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How to deal with problems related to workers' compensation

Louisianans who are injured in a workplace accident or suffer a condition or illness related to their employment will undoubtedly be aware of workers' compensation benefits. There might be a notion that these benefits will be provided when the person has proof that he or she is suffering from the illness, condition or injury. However, there are times when a problem might arise in relation to a claim. A worker must know how to handle any issue that comes up through mediation or filing a dispute.

First, the employee should contact the employer or the insurer. In many instances, the problem with workers' compensation can be settled in this way. If this is not possible, the worker or the employer can ask for mediation. Mediation is done via conference with the Office of Workers' Compensation. The mediator will be a licensed attorney who has been trained in the process of settling these matters based on state law. The mediation conference is informal and the mediator does not have a bias in favor of the worker or the employer. The goal is to settle the matter before it goes before a workers' compensation judge.

There can be a mediation conference before or after there is a filing over a disputed claim. If the problem is not settled via mediation, the employee can file a form for a disputed claim. This is referred to as a Disputed Claim for Compensation. There is a filing fee of $50 as well as service fees when the dispute is filed. Workers who cannot afford these fees can request that the case move forward without advance payment.

Not everything related to workers' compensation goes off without a hitch, and there are times when there is a problem with these claims. To move forward with mediation or to dispute a claim after workplace injuries, illnesses or conditions, it can help to have legal assistance. By contacting an attorney, an employee's workers' compensation case may be resolved in some cases, so that the employee can get benefits for the injured or ill worker.

Source: laworks.net, "What If A Problem Develops With A Claim?," accessed on April 17, 2017

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