The Bollinger Law Firm, P.C.

5 things to know about workers' compensation in North Carolina

Workers' compensation is a program meant to help injured workers to get the medical care and financial help they need if they are harmed at work. Employers in North Carolina are required to have this coverage for their employees. If they don't they can face legal troubles.

For workers who have to file for for compensation, there are several things to remember.

#1: Injuries and illnesses are covered

Workers' compensation isn't limited only to injuries that are caused by accidents. You can also file for workers' compensation if you suffer a repetitive motion injury or an illness that is due to the conditions at work. As long as the injury or illness is because of a work-related issue, you can file for workers' compensation benefits.

#2: Benefit types vary based on circumstances

Workers' compensation offers a variety of types of benefits for workers who are unable to work. Medical care payments and wage replacement are the two most common. Other benefits are also possible, such as rehabilitative programs to help you learn how to do other jobs if you can't do the job that you did before the issue that required you to file for workers' compensation. Disability payments are also possible when an injury is severe enough to warrant it.

#3: Strict time limits apply

You should report an injury or issue to your employer right away when it occurs. You have up to 30 days to make the report. You should do this verbally and in writing. Filing a report in writing provides you with written proof that you did what you were supposed to do.

#4: Important restrictions apply

You can't just seek medical care wherever you feel like it. You have to go to the doctors or medical care facilities that are listed on the documentation posted or published in your workplace. You can apply to the North Carolina Industrial Commission if you want to be able to seek medical care from a different provider. You must wait until you get written permission to make the change or you may be responsible for the medical bills you incur at the provider.

#5: You can appeal a claim decision

If you file a workers' compensation claim and are denied or don't think the benefits are correct, you can appeal the decision. This is an important process that you must ensure is handled properly. Specific time limits apply so make sure you take quick action when you determine you need an appeal.

Source: Nov. 30, -0001

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