How to apply for workers’ comp in North Carolina

When you suffer a work injury, following the correct procedure helps ensure your receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. These payments cover medical costs and lost wages while you are unable to work.

Learn more about the North Carolina workers’ compensation application process.

Seek medical treatment

See your health care provider right away after a workplace injury. If your employer has a doctor on-site or has designated an official off-site employee doctor, visit that health care provider when the injury occurs. Otherwise, go to the emergency room or see your family doctor. During your visit, let the doctor know that your injury happened at work, and note the name of your employer so he or she can bill the claim correctly.

Notify your employer

Tell your direct supervisor about your injury and how it occurred. If you are unable to report your injury personally, your doctor, family member or another designated individual can do so on your behalf. In addition to this informal notice, you must provide written notice of the accident within 30 days.

Submit Form 18

This legal document notifies the state Industrial Commission about your workplace injury and opens your workers’ comp claim. You must submit your application within two years of the injury date to receive benefits.

Await eligibility decision

Once you have sent the state all necessary paperwork, the commission will forward this documentation to your employer’s insurance provider for an investigation. Your benefit eligibility and amount depend on your work history, wages, medical reports, experience and other factors. The adjuster may require a medical exam with a specific doctor and/or a physical assessment of your work abilities. The law requires the insurance company to provide approval or denial within 14 days of receiving your claim.

Because North Carolina is a no-fault workers’ comp state, most injured workers receive benefits. However, you have the right to appeal if the state denies your workers’ compensation claim.


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