A job-related injury can disrupt your life and prevent you from working. You can apply for workers’ compensation benefits to help pay your bills while you recover, but recent changes to workers’ compensation laws could result in financial hardship.
Fortunately, you have multiple opportunities to appeal a claim denial successfully.
What are some reasons for a claim denial?
Workers’ compensation claim denials usually happen due to:
- Failure to report an injury to an employer or obtain medical treatment within 20 days of an incident
- Lack of witnesses to an accident
- Inconsistencies between accident reports and medical records
- Employers who deny your injuries are work-related
- Fighting or horseplay causing injuries
What are the steps for appealing a denial?
You have the right to appeal a claim denial. The first step involves notifying your employer and the insurance provider about the benefits you want them to reconsider through a Notice of Intent. If they refuse your request, you can proceed with filing a request for a preliminary hearing with the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Division. At this point, you and your employer may offer evidence explaining your positions to a judge who may agree that you should receive benefits until a full hearing occurs. You can also request a full hearing if the judge at the preliminary hearing agrees with your employer.
You and your employer may also agree to settle before a full hearing. Otherwise, a judge decides if you will receive benefits after you, your employer, your doctor, and other witnesses testify. Finally, you have an opportunity to appeal a judge’s decision favoring your employer through the Department of Labor’s electronic workers’ compensation claims management and review system.
Kansas’s workers’ compensation laws are complex, but it is worth the effort to fight for the benefits you deserve.