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How to Apply for Workers’ Compensation

When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, each state has its own agency that handles the claims and its own procedure for submitting a claim. In Pennsylvania, claims are handled by the Department of Labor and Industry. New Jersey workers’ compensation claims are handled by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. You can find claim forms and general information about eligibility and the application process on agency websites. At Ritacco Disability Law, we can also help you through the complex claims process.

Time Limits for Filing Claims

In Pennsylvania, employees must notify their employer within 120 days of an injury — no workers’ compensation is due until the employer is notified. Once your employer learns of your injury, the employer then has 21 days to either start making payments or deny the claim. If the claim is denied, you have three years from the date of injury to file a claim with the Department of Labor and Industry.

In New Jersey, the state requires employees to file workers’ compensation claims within two years from the date of injury. In addition to formal claims, workers can request an “informal hearing,” where a judge makes non-binding recommendations to resolve the dispute. Informal hearings often provide a quicker resolution than formal claims, but requesting one does not stop the two–year limitation period from running. At Ritacco Disability Law, our New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers may be able to advise if an informal hearing is right for your case.

In either state, your claim will be lost if it isn’t filed within the appropriate time limit. Since benefits are calculated from the date the injury or illness began, it’s in your best interest to report work-related illnesses or injuries to your employer as soon as possible.

Claim Forms

Claim forms request information about your medical condition, treatment providers, and other information related to the injury or illness. You can submit claims by mail, phone interview or online.

    You will be required to sign a release that gives the agency permission to review your medical records and provide details about:
  • any treatment you received
  • any medications you’re taking
  • any medical tests or procedures you have undergone
  • information about your current and past employment
  • how your medical condition affects your ability to work
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    A detailed statement from your doctor explaining how your injury or illness affects your ability to work can be critical to proving your claim. To help you throughout the process, the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Ritacco Disability Law may be able to help obtain this statement from your doctor and will know what should be included.
    Our team handles workers’ compensation cases throughout Eastern PA, from Philadelphia to Lancaster, as well as New Jersey. If you live or work in one of these areas and think you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, contact Lisa M. Ritacco at (610) 628-4513 to schedule a free consultation.