Being injured and unable to work will stoke worry and fear for workers in New Hampshire and Vermont. This can happen in any kind of job whether it is one that is relatively sedentary like office work or one in which people are performing arduous physical tasks like construction or are at risk with highway work and as first responders.
Regardless of how and why it happened, there are key points to remember. Getting medical care is essential. Whether that means going to the emergency room or seeking medical care at a doctor’s office, this is a critical first step. Next, workers must be aware of the importance of filing the claim as quickly as possible.
File for workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible
There are time limitations for which a worker can receive benefits. If they do not file the claim in time, they could lose their eligibility. In both New Hampshire and Vermont, the claim must be filed within three years of the worker realizing they are injured.
Despite the requirement to file within three years, it should be remembered that the employee does not always know they are injured and unable to work until a certain amount of time has passed. While it may sound unusual for that time to go beyond three years, it is certainly possible.
Not every injury is obvious. If a worker suffers a head injury, broken bones or lacerations, it is clear to the naked eye. A back injury where the worker does not believe it is serious could end up as debilitating. Feeling weakness, numbness or stiffness can be a sign of a soft tissue injury. Work-related illnesses can take even more time to manifest.
To still file a workers’ compensation claim after the three-year period, the filing must be made the date at which the employee knows or should know they are injured and how it is connected to their employment. If they die, when the dependent knew or reasonably should have known it came about because of employment.
The key point is that workers should not hesitate when they believe they have been injured. Filing the claim as soon as possible can avoid disputes as to whether the injury occurred because of work, if it is legitimate and is severe enough to warrant benefits.
Having help is key with workers’ compensation claims
It is natural to be fearful when there is a work injury amid questions as to who will pay for medical care, how income will be covered, what happens if a person cannot return to their old job or cannot work at all. A fundamental part of a workers’ compensation claim is filing within the necessary time-frame and doing so as quickly as possible.
For these questions and others – as well as to try and be approved and maximize benefits if there is a dispute – it is wise to have professional advice and guidance. Having assistance that is looking out for the worker’s interests and knows how to navigate the complex area of workers’ compensation claims in both New Hampshire and Vermont goes beyond simply adhering to the statute of limitations to file in both states, but after getting medical treatment, that is a priority.