Workers’ Compensation Eligibility in New Hampshire
You got injured at work, so you should receive workers’ compensation benefits, right? This isn’t true. In some situations you aren’t eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace injury.
Benefits are for employees who suffer physical and mental disorders during employment. If you are not an employee or injured outside of work, then you likely would not qualify for benefits.
However, most workers injured on the job don’t know that preexisting conditions that are made worse by a work injury are covered, and so never file a claim. If they do, it is often denied and not contested. This can lead to unjust financial ruin for many families. If you have some problems with your back and work makes you need medical treatment, that’s covered.
If injured on the job, you must understand the eligibility requirements involved. Read on to learn more about the laws in the state.
Who Can Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to almost all employees. Note that some workers are independent contractors and therefore not eligible for benefits. Sometimes workers classify as independent contractors. Yet, their work environment is like an employees. Often times this intentional. An employer may call you an independent contractor even though you an employee. We can help determine your classification, and petition the Department of Labor.
What Injuries or Illnesses are Covered?
The injury must have occurred during the course of your employment. For example, cuts, sprains or broken bones caused by a fall would be covered. So would an amputation or head trauma caused by machinery. If you’re a desk worker who has suffered nerve and joint damage from repetitive typing, your injuries would be covered. As discussed above, if you have a pre-existing condition, such as a bad back or knee, and you injured it worse at work, you are likely eligible for benefits.
Workplace illnesses are also covered. For example, exposure to asbestos has caused many people to suffer from mesothelioma. Constant noise exposure can cause hearing loss.
What is Not Covered?
Injuries occurring during lunch breaks or during your commute to and from work are not covered, since you are “off the clock” during those times. There are exceptions, however, such as for those who use a company car to commute to work or are performing certain work errands.
Injuries that occur during the aging process are also not covered. If intoxicated or behaving in a reckless manner when an injury occurred, your benefits will not hold.
Deadlines for Filing
Statutes of limitations apply in New Hampshire workers’ compensation cases. You have two years from the date of injury or illness to inform your employer. You have three years from the date of injury or illness to file a claim for benefits. Once you miss these deadlines, there is no way to obtain workers’ compensation benefits, so it’s best that you apply as soon as possible.
Contact a New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, you do need to meet certain requirements. Your injury must have occurred on the job while performing work duties and you must be an employee, which can be confusing to many people.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and are still denied workers’ compensation benefits, seek legal help. The New Hampshire workers’ compensation lawyers at Sabbeth Law can help you file an appeal so you receive the benefits you deserve. For a free consultation with Sabbeth Law, give us a call today at 1-833-SABBETH or fill out our handy online form.