The receipt of workers’ compensation benefits can often make the difference in whether an ill or injured employee can afford to pay for medical care and continue to support their family. While Missouri state law mandates that most employers provide this coverage, you may not be able to receive benefits if you do not meet your own obligations under the law.
One major aspect of the law concerns an employee’s obligation to report their injury or illness to their employer. Failing to do so could see a workers’ compensation insurance company denying a claim. Knowing how to apply for workers’ compensation in St. Louis means following this rule and understanding the obligations of your employer. Consulting with an experienced workers’ comp attorney could help you better comprehend the state’s labor laws and how they place the burden on you to submit a comprehensive claim.
Determining if an Employer Has a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Plan
Missouri state law requires many employers in St. Louis to retain a workers’ compensation plan at their own expense. These plans provide medical care and wage reimbursement to employees who suffer illnesses or injuries as a consequence of performing their work duties. Importantly, this is a no-fault insurance model. This means that a worker may file a claim even if the incident was their own fault.
However, there are exceptions that allow some employers to avoid providing this benefit. Notably, no employer with fewer than five workers needs to obtain a workers’ compensation insurance plan. Though, this does not mean that a specific employer will not have coverage. It simply means that they have the option not to
In addition, some specific employers in certain industries are also exempt from this obligation, including:
- Employers of domestic servants
- Volunteers in charitable, tax-exempt organizations
A dedicated attorney could help employees determine whether state law requires their employer to provide workers’ compensation insurance protection.
What an Employee Must Do to Initiate a Claim
Once a worker determines that their employer has a workers’ compensation plan in place, the burden shifts to them to initiate a claim. It is reasonable to say that an employer and their insurance company cannot begin to process a claim if they do not know that an injury or illness occurred. As a result, informing one’s employer about the incident is the first step in pursuing workers’ compensation benefits in St. Louis.
This is a requirement under state law. According to Missouri Revised Statute § 287.127, an injured or ill worker must inform their employer about the accident no more than 30 days after the incident occurs. In the event of an illness, this 30-day rule means that a worker should provide notice when it is reasonable to assume that the illness was the result of them doing their job. Failing to provide notice on time gives an insurance company justification to deny a claim.
This notice should be both specific and thorough. While there is no specific form that a worker must use, it is best if the notice is in writing. In addition, the notice should provide details about the incident that resulted in the worker’s injury or illness. This notice serves as a formal application for workers’ compensation benefits. A knowledgeable legal professional could help employees understand how to apply for workers’ compensation in St. Louis during a private meeting.
Call Now to Apply for Workers’ Compensation in St. Louis with the Guidance of a Skilled Legal Professional
Most employers in the St. Louis area will have a workers’ compensation policy. This serves as a way for employers to protect themselves from direct liability for a workplace accident, as well as provides benefits to affected employees. Even so, the burden lies on you—as the injured worker—to know how to apply for workers’ compensation in St. Louis.
The main thing to know is that you must provide your employer with notice of the event no more than 30 days after it happens. This notice should be in writing and contain details about how the illness or injury occurred. A seasoned attorney from our firm could provide more information about this process and help guide you down the road to a successful claim. Call today to learn more.