This page provides answers to the following questions:
- I had an accident at work. How do I file a workers compensation claim in my state?
- Should my employer have workers compensation insurance? How do I know I am covered?
- What are the conditions that enable me or prevent me from claiming benefits under my state's law?
- What benefits might I be eligible to receive?
- How much time do I have to file my claim? What are the stages of the claim process? What should I expect?
- If I'm not happy with the determination, how do I appeal?
1. I had an accident at work. How do I file a workers compensation claim in my state?
You must notify your employer within two (2) years of your injury to claim benefits. With regards to occupational diseases, you must provide the date in which you learned of the diagnosis with your claim.
2. Should my employer have workers compensation insurance? How do I know if I am covered?
Every employer with full- or part-time employees is required to provide workers' compensation insurance coverage to those employees.
3. What are the conditions that enable me or prevent me from claiming benefits under my state's law?
You must notify your employer within two (2) years of your injury, or the time you reasonably knew you were suffering from an occupational illness, to file a claim. You may lose your ability to file a claim if four (4) or more years pass between the time you last received benefits or your claim was denied by your employer's insurance provider. Failing to timely notify your employer or to timely file your claim may prohibit you from pursuing your claim with the New Hampshire Department of Labor.
4. What benefits might I be eligible to receive?
The following benefits are some of the benefits an injured employee may receive, depending on the circumstances surrounding the employee's injury:
- Weekly Indemnity: payable wages made to an injured employee calculated as roughly two-thirds (66.67 %) of the injured employee's previous wages from the previous 26-52 week period.
- Temporary Partial Disability: Compensation paid to an injured employee who returns to work, but earns a lower wage than the wages the employee earned prior to the injury. The employee will receive sixty percent (60%) of the difference in the wages earned between the new post-injury position and the pre-injury position.
- Death: Weekly compensation paid to surviving dependents (widow/children) of an employee who dies as a result of a work-related injury or illness. This may also entitle the deceased employee's dependents money to help pay for burial expenses.
- Medical Expenses: Compensatory payments for medical, remedial and hospital expenses related to the injury.
- Permanent Impairment Award: A payment made for the percentage of permanent loss of use to a compensable body part. The compensable body parts and the values of the awards provided are established by statute. However, generally, the award is calculated by 1) multiplying the percentage of loss by the number of week 2) multiplying the number of weeks by the claimant's compensation rate to 3) equal the total dollar amount of the benefit.
- Temporary alternative duty: Employers with five (5) or more employees can provide alternative opportunities for work for injured employees.
- Reinstatement of employee sustaining compensable injuries: An injured employee to be reinstated to the employer's former position within an 18 month period.
- Cost of living adjustment: If the injured employee is (a) receiving total disability benefits three years after injury (b) has been denied Social Security benefits and (c) is receiving less than sixty (60%) of the current state average weekly wage, the injured employee is entitled to an adjustment in the employee's weekly compensation to accommodate the cost of living.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Opportunities for job re-training available for injured employees who are unable to return to the kind of work and experience they had prior to the injury.
5. How much time do I have to file my claim? What are the stages of the claims process? What should I expect?
Must file your claim within three (3) years of your injury.
If you are unsettled with the determination of your employer's insurance provider, you may request a hearing with the department. This request must be made in writing and must indicate the reasons and issues in dispute. Once a request is submitted, a Department of Labor staff member will contact the insurance provider to clarify the denial. The Department of Labor then will advise the employee requesting the hearing of the employee's rights and expectations at the hiring. You must request a petition for a hearing within eighteen (18) months of receiving notice your claim has been denied by your employer's insurance provider.
A hearings officer will oversee your request for a hearing and make a determination with regards to the claim you have brought forward. These decisions are appealable to the Compensation Appeals Board. The Board consists of an attorney, a labor representative and a management or insurance representative. This appeal is reviewed de novo, which mean you may submit new evidence. This is essentially a new hearing. In order to appeal the hearing officer's decision, either you, the injured employee, or your employer must submit a request for appeal within thirty (30) days of the hearing officer's decision.
6. If I am not happy with the determination, how do I appeal?
Either party may appeal a decision of the Compensation Appeals Board to the New Hampshire state court. The procedures, deadlines, and requirements for filing will be subject to New Hampshire state court rules and procedures.