Getting your workers’ compensation application approved may be a huge relief. After worrying about where money will come from to support your family and pay for your medical bills, it can be painful to hear that your benefits have been suspended. Fayetteville workers’ comp. lawyer Ken Kieklak explains some reasons workers’ comp. benefits may be suspended in Arkansas and what you can do to restore them.
Reasons Why Workers’ Comp. Benefits May Stop
Your employer can stop workers’ comp. benefits if there is any reason you would no longer qualify for them. Staying within the rules of workers’ compensation can be tricky, and many workers’ comp. denials and suspensions are triggered because of misunderstandings. Workers’ comp suspensions can trigger for various reasons, including:
Missing an Appointment
Workers’ comp. often requires you to continue to seek medical care and go to doctor’s appointments. Your treating physician is responsible for making reports that confirm your condition still exists so that you can continue to receive medical benefits. Especially at the beginning, these appointments may be scheduled close together. If you miss an appointment or refuse to go, your doctor may not be able to confirm your condition and may report that to your employer. If your employer thinks you broke the rules or are no longer suffering from a work-related injury or condition, they may stop payments.
Returning to Work
Workers’ comp. is designed to continue to support you while you can’t work – but if you can work, you may lose workers’ compensation eligibility. As soon as your employer sees you return to work, they may cancel your workers’ comp. benefits. Even if you only returned for a few days of work or to perform a few tasks, you may have already proven that you can come back to work.
Refusing a Job
If your injury does not make you completely disabled, you may still be able to perform some work tasks. If your employer offers you another job that you can handle, even with your condition, you may need to take that job instead of staying on workers’ comp. If you refuse to take a job offer for a position you can handle, your employer may be able to suspend workers’ comp. benefits.
Failing to File Forms
Even after your workers’ compensation claim has been accepted, there may be forms you are required to file. If you fail to file any of these, your employer may be able to cut-off your benefits. It is important to file all required paperwork to ensure you can keep your workers’ compensation payments.
Workers’ comp. is only available for those currently in the workforce. That means that if you retire entirely from work, your employer may be able to cut off workers’ comp. They may also stop payments if you are put in jail or fail to follow certain conditions attached to your workers’ comp. benefits. Talk to an attorney for guidance on how to avoid issues like these.
Fighting Workers’ Comp. Suspensions in Arkansas
The Arkansas Workers’ Comp. Commission has rules governing the processes behind workers’ comp. If your benefits are suspended, you may be able to fight the suspension by filing an appeal. Talk to an attorney if your Arkansas workers’ comp. benefits have been cut-off.
The first step may be to send your case to mediation. This would be a meeting between you and your attorney, along with your employer or their workers’ comp. insurance provider. A mediator can help both sides come to an understanding, which may mean having your benefits restored. At any point, either side can escalate the appeal to an administrative law judge.
Many disputes with workers’ comp. are put before an administrative law judge in Arkansas. This judge can hear evidence from both sides explaining why the suspension is or is not justified. Your attorney can represent you before the judge and argue your case in court. If you aren’t satisfied with the judge’s final decision, you may be able to appeal the decision to the Workers’ Compensation Commission or a state appeals court.
Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Suspension Lawyer
Arkansas workers’ compensation benefits may be denied or suspended if you fail to follow any rules. Your employer may also cut you off if your condition appears to improve, you can return to work, or you violate workers’ comp. rules. Without appealing your suspension, you may be unable to continue receiving benefits to pay for your medical bills and your lost wages.
For a free consultation on your suspension or denial, talk to an attorney today. Arkansas workers’ compensation lawyer Ken Kieklak is available for free consultations. Call our law offices today at (479) 439-1843.