When you're convinced that a dangerous condition at your workplace is the primary reason for your injury, you may be eligible for compensation. However, to receive compensation, you will have to file a claim with your employer's workers' compensation insurance company or an approved state agency. So if you're asking yourself, “Where should I go to fill out a worker's compensation form?” – you are not alone.
Many victims of workplace-related injuries are never sure of where to file their claims. Believe it or not, some victims give up along the way because the process of filling out a workers' compensation form is not easy.
The truth is, there is no standard procedure to fill out a workers' compensation form. Rather, the filing process varies from state to state. Fortunately, the US Department of Labor has an online tool that allows users to search for workers' compensation officials by state. All you have to do is select your state's abbreviation from the provided list to view the contact information of state officials who can help you find the forms you need to file a claim.
However, in almost all states, you must inform your employer about the injury right after it happens. In addition, many states give workers up to 30 days to report workplace-related injuries to their employers. If they do not report the injuries within 30 days, they may not be eligible for compensation.
When you report the injury to your employer, they should give you all the forms you need to file a claim with their insurance company. Once you fill out these forms and submit them to the insurance company or your employer, it officially marks the beginning of the claims process.
It is also important to note that federal employees have a different workers' compensation claims system. Therefore, if you are a federal employee, you can file any of the following forms when seeking compensation for workplace-related injuries or illness.
Form CA-1: Federal Employee's Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation
You would need this form if you suffered a traumatic injury due to a dangerous condition at the workplace. Some examples of traumatic injuries include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Spine fractures
Examples of dangerous conditions at the workplace include:
- Lack of or inadequate warning systems
- Lack of or inadequate safety guards
- Blocked emergency exits
- Slippery floors
- Poorly-maintained equipment
- Malfunctioning or faulty equipment
- Hazardous materials, such as biological and chemical hazards
- Unsanitary conditions that increase the chances of illnesses
Form CA-2: Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation
You'll be required to file this form if you develop an occupational disease. Such diseases result from constant exposure to dangerous working conditions, such as asbestos. To prove this, you may be required to demonstrate that you worked more than one shift at that particular job.
CA-35: Evidence Required in Support of a Claim for Occupational Disease
When you file form CA-2, you will also be required to file form CA-35, providing evidence of the dangerous condition at your workplace, among other requirements. After filling out these forms, you can file them with your employing agency if you are still employed by the Federal agency where you worked when you sustained the injury.
Your employing agency will fill out their portion of the forms (CA-1 or CA-2) and then submit the entire packet to the Office of the Workers' Compensation Programs. The OWCP will provide you with a claim number which you will use to track your claim.
The OWCP office will then review your claim and determine whether there is enough reason to adjudicate it. If they deny the claim, you will receive a letter advising you on the next steps forward.