Securing Great Outcomes in Workers’ Lost Time
No Surprises! The Importance of Conveying Expectations
Welcome to my series, “Securing Great Outcomes in Workers Compensation” which will explore various techniques in effective claims management.
In this installment, I will explore the importance of conveying expectations to the injured worker regarding lost time benefits.
• Benefit Notices: Ensure the employee is aware that notices are mailed when benefits are initiated, changed, stopped, or resumed.
• Receiving Benefits: Inform the employee when they will receive their first check, the amount and schedule for future payments, if any.
• Benefit Caps: Understanding the cap on weekly amounts is especially important for high wage earners. In addition, for those seriously injured, explaining caps on duration can help avoid surprises later.
• Accommodation: Make sure they know the possibility of temporary accommodation of work restrictions by their employer.
• Return to Full Duties: From the onset of the claim, it should always be the expectation and goal that the employee recovers and returns to full duties.
• State Disability Benefits: If the claim is being questioned or benefits delayed, point the employee to other alternate benefits available to them such as State Disability.
As noted in my prior blogs, it is critically important to gather the employee’s expectations. Regarding lost time, make sure to ask the employee when they expect to return to work and what obstacles may impede them from doing so. This is a prime opportunity to problem solve and understand the potential duration of lost time.
This by no means is an exhaustive list, but instead topics I found helpful to build a solid foundation in effectively adjusting a workers’ compensation claim and securing a great outcome. I learned that putting the time and care early in the life of a claim paid high dividends and greatly assisted in resolving the matter timely and equitably.
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