Guidance From Lawyers Who Care

What to do if the employer denies workers’ compensation benefits?

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

There are a variety of ways that workers can suffer injuries while working in Missouri. Any injury that keeps people from being able to work can be frustrating regardless of how it occurs. People will not be able to earn an income and may have medical bills that they will need to pay. People who suffer injuries while working may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Workers’ compensation benefits pay a portion of the injured workers’ lost income and also pay for the medical bills associated with the injury. These benefits can be very beneficial and many workers rely on them to get them through until they can work again. That is why a denial of benefits or a lower award than they need can be devastating.

If the initial claim is denied in whole or in part by the employer or the employer’s insurance provider, the employee has options.

Options for workers after initial denial

The worker can choose not to file a claim and instead use a dispute resolution process that includes having a conference with an administrative law judge who can hopefully assist the two sides in reaching a resolution.

The worker could also file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. If the worker chooses to file, they can still attempt a mediation to try and resolve the dispute or have a pre-hearing with the administrative law judge.

If a resolution does not occur through these processes, the worker is entitled to a hearing before an administrative law judge who will look at the evidence and make a decision. There are two types of hearings. One is a hardship hearing, which occurs while the worker is still hurt and receiving medical treatment. The other is a final hearing, which occurs if the worker has already returned to work.

Denials of workers’ compensation benefits in Missouri can be difficult, but the initial denial is not the end of the road. Injured workers can file a claim and request to have a hearing before an administrative law judge who may overturn the initial denial. It is important to have a strong case to present and experienced attorneys may be able to guide one through the process.