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Questions and answers about workers' compensation in Colorado

Those who live and work in Colorado may, at some point, find themselves in a position in which they would need to utilize workers' compensation benefits. While state laws regarding workers' compensation may seem straightforward, some may feel the coverage they receive isn't sufficient for the work-related injury or illness they have suffered. In this week's post, we are going to cover some common questions and answers about workers' compensations benefits.

The first few questions may seem fairly basic, but offer a brief overview of the benefits offered. These questions include what is workers' compensation and what does it cover? This is insurance offered by most employers, for the sole purpose of providing for injuries or illnesses that occur on-the-job. Benefits typically include payment for medical expenses incurred, lost wages and death benefits.

Now that we've established what this benefit is and for what purpose a person might utilize workers' compensation insurance, let's delve into more specific details. Questions often arise about time limits for filing, the types of medical providers covered and how payments are calculated. Employees who are injured -- or suffer an occupational disease -- are supposed to file a report within four days from the date of occurrence. After a report is made, employees are typically given information about "designated providers" with whom their employer is contracted to work. Once it has been established that a work-related injury or illness has occurred, employees typically must use three days of sick leave before workers' compensation benefits will kick in; then, they are often given paid injury leave for up to 90 days.

Some Colorado residents may find that the injury or illness suffered warrants further time away from work than the standard time granted and/or feel that the medical care or compensation received seems insufficient. Some may even experience claim denials. Workers' compensation benefits, while intended to help keep employees on their feet during difficult times, may only provide the bare minimum. In cases such as these, it may be possible to pursue legal remedies to push for fair and full compensation.

Source: colorado.gov, "Workers' Compensation Frequently Asked Questions", Dec. 15, 2014

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