You made sure to tell your boss about your burn injury before leaving work. Your employees saw the accident happen, and you rushed to tell the manager on duty before leaving work to get medical help. It’s been over a week, and you’re still waiting to hear back from your employer about how you will be paid while you’re on leave from work. Which doctors will you be allowed to see, and how long can you collect benefits while you’re off work?
A Brief Timeline of the NJ Workers’ Compensation Benefits Process
While each workers’ compensation case is different, there are a few steps that must be followed in order for an injured employee to receive benefits:
- Employee reports injury to employer. Injured workers can give notice of their injuries to any supervisor or person of authority at their workplace. This notice does not have to be in writing. Inform your employer right away if you need emergency medical treatment.
- Employer sends notice of injury to insurer. Once the accident has been reported to an employer, the employer must file a claim with the company’s insurance carrier.
- Evaluation of claim. The employer's insurer evaluates the claim, deciding whether the injury meets benefit qualifications under workers’ comp law. The insurance provider may contact the injured worker and his employer for more information that will aid the decision.
- Employer sends employee for treatment. Once the claim has been accepted, the employer should provide the injured worker with a list of authorized medical providers for further treatment.
- Employer provides workers’ comp pay. If the employee has missed more than seven days of work due to his injury, the employer should provide temporary disability benefits while the employee recovers.
If your claim is denied, you should not simply give up your rights to compensation. You can still file a formal Claim Petition or an Application for an Informal Hearing with the Division of Workers' Compensation. You may need to prove that your injury occurred at work, that the injury was reported in a timely fashion, or that your medical provider did not give a fair assessment of your injury. If you need help building this evidence in your case, fill out the short contact form on this page or download our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.