If you're filing a workers' compensation claim or your claim has been denied, call the Worker's Compensation Law Group for a free case evaluation at 1-877-393-4980. We may be able to help you get the workers' compensation benefits you may need.
Filing a workers' compensation claim in NC is like traveling down a winding mountain road - the path is clearly laid out, but you never know exactly what's around the corner and one wrong turn can be costly.
In our experience, insurance companies want to pay as few benefits out as possible, which means they may try to reduce (or even deny!) your workers' compensation claim.
A qualified workers' comp attorney is like a seasoned guide - they know the process well and may be able to direct you toward greater results. If you've been hurt at work and would like some guidance, call us for a free no-obligation case evaluation.
Click here to file any of the forms listed below.
Step 1) Notify your supervisor in writing
If you're injured in North Carolina or develop a disease/condition as a result of your job, the first thing you should do is immediately inform your supervisor in writing. The earlier your accident is reported, the stronger your claim may be. And in NC, claims unreported after 30 days may be denied.
However, if you failed to report your accident within 30 days, there are exceptions to this restriction and a qualified NC workers' compensation attorney may be able to help.
Step 2) File a Form 18
Next, to officially file a workers' compensation claim, you need to complete a Form 18 - Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee, Representative or Dependent for NC Workers' Compensation Benefits.
Then file the Form 18 with the North Carolina Industrial Commission, provide a copy to your employer and/or your employer's insurance carrier and be sure to keep a copy for yourself. We recommend filing the Form 18 within 30 days of your incident, but legally it must be filed within two years.
If your claim is accepted:
If your claim is accepted, you should receive a Form 60 - Employer's Admission of Employee's Right to Compensation or a Form 63 - Notice To Employee of Payment without Prejudice.
CAUTION: A Form 63 is only a provisional acceptance that the insurance carrier can later reverse within a certain timeframe. If you received this letter, you are in danger of having your future benefits denied. It may be in your best interest to speak with a workers' compensation attorney immediately.
If your claim is denied:
If your employer, or their insurance carrier, denies your claim, they're legally required to provide you with a statement detailing their grounds for denying your claim.
You should also receive a copy of Form 61 - Denial of NC Workers' Compensation Claims along with this statement. Both documents should arrive within 14 days from the time your claim is received - unless your employer/insurance company receives an extension from the North Carolina Industrial Commission's Executive Secretary's Office.
Step 3) File a Form 33 (if denied or you want to dispute terms)
If your claim is denied, or you want to dispute the terms, you have the right to request a hearing by filing a Form 33 - Request for Hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.
It's important to note that filing a request for hearing is not the same as filing a civil lawsuit. You are not "suing" your employer. A request for hearing is just formally requesting that the North Carolina Industrial Commission decide whether or not your employer's insurance company is responsible for providing workers' compensation benefits.
Usually the North Carolina Industrial Commission will order a mediated settlement conference ("mediation") be held prior to the hearing, to see if the case can be resolved without court involvement.
Other forms you might encounter:
Form 28T - Notice of Termination of Compensation by Reason of Trial Return to Work
If you receive a copy of this form, it means that your employer reported that you returned to work and the carrier can turn off your workers' compensation checks. If you've been injured, it's very important not to return to work (even for a brief period) until it is medically safe to do so.
Form 24 - Application to Terminate or Suspend Payment of Compensation
If you receive a Form 24, then the insurance carrier is filing to turn off your weekly checks without you returning to work. At this point, it may be in your best interests to contact a workers' compensation attorney.