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Steps to take in a Wisconsin workers' compensation claim

Getting seriously hurt on the job is never easy because it usually means you will not be able to perform your job duties until you get better. Fortunately, workers' compensation insurance covers most injured workers, who can apply for wage replacement benefits and money to pay for medical care in most cases.

Let's take a look at the various steps that an injured Wisconsin worker needs to take in order to qualify for these important benefits:

-- Report the accident, injuries and/or illness to your company supervisor. Inform your employer regarding any changes to your illness and/or injuries.

-- Get medical attention for your ailments and save all your medical receipts. Act as quickly as possible on these first two steps. A delay could affect an injured workers' health and ability to collect compensation benefits.

-- Double check to ensure that your employer has reported your illness or injury to the workers' compensation insurance company (or to the company's internal office if it is self-insured). The insurance company will then inform the Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Division of the injury.

-- If approved, expect that you will have your medical costs paid for. If you spend over three days unable to work, and are approved for wage replacement benefits, you can receive money to cover part of your lost wages.

-- Expect to receive compensation checks within two weeks of your injury. However, sometimes it can take longer.

Injured Wisconsin workers can pursue their workers' compensation benefits without a lawyer on their side. However, things can become complicated if a reasonable claim is denied. Just because a claim is denied does not mean the worker cannot receive benefits.

In some cases, by appealing a decision and/or filing a lawsuit with the assistance of a lawyer, a worker can overcome a denial of workers' compensation and secure the benefits that he or she deserves. Also, with an attorney on one's side, workers can make sure that they have appropriately applied for the maximum amount of benefits available to them.

Source: State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, "Facts for Injured Workers about Worker's Compensation in Wisconsin," accessed Dec. 02, 2016

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