People who suffer an injury on the job in Tennessee count on workers’ compensation to help them pay the bills during their recovery. Without it, families can find themselves in a precarious financial situation.
However, sometimes the review board errs in judgment, and people who need and deserve workers’ compensation benefits do not get them. Is there an appeal process available for them?
What to do when an employer does not honor a claim
An employer is the first-line provider of benefits and medical care. When an injury occurs, the best approach is for the employee to notify the employer of the injury and the need for care in writing. The employer should take it from there.
If the employer does not provide the entitled benefits, or threatens or fires the employee, they should escalate the case by filing a Petition for Benefit Determination.
Following up on a Petition for Benefit Determination
Once the injured employee has filed the Petition for Benefit Determination, the state will assign a mediator. The mediator will set up a phone call with the employee and a representative from the employer’s company.
Often the mediated phone call results in an acceptable resolution.
Going beyond mediation
If mediation does not produce an acceptable solution, the next step is to escalate the case to the Court of Workers Compensation Claims. The court will schedule a hearing, where a judge will ponder the presented evidence and make a determination regarding benefits.
Employees that suffer an injury on the job that precludes them from working deserve workers’ compensation benefits to help provide for their families. The appeal process can ensure that employees get what they deserve.