What time limits are involved in a workers' compensation claim?

Workers' compensation claims are often complex, so knowing more about what is required could help lower the chance of a claim denial. There are a few time limits that you should be aware of when you are injured at work.

A notice for an on-the-job injury must be made to an employer within 21 days or there is no compensation due until the notice is given. If the notice is not given within 120 days, then no compensation will be allowed.

If your employer or his or her insurance carrier denies your claim for workers' compensation benefits, then you have three years to file an appeal.

A workers' compensation for an occupational disease or illness must be filed within three years. It must also be within 300 weeks from the last time your worked where you were exposed to the hazard.

If your workers' compensation benefits are suspended, you have 500 weeks to file a claim to have them reinstated. If they were terminated, then you have three years from the date on your last workers' compensation benefits check to file for reinstatement.

When you file a notice of your injury or illness, your employer or his or her insurance company has 21 days from the notice's date to either accept or deny your workers' compensation claim. An alternative is to make temporary payments for 90 days.

If your claim for workers' compensation benefits is denied, you can file an appeal. However, these cases can be very complex and the insurance carrier will have an experienced attorney at the hearings. A workers' compensation lawyer can present your side of the story and make sure your rights are protected.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, "Workers' Compensation & the Injured Worker," accessed March 11, 2016

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