Worker's comp roadblocks can multiply! If you are injured on the job, worker’s compensation is supposed to pay medical expenses that are necessary to diagnose and treat your injury. In addition, it should also provide disability payments while you can’t work. It may pay for retraining and other benefits if you can’t return to work due to the injury. But, the worker’s compensation system is far from straightforward. There are roadblocks on every corner at a time when you need it most.
Worker's Comp Roadblock No. 1 occurs when an employer says your injury didn’t happen on the job. Or, they can report that you suffered the injury while you were violating company policy. When worker’s comp denies the claim, you’re facing an uphill battle. An attorney is your first line of defense.
Worker's Comp Roadblock No. 2 can appear after you’ve hired the attorney. Suddenly, your employer can’t accommodate your work restrictions, so you’re laid off. While you may receive unemployment, it’s not enough to see you through. You lose all your work-related benefits, including medical insurance.
Worker's Comp Roadblock No. 3 looms just around the corner when you find that you can’t even pay your living expenses while you’re fighting the claims. In addition, medical bills are escalating. A major illness is a setback even for people who feel they are set financially. Creditors may be closing in as bankruptcy nears.
Worker's Comp Roadblock No. 4 begins when you start living under a microscope. In many states, worker’s compensation can hire investigators to watch your every move. The idea behind this is to disprove your injury. It’s no longer your word vs. your employer’s word. The worker’s compensation system is set up to challenge you on every corner.
Disability insurance helps keep you afloat if you had the foresight to purchase it before the injury. Unfortunately, many people don’t recognize the importance or feel they can’t afford it. After the injury, it’s too late.
Document every conversation. Document every medical appointment. Document everything. Documentation will help you navigate around the roadblocks. My book, The Dark Side of Injury, outlines the steps and resources you need to work with the worker’s comp roadblocks. If you’re facing a battle with worker’s compensation, don’t walk blindly into the meetings. Read my book so you’ll know what to do.