In theory, just about anyone who works a full-time job for an employer could receive workers' compensation benefits. The state of Missouri has a thorough workers' compensation program that protects those who work for a living from future indigence as a result of a workplace injury or illness.
The benefits available via workers' compensation include temporary or permanent disability, survival or death benefits in the case of a fatal illness or accident, medical coverage and even job placement and training programs.
Unfortunately, not everyone who applies for workers' compensation receives an approval of their claim. Some people face a denial. They then have the option of appealing that decision to connect with the benefits they need. If you have to file a claim for workers' compensation, you may worry about what the most common causes are for rejections.
Inaccurate or incomplete paperwork is a common issue
Workers can easily make mistakes when attempting to file a claim. The paperwork and documentation requirements for workers' compensation in Missouri can be confusing. It is easy to overlook important information or make small mistakes that result in the denial of the claim.
The risk for mistakes causing a delay or loss of workers' compensation benefits is one reason why people often work with a professional, such as an experienced Missouri attorney, when filing for workers' compensation.
Failing to meet critical filing deadlines
In order to qualify for workers' compensation coverage, you need to take action as soon as possible. First of all, you should alert your employer as soon as you realize you are sick or injured.
In fact, speaking to them before you seek your initial round of medical treatment is usually wise. That way, your employer has a record of your injury or illness. If you delay reporting to your employer, they might find that suspicious.
Similarly, you need to file a claim with Missouri workers' compensation within two years of the date of injury. Failing to seek compensation in a timely manner could mean that you lose your rights to receive it at all.
Not following protocol or medical instructions
If your employer requires that you see an on-site medical professional first, you should comply with those requirements. Many people find that their initial claim gets denied because they failed to follow company policy for filing a claim.
However, failing to take heed of what your doctor says could also impact your ability to get compensation. If you don't follow through with medical recommendations, that can affect your ability to receive compensation going forward.
Talking with someone who understands the complex workers' compensation program in Missouri is a good idea if you think you will need to file a claim in the near future. A professional like a lawyer can help you avoid the most common pitfalls and set you up for success.