The Georgia workers’ compensation program provides medical and wages replacement benefits to workers who suffer injuries or illnesses on the job. Benefits come with a tradeoff – a worker can receive benefits without having to prove an employer’s negligence, but in return, he or she forfeits the right to sue the employer. Unfortunately, not every claim is successful. What do you do if the board denies your claim?
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Kaufman Law, P.C. can help you with denied benefits after your accident in Alpharetta. We’ve helped dozens of employees of Alpharetta’s 3,600-plus businesses and have more than 40 years of personal injury law experience throughout the state. We know why the board commonly denies claims, and – more importantly – how to appeal denials. Let us serve as your workers’ comp attorneys and experience the Kaufman difference.
How to Appeal a Denied Benefits Claim in Alpharetta
In a single calendar year, the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation paid $1,056,193,486 to fulfill 39,899 workers’ compensation claims throughout the state. This might seem impressive until you think about the thousands of other claims it should have accepted but denied for one reason or another. Claim denials are all-too-common from the board. If it denied your claim, you should have received a letter explaining why. First, call the board and request more information about your denial. Find out if perhaps it came about due to a clerical error the board can resolve.
It is more likely that the board denied your request because you missed the filing deadline, your employer disputed the claim or the board believes your injuries are pre-existing or not serious enough to qualify for workers’ compensation. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to accept your denied benefits without a fight. You can appeal the board’s decision, first with a Request for Reconsideration and then with an official appeal claim to the correct courts.
You must file a Request for Reconsideration, the first level of an appeal, that includes your initial claim. The board denies most requests for reconsideration, so don’t worry if this step doesn’t solve your issue. It is simply a mandatory step before you can request a hearing before an administrative judge in Alpharetta. The Georgia Office of State Administration Hearings (OSAH) exists to streamline this process and to help those who need hearings. Working with one of our lawyers can further simplify the appeals process. We want to help you file your official appeal and present your case in front of a judge.
Why Retain a Workers’ Comp Attorney for Denied Benefits?
Your hearing before the administrative judge will resemble an informal trial. While you can represent yourself, you might not want to if you don’t have a firm understanding of the law, or if you have a lot on the line – a claim for permanent disability or lifelong medical costs, for example. Representing yourself puts you at risk of losing your appeal and losing workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, trust Kaufman Law, P.C.’s workers’ comp attorneys with your claim. We can help you establish an insurance bad faith claim or use other evidence to persuade the judge to rule in your favor. Learn more about the appeals process for denied workers’ comp claims in Alpharetta – contact us today.