New York State’s Workers’ Compensation Law provides coverage for almost all Long Island workers if they suffer an injury in the workplace, or develop an illness related to their job. This workers’ compensation coverage pays out to cover all necessary medical care, as well as a cash benefit to cover a portion on the worker’s wages. Benefits are available immediately to any eligible employee, beginning on her first day of work.
The claims process to get workers’ compensation benefits in New York State is not always as easy as it should be. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Patchogue, Long Island at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. knows how this process works, and can ensure you receive you the full amount of coverage due to you after an on-the-job injury or illness. Let our team handle your paperwork and filing your claim for you. If your employer or its insurance carrier already tried to deny your claim, let us step in and fight for your full benefits.
Call our office today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a free case review with one of our Long Island workers’ compensation lawyers.
How Can I File for Workers’ Compensation Coverage in New York State?
New York State’s workers’ compensation scheme allows most employees to draw a weekly cash benefit that covers a portion of their pay until they are well enough to return to work, in addition to paying the medical bills related to their injury. This coverage must be available to most employees free of charge. However, there is a complicated process to file a claim for these benefits that is made more difficult when the person injured is dealing with ongoing medical care.
It is paramount that you meet all applicable deadlines when filing for workers’ compensation benefits, and that you take each step of the process in the proper order. If you do not, they may outright deny your claim or leave you fighting for the benefits you deserve.
Following treatment for any workplace injury or illness that causes you to miss work, you must report the incident to your supervisor or the appropriate human resources personnel within 30 days. It is not enough that your supervisor was there when the accident happened, or even witnessed your injury. You need to submit a written report. Your company may have specific forms to use for this, but any letter detailing the incident and your injuries should suffice.
While you do have a full 30 days to report your injuries to your supervisor in writing, this is the first step of the claims process, and you cannot proceed until you have done this. Any delay in giving this notification will delay your weekly cash benefits. This is something to consider if you need money to help make ends meet while you are out of work. We recommend notifying your supervisor in writing as soon as possible, within a few days of your injuries, if possible.
When you notify your employer or human resources professional within your company, she should give you a Form C-3. If you did not receive one, we can help you get this form. You will need to complete the form, and forward it to your local Board District Office. While you have two years from the date of your injuries to file this form, you will want to act quickly to get the benefits you need as soon as possible.
Once the local Board District Office receives your Form C-3, it will review your case and approve or deny your benefits. If you meet all deadlines and the review process goes smoothly, you should begin receiving benefits as soon as possible.
Can My Doctor Treat My Patchogue, Long Island, Workplace Injuries?
In most cases, you should be able to see your own doctor for treatment of your workplace injuries. To receive payments through workers’ compensation insurance, doctors must have the approval of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. If your doctor completed the process required to gain approval, she is eligible to treat your workplace injuries and your workers’ compensation coverage will pay out to cover the cost. It is a good idea to ask your doctor if she has approval to treat workers’ comp injuries before beginning treatment.
Occasionally, there are circumstances where your employer’s workers’ compensation plan may not allow you to see your own doctor for treatment, at least initially. If your employer participates in a managed care plan, you will need to see its recommended doctor or seek treatment at its recommended hospital for your workplace injury. After the first 30 days of treatment, however, you are free to choose any doctor who has Workers’ Compensation Board approval.
What If My Employer Denied My Patchogue Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Occasionally, an employer will deny that your injury occurred at work. In other cases, it may allege you are faking your injury or illness. He might also claim you caused your injury by engaging in horseplay or drinking on the job. When this happens, the insurance carrier may refuse to pay out, or it could deny your claim for another reason entirely. Any dispute over the validity or approval of your claim can significantly delay your cash benefits. This makes it difficult to make ends meet, especially while the medical bills continue to add up.
The best thing you can do if you find yourself in this situation is to reach out to a knowledgeable Patchogue workers’ compensation lawyer. We know how these insurance companies work, and can get to the bottom of why they denied your claim. Then, we can appeal the denial in front of an administrative law judge. Often, we can convince this judge to overturn the denial and you will begin receiving the benefits you deserve.
How Can I Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Patchogue, Long Island?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., we offer free case reviews for victims of workplace injuries or illnesses. Call us today at 631-600-0000 to schedule a time to discuss your case with a Patchogue workers’ compensation lawyer. We handle all these cases based on contingency. This means you pay us nothing until we recover the benefits and backpay you deserve.