If your injury or illness is found to be job-related, you may be entitled to receive medical care for the injury or illness, disability compensation for a portion of your list wages, rehabilitation services, and, in the event of your death, benefits payable to your survivors.
An option you have is to file a Disputed Claim for Compensation, Form LWC-WC 1008 (PDF), which is an administrative law proceeding through one of ten offices in the State of Louisiana. This process could take six to nine months, or longer if the case is appealed.
Workers' compensation benefits are paid by your employer, if he is self-insured, or by his workers' compensation insurance carrier. There are certain exempt employers (PDF). No benefits are paid by the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration (OWCA).
Assistance, such as food stamps, may be available through social services. You may also want to contact local charities or churches in your area.
A lump sum settlement is an agreement where the insurer/employer agrees to pay the present value of the disputed claim at once, and his/her future obligations to the injured workers are fully and finally released. To determine the value, the sum of payments owed the claimant may not be discounted at a rate greater than eight percent per annum.
There is no formula for establishing a settlement value of a workers' compensation claim. It depends on your compensation at the time of your injury.
You are not required to have an attorney in workers' compensation proceedings; however, you may contact one at any time during the process.
First you should contact your employer or your employer's insurance carrier. If you cannot resolve the problem with them, you should contact your nearest Workers' Compensation District Office. There you may want to file a disputed claim for compensation (Form LWC-WC 1008) (PDF).
Under Louisiana Law, your employer cannot terminate your employment because you filed a workers' compensation claim. However, your employer does not have to keep a job open for you or make one available when you are able to return to work.
The employer/insurer may do a job study or survey to find which jobs are available in your area, for the duties approved by your doctor.
Your first payment should be paid on the fourteenth day after your employer has knowledge of your injury resulting in loss of income. There is a 7-day waiting period for which you will not be paid benefits. However, if you miss more than 14 consecutive days, you will be paid for the 7-day waiting period.
All related expenses reasonably and necessarily incurred for obtaining services, medicines, and prosthetic devices should be paid. You should submit appropriate itemization to your workers' compensation insurance carrier or adjuster.
All claims filed against Reliance Insurance Company are now being handled by the Louisiana Insurance Guaranty Association (LIGA). Information regarding Reliance Insurance Company's insolvency can be obtained via LIGA's Web site or by contacting them at 1-225-291-4775.