Understanding your rights to workers’ compensation

Understanding your rights to workers’ compensation

Understanding your rights to workers’ compensation

A workplace injury may qualify you for workers’ compensation benefits to help meet your living expenses until you resume working. Unfortunately, if your employer refuses to file your workers’ compensation claim, you may struggle with mounting bills.

However, employers in Missouri and Kansas may not deny benefits for legitimate claims.

When does a workplace injury qualify for workers’ compensation?

Injuries must occur while an employee performs a qualifying job for an employer. Coverage does not apply when injuries occur during:

  • Horseplay
  • Commutes to or from work
  • An employee’s lunch break
  • Intoxication due to alcohol or drug while performing a job

Some injuries may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if they occur at off-site work-sponsored events where an employer mandates employees’ attendance.

Why would an employer refuse to file your claim?

Employees can receive workers’ compensation benefits in exchange for not suing their employers for workplace injuries. However, despite evading costly lawsuits, some employers may choose not to file their employees’ claims when they do not believe an injury is severe or occurred while performing a job. Sometimes, the employee fails to report an incident.

Although these are legitimate reasons not to file a claim, employers also neglect doing so because they want to prevent rising insurance premiums. Alternatively, they may want to avoid fines for not providing mandatory coverage.

What can you do?

Your employer has a right to contest your claim but must file it first. Therefore, when your employer refuses to file your claim, you have a right to contact your state’s workers’ compensation board for a  claim form to initiate a hearing before an administrative judge.

Understanding your rights can help you fight for the benefits you deserve when your employer refuses to file a claim for your workplace injury.