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How fast can you get workers' compensation?

Workers' compensation is supposed to help injured employees fill in the financial gaps while they can't work. This can include helping to pay medical bills and cover the impact of lost wages. The system isn't perfect, though, and one issue some people run into is dealing with the time it can take to receive workers' compensation payments.

A first thing to know is that all workers' compensation claims are not approved. Your claim can be denied because the carrier or employer doesn't believe the injury was related to a work activity, for example. If your claim is denied incorrectly, you do have options for appeal. You can work with a workers' compensation lawyer to help increase your chances at an appeal.

Even before that point, however, it can be days, months or weeks. While employers are typically required to act fairly quickly once an injury is reported to start the claims process, the investigation into the matter can take much longer. While the claims examiner is doing his or her job, you might have to rely on savings, saved vacation or PTO or even credit to make ends meet.

This can be a very stressful time for anyone. When you're already dealing with the pain of an injury or trying to recover, you certainly don't want to have to worry about your financial stability. By working with a legal professional experienced in dealing with workers' comp claims, you can increase the chance that you'll see payments starting sooner rather than later. In the meantime, you might ask your employer or attorney about options such as temporary disability payments or permanent disability.

Source: The Nest, "How Long Does It Take to Get Workers Comp?," Laurie Reeves, accessed April 21, 2017

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