Q: What is Workers Compensation?
A: Worker’s compensation is an accident insurance program paid by your employer which may provide you with medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if you are injured on the job. These benefits are provided to help you return to work. It also provides benefits to your dependents if you die as the result of a job-related injury.
Q: How long do I have to work to be covered by Workers Compensation?
A: You are covered from the first day you are on the job.
Q: How do I know if I qualify for Workers Compensation?
A: The law requires most businesses to have worker’s compensation insurance. If you are injured while working at your job, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
Q: When should I report an accident that happened on the job?
A: You should report any accident to your employer (boss, foreman, or supervisor) immediately. If you wait more then 30 days your claim may be denied.
Q: When do I get my compensation?
A: If you are unable to return to work for more then seven days you are entitled to weekly income benefits. The first weekly installment should be mailed 15 days after the date of injury. You will not be paid for the first week of lost time until you have been out 21 days.
Q: How much will my weekly compensation be?
A: If you are unable to work (temporarily totally disabled), you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage for the past 52 weeks, but not more than $600 per week for an accident which occurred on or after July 1, 2006.
Q: What do I do if I have trouble receiving benefits or compensation from my employers Workers Compensation insurance carrier?
A: First, talk with your employer's insurance carrier or your self-insured employer to find out why your claim is denied. Often disputes can be resolved by sharing information or obtaining medical records.
If you cannot resolve the dispute, you can contact our ombudsman division to explore Alternative Dispute Resolution options. If these alternatives do not help you must file an Application for Adjustment of your claim with the Workers Compensation Board. This form is available on the Workers Compensation website at http://www.in.gov/icpr/webfile/formsdiv/29109.pdf.
Most workers' compensation claims are resolved to the satisfaction of the injured employee, employer, and insurance carrier. Usually, the appropriate payments are made and services provided. However, there are times when the employee disagrees with an employer's/carrier's decision and wants to formally challenge that decision.
Q: How long do I have to file an Application for Adjustment of my claim if I have a dispute with my employer about Workers Compensation?
A: The statute of limitations runs two years after the last date of compensation paid or in the alternative two years from the date of injury. The Workers Compensation Board is unable to give legal advice about statute of limitations specific to your claim, please contact legal counsel.
Q: How should I send the Application for Adjustment of claim if the statute of limitations is in question?
A: If the statute of limitations is in question or you are very close to the statute of limitations the Application should be sent via certified mail or the date of filing will be the date that the Board received your document.
Q: Can I be fired for filing a workers' compensation claim?
A: You cannot be fired because you filed a workers' compensation claim nor can a witness be fired. You should consult an attorney if you think you were fired for one of these reasons.
Q: Is my workers compensation check taxable?
A: No, Workers Compensation is not taxable. This is why you are paid only 66 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
Q: Can I go to my own doctor?
A: In Indiana the employer directs medical care. If you do not feel that you are receiving adequate medical care you may file an Application for adjustment of Claim with the Workers Compensation Board. Make sure that you always communicate with your employer regarding medical care!
Q: Should I get an attorney?
A: The Board always recommends that you consult an attorney if you are contemplating disputing your claim or if you feel that your rights under the Worker’s Compensation Act are not being upheld.
Q: How do I find a worker’s compensation attorney?
A: Contact your local bar association.
Q: What if my doctor says that I am at Maximum Medical Improvement and my compensation is terminated, what can I do?
A: You can request and Independent Medical Exam from the Board. Either mark on your “Report of Claim Status/Independent Medical Exam” form that you would like an IME or contact our ombudsman division at 1-800-824-2667. Your employer is responsible to reimburse the physician for one IME when your compensation is terminated.
Q: What if I have problems after a settlement?
A: If you settled with your employer by a Full and Final agreement then you are unable to open your claim unless you can prove that there was fraud involved in the settlement process. If you completed an Agreement to Compensation or a compromise agreement you can re-open your claim for a change of condition within 2 years after the last day for which compensation was paid or one year if the change is to increase permanent partial impairment.
This does not mean two years after you received your settlement check, it is two years after the last day that the settlement amount covers. For example, if you were off from January 15th, 2004 – February 15th, 2004, but you do not get the compensation for that time period until June 1st, 2004 the two years starts running on February 15th, 2004, the time period that you are being paid for.
Q: Will I be paid for time off due to a medical appointment?
A: If your medical appointment is during your normal working hours and you are not off on TTD then you will be paid your normal wages during the time you are at your appointment.
Q: Can I receive either Social Security Benefits or Unemployment and Worker’s Compensation at the same time?
A: Social Security benefits may be “set off” by workers compensation, meaning you may only receive partial disability benefits from other sources. You cannot receive workers compensation and unemployment benefits at the same time.
Q: Can my employer fire me if I am unable to work because of an injury if I am receiving workers' compensation benefits?
A: An employer may not fire you for filing a workers compensation claim, but Indiana is an at-will employment state, meaning that an employee can be fired at any time except for a handful of reasons. If you feel you have been wrongly discharged please contact a lawyer.