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How long do you have to make a workers’ compensation claim?

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After you are hurt on the job, you should know that you do have an opportunity to make a workers’ compensation. If you are employed and your employer is required to have this insurance (which most are), then you should be able to file a claim asking for compensation. This compensation will cover your medical care and, in certain cases, also cover a portion of your lost wages. Workers’ compensation may also offer vocational rehabilitation if you cannot return to your job later.

In North Carolina, there are deadlines that apply to workers’ compensation claims, so it’s important that you file on time to avoid missing those deadlines. You have only 30 days to give notice to your employer that you were injured and intend to file a claim. After you give your employer notice of the injury, you have up to two years to file a claim through the workers’ compensation insurance provider.

Why are there deadlines for filing for workers’ compensation?

The main reason that there are deadlines is to prevent fraud or misuse of workers’ compensation. By limiting the time someone has to make a claim, it forces them to make one quickly to start the process to get them compensated.

Do you have to wait for your benefits to kick in?

Yes. Unfortunately, workers’ compensation benefits aren’t immediate, which can be problematic. That’s why it’s important to make your claim as soon as you can. You don’t need to settle right away, but you do need to be sure that the coverage you need is going to be available to you.

There is an initial seven-day waiting period for benefits, although all of your medical care will be covered in that time. After seven days, your replacement income should start to build and be paid out to you. After 21 days, your workers’ compensation payments will pay retroactively.

Coverage for an injury can be a little complex, but the priority is to meet these deadlines. Then, you can focus on building your claim up and seeking as much compensation as possible for the injuries you’ve suffered.