How Long Does It Take to Get Workers Compensation?

By Chris Dixon


The workers’ compensation claims process can be daunting, and leave injured employees stressing over the same question, “how long does it take to get workers compensation?” The truth is, the length of time it takes to get workers compensation varies from case to case. Some employees might wait weeks, while others might wait months to get workers compensation benefits, whether due to their state’s workers compensation laws, lack of evidence, or many other factors.

Factors Involved in Whether a Worker Compensation Claim is Approved or Denied

If you are injured on the job, you are obligated to report the incident to your employer within your state’s time frame for reporting workplace accident injuries, which can range anywhere between 30 to 90 days after the accident occurred. Failure to report an incident can result in forfeiting all rights to recover compensation, and denial of your workers’ compensation claim. In addition to reporting the accident within a certain amount of time, other factors that are involved in whether an employee’s workers compensation claim is accepted or denied include:

  • If the employee sought medical care within a reasonable amount of time for their injuries
  • A witness report is often required for workers compensation claims, but if no one witnessed the accident, other types of evidence could support your claim
  • If the employee knowingly caused the accident, or if it could have been prevented by the employer
  • A lack of evidence from the accident
  • If the employee is exempt under their state’s workers compensation law from receiving benefits
  • If the employee was on the clock at the time of the accident, whether on-premises or not, and if it happened off-premises, if what they were doing at the time of the accident was for the benefit of their employer (travelling for business) or not (daily commute to work)

There are many reasons that a workers compensation claim might get denied, but it’s essential to stay calm and positive. Most of the time, workers’ compensation claims decisions are eligible to be appealed. While this doesn’t mean that every case is eligible to recover compensation, if an injured employee has a valid workplace accident claim, with the help of an experienced lawyer, a powerful appeal can be made regarding their workers’ compensation claim. Sometimes, all that’s needed to get workers compensation benefits is additional evidence and a powerful argument from someone that knows the intricacies of your state’s workers’ compensation laws that can demand results.

How Long Will It Take to Receive My First Workers Compensation Check?

After an employee submits a workers’ compensation claim, their employer is required to submit the employee’s claim to their insurance company. Once the insurer receives the employee’s claim, an investigation of the claim is conducted. During a workers compensation investigation, the insurance company will examine the evidence submitted with the claim and speak with anyone involved for more information, including, but not limited to, your employer, treating doctor, and coworkers. In most states, there are strict deadlines for how long the insurance company has to accept or deny your claim and send you an official letter regarding this decision; typically, it’s around 30 days from the time that the insurance company received the claim.

If your claim is accepted, the amount of time it’ll take to get your first workers compensation check depends on the status of your injuries from the workers’ compensation accident and your state’s workers compensation laws. In most states, compensation for medical expenses is immediately awarded, but for weekly workers’ compensation payments, it can take a bit longer. For example, in California, temporary disability benefits are required to be paid within 14 days after your treating doctor says that you are unable to work, but in Ohio, TD benefits begin on the eighth day if you are off work for up to 14 days. For more permanent injuries, the waiting period for TD benefits in your state generally still applies but is offset to leave room for both present and future compensation for your permanent disability caused in the workplace accident.

Speak with a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

The workers’ compensation process can be difficult to navigate without adequate legal knowledge. Without a lawyer by your side, you could miss your state’s time frame for filing a workers compensation claim, or risk recovering less compensation from the other party’s insurer. Hiring a Workers Compensation Lawyer to represent your case not only prevents these situations from occurring but offers support during this challenging time and insight on how long it takes to get workers compensation.

Christopher Dixon and the Workers Compensation Lawyers at the Dixon Injury Firm are ready to tackle your workplace accident injury case 24/7. Our attorneys understand what it takes to obtain the results you expect, and more importantly, deserve for your harm and losses caused by your employer’s negligence. To date, the Dixon Injury Firm has recovered more than $35,000,000 in compensation for injury victims and will bring that same passion and drive with them when fighting for your case.

If you are looking for more information on how long it takes to get workers compensation, or need help filing a claim, call (314) 409-7060, 855-40-CRASH, or contact the Dixon Injury Firm today to schedule a free consultation.

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