compensation was established in Connecticut as an exclusive remedy for workers who were injured while on the job. For employees, the process is intended to streamline the receipt of benefit payments to recover from work-related injuries. For employers, workers’ compensation limits exposure to lawsuits related to injuries at work.
Despite the goals of simplicity and easy navigation, the Connecticut workers’ compensation process can be quite complex. Because benefits depend on the extent of an employee’s injuries, there is no ‘standard’
workers’ compensation payment. If you’ve been injured at work, the following is an overview of the Connecticut workers’ compensation process for an undisputed claim.
Step 1: Report The Injury
If you suffer an injury or illness while working, you should immediately report the incident to your employer. Your employer should complete and submit the ‘Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness’ to its insurance carrier as well as to the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Failing to report an injury to your employer or to seek medical treatment may result in a disputed or denied claim for workers’ compensation.
Step 2: Seek Medical Treatment
You should seek medical treatment for your on-the-job injury or illness as soon as possible. Your employer may choose where you are initially seen for your injury, whether that be a company medical clinic, designated physician or specific hospital. Once the employer’s chosen physician makes a diagnosis, that doctor will submit an evaluation of the employee’s condition to all parties.
If it is determined that you will need continuing treatment, you will be allowed to choose your own doctor for follow-up care.
Step 3: File The Proper Paperwork
A formal, written claim should be filed with your employer after an on-the-job injury. Form 30C is a standardized notice of claim and is available from the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission or from a district office.
This written notice of claim is not the same as Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness mentioned above in step one. You should not rely on your employer filing an accident report, but should submit your own notice of claim in order to preserve your eligibility for benefits.
You have one year to file the claim from the date your injury occurred. If you are suffering from a
work-related illness, you have three years to file a claim from the date the illness was diagnosed.
From the time you submit Form 30C to your employer, he or she has 28 days to either begin paying your claim or to deny coverage. If your employer denies coverage, he or she must send you a written notice of denial describing the reason(s) your claim for workers’ compensation was not approved.
Step 4: Contact Your Employer’s Insurance Company
Your employer’s insurance company, rather than your employer, will be making payments on your workers’ compensation claim. In order to do so, the insurer will need several items:
- A copy of the Employer’s First Report of Occupational Injury or Illness
- An earnings or wage statement from your employer
- A medical report from a physician confirming your injury, that it was work-related and that you are unable to work because of it
- Information regarding your federal filing status and the number of exemptions you claim for tax purposes
Once the employer’s insurance carrier has all requisite documentation, the insurance company will notify you what, if any, benefits you will receive.
Medical, rehabilitation, vocational and wage benefits are all available. The insurer can approve or deny your claim in full or in part.
Understanding The Process And Understanding Your Rights
At any time during the process, you have the right to an attorney. Whether you have questions about paperwork, coverage or your employer is denying responsibility for your on-the-job injury, a Connecticut workers’ compensation attorney can explain the process, your rights and your employer’s obligations in greater detail. If your employer disputes or denies your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, your attorney can also assist with the workers’ compensation appeals process.