Workers’ Compensation F.A.Q.
The New Hampshire Department of Labor requires employers to provide workers’ compensation under RSA 281-A (Workers’ Compensation). This law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage for employees in case of accidental injury, death, or occupational disease that may arise during the course of employment.
As an employee in New Hampshire you may be entitled to workers’ compensation claims if you have been injured at work. The workers’ compensation system can become difficult to navigate at times, and many employees may not know how to file a workers’ comp claim. Every workers’ compensation claim is different, but some common questions you may come across are answered below.
Q: I was injured at work. What do I do?
A: If you are hurt at work, tell your employer right away. Most employer’s have a form for you to fill out. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself. You have up to two years to report any workplace injuries and illnesses, but it is best to report right away.
Q: Who does worker’s comp cover?
A: It doesn’t matter whose fault the injury was. In most cases, employees can get workers’ comp, including part-time, temporary, and immigrant workers. Undocumented workers are eligible for most types of workers’ compensation benefits, including payment of medical bills.
Q: What does workers’ compensation cover?
A: There are a number of benefits that you could receive. They include a wage substitute, payment of all related medical bills including mileage to your doctor and prescriptions, some job protections to be able to return to work and a cash payment for permanent impairment.
Q: How much money will I get?
A: Weekly wages are calculated at 60% of your average weekly wage. These are tax free. Your average weekly wage is calculated by adding together 26 weeks or 52 weeks preceding your injury, then divided by the corresponding number of weeks.
Q: How soon can I get benefits?
A: Typically, there is a 21 day period for the insurance company to accept or deny your claim. If your claim is accepted benefits start on the 4th day of disability (subject to a three day period). The waiting period is waived if the disability continues for 14 days or longer or if an employee returns to temporary alternative employment within 5 days.
Q: What if my claim is denied?
A: If the workers’ compensation insurance carrier denies your claim, don’t give up. You should consider requesting a hearing at the Department of Labor in order to dispute the denial. Hearings are before administrative officers at the Department of Labor building in Concord. Almost half of all injured workers who appeal to the Department win their hearing. You have up to 18 months from the date of denial to request a hearing.
Q: How much is my workers’ compensation case worth?
A: Every case is different and depends on things like your average weekly wage at the time you were injured and the part of your body that was injured. Typically, settlements depend on these wages and the anticipated length of time you will be out of work, if you have a permanent impairment from that injury, and if you are able to go back to work based upon your present skills and experience..
Image courtesy of NHBR.