If you have been injured on the job in Rhode Island, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help you pay for medical expenses and lost wages while recovering from your injury. However, if your claim is denied or delayed, it can be difficult to get by financially. The good news is you have a right to challenge the decision made by your employer or insurance company.
Petition for review
You can start your appeal by filing a petition for review with the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court. This is a formal way of asking the court to review your case and decide whether you are entitled to benefits. You must do this within 20 days of the date that your benefits were denied.
The court will set a hearing date, where you will have a chance to present your case. If the judge decides in your favor, you’ll start receiving your benefits.
Appealing to the workers’ compensation appeals board
If the Workers’ Compensation Court denies your claim, you can appeal the decision to the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board. This is a different body from the court, and it will review your case anew. Here, you will need to request the transcript from the Worker’s Compensation Court and file an appeal within five days of your previous judge’s decision.
Appealing to the Rhode Island Supreme Court
You can still go further with your appeal to the state’s highest court. This is often the last resort for cases that have been denied at both the lower court and appellate levels. The Rhode Island Supreme Court does not review every case that is appealed to it, so you will need to show that the lower courts made a mistake in your case.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance claim that all employees in Rhode Island have a right to receive. In fact, an employer with even one employee is legally required to get this coverage for them. And so, if you were injured or got sick as a result of your job, you should get some sort of compensation. But this can only happen if you follow proper channels when going after your claim.