By Rachel Puryear, of Legal Document Helpers
It’s bad enough to get hurt at work. It’s even worse when you cannot get workers’ compensation benefits following your injury. (Workers’ compensation benefits include payments to an injured worker in the form of wage replacement payments, paying for medical care, and compensation for long term impairment.)
Reasons why a legitimately injured worker might not be able to get benefits, either presently or ever, could include: Your employer thinks your injury might not be job related, you are considered an independent contractor, or your employer believes you brought a claim in bad faith. Whatever the reason, it’s a rough situation to be in, but there’s a way you can pay bills while you’re going through the workers’ compensation court (known as the workers’ compensation appeals board, a special court for disputed workers’ compensation claims).
Through the Employment Development Department, injured workers whose claims have been denied by their employer’s insurance carrier can apply for State Disability Insurance. The same is true where there is a delay by the insurance carrier in processing the claim. In the event that an injured worker collects state disability payments, and then the workers’ compensation claim is subsequently accepted by the insurance carrier; then the EDD will file a lien on the workers’ compensation claim, and this will be resolved when the workers’ compensation claim is later settled. However, this would be handled between the attorney for the insurance carrier and EDD, and is not something the injured worker should be intimidated by or a reason to not apply for these benefits.
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Please note that the above is offered for educational purposes only. The information presented may not take into account every exception, variation, or complication which could apply to someone’s legal matters. Accordingly, nothing in this post or blog is ever intended as, nor should be construed by or relied upon by anyone, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney who can give you assistance specific to your needs.