Oregon was one of the first states to enact a workers compensation law. Today this law is a very complicated system to compensate employees who have been injured or who have suffered medical problems from workplace dangers.
You are covered for workers’ compensation from the first minute you step on the job, and your benefits for a claim can last for your lifetime.
You can receive medical treatment wherever you live, even if you move away from Oregon. If you are seriously disabled, you may qualify for retraining to enter a new career. While you are off work recovering from an accident or illness, you may be paid compensation for lost wages – tax free – and when your medical condition stabilizes you may be entitled to permanent disability compensation.
Our staff at Cary Wing Edmunson can answer your questions about filing a claim and obtaining benefits for workers’ compensation no matter how serious your claim may be.
Frequently Asked Questions
I filed a claim that was denied. I don’t know why. What can I do?
A claim denial is supposed to list the reasons why benefits are refused. Often the only way to know why a claim really was rejected is to obtain the claims file, which must be sent at no charge to your legal representative upon request.
A worker has 60 days to appeal a denial of their claim. If there is “good cause” for not appealing within 60 days, a hearing may be requested up to 180 days after a denial is mailed. If there is proven mental incompetency, an appeal may be filed up to 5 years after a denial.
I was hurt at work several months ago. How long do I have to file a claim for workers’ compensation?
Injured workers must file their claims in writing within 90 days of their accident unless their employer knows they were hurt, in which case they have up to a year to make their claim. It always is helpful to fill out an accident report even if a claim is not filed right away. If you suffer an occupational disease, you have up to a year to file a claim.
Often, a doctor’s insurance form will be a “claim” even if the worker doesn’t personally turn it in. If there is any doubt about whether a claim was made, it is important to immediately seek legal assistance.
My accident claim was accepted. Does my employer have to pay for all my medical care?
Not necessarily, depending on what medical conditions were officially accepted. If you suffered multiple injuries or conditions, not all may be listed on your claim. Workers must specifically ask, in writing, to have new or omitted conditions included in their claim. Then the insurer or employer has 60 days to respond.
You also may be enrolled in a “managed care organization” which limits the doctors and treatments you receive. If the MCO has refused to authorize treatment, an appeal must be filed with the organization first to protect your rights.
I was hurt on the job about a year ago and my claim was accepted. Now my doctor says I need surgery and will miss a month of employment. Will I be paid for my time off?
Yes, as long as your claim was classified “disabling” and remains open. Because you did not miss work, your claim may be listed as “non disabling.” If your claim was accepted less than a year ago, it is fairly simple to request reclassification. If more than a year has passed, your doctor will need to verify that you now are worse and that is why you need surgery.
I am confused by all the paperwork I have been sent. Can you help and what will it cost me?
Absolutely, we often can answer your questions by phone and give you tips how to navigate the red tape. We do not charge by the hour – either to give information or review your claim file. Oregon workers’ compensation is a very complex law, and claims examiners can take advantage of unrepresented injured workers. If you have been hurt at work, don’t get hurt twice by failing to protect your rights!
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Although most of our cases come from individuals in the Willamette Valley – Eugene, the Roseburg area, and the Central Coast, we selectively accept cases throughout Oregon.