Oklahoma has three different processes for appealing an insurance company’s denial of a workers’ compensation claim, depending on when the injury occurred and whether the employer has opted out of the workers’ compensation system.
Getting workers’ compensation to cover your medical bills for a work injury or occupational disease is supposed to be easy, but sometimes employers and their workers’ compensation insurance companies go out of their way to pay injured workers as little as possible. If your employer denies your workers’ compensation claim, it does not mean that you are out of luck. What you should do next depends on the details of your situation, such as the date of the injury and whether your employer participates in the workers’ compensation system. The Ponca City workers’ compensation lawyers at BDIW Law can help you appeal a denial of workers’ compensation benefits by your employer’s insurance company.
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If Your Injury Occurred After 2014
If your work injury occurred or your occupational disease was diagnosed on or after February 1, 2014, then the Workers’ Compensation Court of Existing Claims has jurisdiction over the appeal. If you are appealing a decision about a work injury, file Form 3, but if the decision is about an occupational disease, file Form 3B. You will also need to file Form 9 to schedule a hearing.
If Your Injury Occurred Before 2014
For appeals of denied claims about work injuries or occupational diseases, the forms are the same, but the entity that handles them is the Workers’ Compensation Commission. If your appeal is going to the Workers’ Compensation Commission, you must file the original forms plus four copies. If your case has been going on for more than seven years, you should probably hire a workers’ compensation attorney, if you have not already done so.
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If Your Employer Has Opted Out of the Workers’ Compensation System
Oklahoma allows employers to opt out of the workers’ compensation system, provided that they have created an alternative benefit plan. As of 2021, the laws governing alternative benefit plans and the resolution of disputes related to them are still a work in progress. If you were injured at work and your employer has officially opted out of participating in workers’ comp, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer may be able to help you get benefits under the alternative benefit plan; if it turns out that your employer is required to carry workers’ comp insurance but has simply neglected to buy it, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer.
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Contact BDIW Law About Denied Workers’ Compensation Claims
Oklahoma workers’ compensation laws are complicated and are in the process of changing, but a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the treatment of your work injuries paid for. Contact BDIW Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma about your workers’ compensation case.
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