Most workers in Connecticut have some understanding of their rights under the state’s workers’ compensation system, but what they don’t know may lead to costly errors in pursuing a claim for benefits.

The workers’ compensation system is intended to provide important benefits for injured workers, but claimants must follow the rules in order to achieve maximum benefits. This post will review the crucial steps in filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.

The first event is the occurrence of an illness or injury that is caused by the circumstances of the worker’s employment. The employee must then immediately notify the employer of the illness or injury and the circumstances of its causation. The injured worker’s incapacity. The employer may chose the physician who will provide treatment to the employee, and the physician must provide medical reports as needed. The employer or its insurer will pay the physician’s fees and expenses.

This situation continues as long as the employee suffers from a total temporary disability. If the employee’s physical condition improves, he or she may be approved to engage in “light duty” or “restricted” work. The employee can then discontinue benefits for total temporary disability and begin paying benefits for a total permanent disability. If the injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement, the employee and the employer’s insurer may negotiate a complete settlement of the claim, including payment for permanent partial disability benefits.

If a claim is denied or if the amount of benefits is considered by the employee to be too low, the employee may ask for a hearing. If the hearing results in a denied claim or inadequate award, the employee may appeal the decision pursuant to the appeals process provided in the workers’ compensation statute. The legal complexity of the worker’s compensation system may make consultation with an experienced lawyer a necessary step to ensure that the claim will receive maximum benefits.