If you suffered an injury at work, you have likely suddenly found yourself faced with overwhelming medical costs, as well as an inability to work and support your family. As such, you require workers’ compensation payments in order to make ends meet while you recover.
But when you applied for these benefits, you received the notice that the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims denied your claim due to the presence of pre-existing conditions. This may not seem fair to you, and you may be wondering what your options are.
You have the right to a hearing
You can file a Formal Claim (Form 101) with the Department of Workers’ Claims and request a Hearing before a workers’ compensation Judge. An attorney can assist you at the Hearing, asking questions that allow you to share with the Judge why your pre-existing condition should not disqualify you for workers’ compensation benefits.
Both you and your employer’s insurance company can present arguments and evidence in support of your positions, after which the judge will issue an Opinion deciding the issue.
Appealing the judge’s decision
If the Judge dismisses the claim, you can appeal the decision. However, you should keep in mind that an appeal is not a do-over of the claim process or the administrative hearing. In other words, you won’t get the chance to present new evidence or make new arguments in support of your claim. Appeals serve the purpose of determining whether the decision made by the Judge was based on “substantial evidence” in the record.
Workers’ compensation benefits can make all the difference for someone who is suffering the debilitating effects of a workplace injury. If you have received a notice of denial of benefits, you still have options available to you.