Category Archives: workers comp basics

What Should I Have Ready For My First Meeting With My Lawyer?

We provide a questionnaire for you to fill out before our first meeting

Today’s post comes from guest author Nathan Reckman from Paul McAndrew Law Firm.

Most injured workers seeking an attorney’s help on their workers’ compensation claim have never hired an attorney before. This post gives a brief overview of how you can prepare for your first meeting with your attorney after you have been hurt at work.

The most important part of that first meeting takes place before you ever set foot in the attorney’s office. For your attorney, the goal of the first meeting is to gain an accurate understanding of the facts surrounding your injury. This is so the attorney can assess how the law will be applied to your case. In order for the attorney to make an accurate assessment, you have to be prepared to Continue reading

Who Can Provide Worker’s Comp Medical Treatment?

Medical treatment expense now eclipses indemnity benefits paid in Wisconsin for worker’s compensation. The employer must supply medical treatment reasonably required to cure and relieve from the effects of the injury.

Treatment can be medical, surgical, chiropractic, psychological, pediatric, or dental and includes hospital treatment, medical and surgical supplies, crutches, and artificial members and appliances.

…Wisconsin employees have their choice of treating practitioners…

Unlike some states where the employees must obtain treatment from a panel of physicians, Wisconsin employees have their choice of treating practitioners (except in genuine “emergency” situations where the employer can choose). Ohio, for example, just announced it has expanded the list of providers who can treat injured workers and strengthen certification requirements for those providers.

Ohio’s Bureau of Worker’s Compensation expanded health care professionals to include adult day care facilities, anesthesiology assistants, independent diagnostic testing facilities, and sleep laboratories.

While in Wisconsin, the employee has a great deal of freedom of choice in selecting a treating practitioner, some limits apply. Practitioners must be licensed to practice in Wisconsin. Out-of-State treatment is compensable if Continue reading

If My Employer Paid My Salary, Why Do I Still Need To File A Claim?

Today’s post comes from guest author Matthew Funk from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.
While this post deals with NY law, the recommendation on filing is appropriate for WI cases as well.

QUESTION: My employer paid my salary while I was injured and out of work. Do I still have to file a workers’ compensation claim?

ANSWER: Yes. There is more to a claim than payment while out of work.

Joe’s boss, Mike was a great guy. In fact, when Joe got badly hurt at work and was out for weeks, Mike paid Joe’s salary every week. When Joe got back to work, he hesitated filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim. After all, Mike had paid his salary the weeks he was out. And Joe didn’t want to appear ungrateful or greedy. What should he do? File, Joe!! File!!!

If Mike drew Joe’s salary paid from Joe’s accrued sick or vacation time, Joe would not get that time back unless he filed a claim. That means the eight weeks of vacation and sick time Joe had coming to him had been put toward the time he spent recuperating at home. Unless Joe submitted a claim, he’d have to start from scratch to build up vacation and sick time.

“Aside from the monetary award, there is lifetime medical coverage for a Workers’ Compensation Claim.”

The payment of wages is only a small portion of a Workers’ Compensation Claim and NOT the only thing Joe is entitled to. In an earlier column, an injured worker can make a claim for a schedule loss of use if an extremity is injured even if salary was paid. More importantly, Continue reading

Do I Need To Miss Work To Have A Claim?

Today’s post comes from guest author Matthew Funk from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano. In Wisconsin, a doctor’s assessment of permanent partial disability triggers permanency benefit payments.

QUESTION: WHEN I GOT HURT, I DID NOT LOSE ANY TIME FROM WORK. SHOULD I BOTHER TO FILE A WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM?

ANSWER: LOST TIME IS NOT A REQUIREMENT TO FILE A CLAIM

Joe was working a plumbing job at a construction site. He was tightening a connection to an S pipe when the wrench slipped and so did his wrist. Lucky for him, it was only a fracture. The ER was quiet and empty and two hours Joe was back on site, supervising Mike on pipe installation and making sure the job got done. Sure he would have to do some physical therapy on his wrist but that would happen on the weekends. He wouldn’t lose a day of work as he healed.

As he and Mike finished up their day’s work, Mike mentioned to Joe that he should file a Workers’ Comp claim. “But why?” asked Joe. “I was only gone for two hours and the physical therapy will happen on Saturday. Don’t you have to be out for like weeks to file a claim? Nah… I’m not going to file.”

File, Joe! File!! You don’t have to miss a day of work in order to file a successful claim. Continue reading

Can I Collect Social Security, A Pension AND Workers' Comp?

Today’s post comes from guest author Matthew Funk from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano. While the specific examples given are from NY, the information is true in WI as well–SSD, pension, and Workers’ Comp benefits can be paid concurrently.

QUESTION: IF I AM GETTING SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY (SSD) AS WELL AS A PENSION DOES THAT MEAN I CANNOT GET WORKERS’ COMPENSATION AS WELL?

ANSWER: YOU CAN GET STILL GET WORKERS’ COMPENSATION WHEN YOU ARE RECEIVING A PENSION AND SSD.

At 55, Joe was a walking museum of every accident he had ever had in his 30 years of working the job. That last accident put him out of work for almost two years. Luckily, he filed all the paperwork, submitted all the forms, crossed all his ‘Ts’ and received Social Security Disability (SSD).

But after three decades of hard work, Joe had had enough and so he started the paperwork to retire. But he was worried. He had planned on applying for Workers’ Compensation, but he wasn’t sure he’d could since he was already on SSD and about to receive his pension. What should he do?

File, Joe! File!! The combination of Workers’ Compensation, Social Security Disability and a pension is called the Trifecta, a Triple Crown of benefits, so to speak. Continue reading

Can I Move To Another State If I Have A Work' Comp' Claim?

Today’s post comes from guest author Emanuel Aron from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano. This note refers to NY , but also applies in other states, including WI.

Question: Can I move to another state even though I have a workers’ compensation claim in New York?

Answer: Absolutely! Many claimants move to other states during the course of their workers’ compensation claims.

Here are the top five things to consider when moving to another state:

  1. Tell your workers’ compensation attorney that you are moving, and update your contact information such as telephone number and address.
  2. Find a doctor in your new state that handles workers’ compensation claims in New York state. A simple Google search should give you several hits. Be sure to ask if the doctor handles workers’ compensation claims for claimants.
  3. As there is often confusion at the initial stages of treatment as to why a patient is seeing the doctor, be sure to tell your doctor that you have an ongoing workers’ compensation claim in New York for which you need continuing treatment.
  4. Have your Notice of Decision authorizing medical treatment handy! This is how the doctor knows that he or she is allowed to treat you for your work-related injury. If you do not have a copy of that Notice of Decision or have lost it, ask your workers’ compensation attorney to send you a copy ASAP.
  5. Be proactive. This is your workers’ compensation claim: you have a right to your medical records. Ask for them after each visit! Give your workers’ compensation attorney the doctor’s contact information, including telephone number, fax number, and address. Get in touch with your workers’ compensation attorney if the doctor is having any difficulty getting your medical treatment paid for by the insurance carrier.

When Is It Time To See The Doctor?

Today’s post comes from guest author Matthew Funk from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.

While this post deals with some aspects of New York law, the suggestions also apply to the worker’s compensation law of Wisconsin.

Putting off seeing medical care is commonplace for chronic medical conditions. Under the Workers’ Compensation Law there is no timeframe for a claimant to see a medical provider. There is nothing in the law that requires a worker to see his doctor within 24 hours or 30 days of the accident. However, the sooner an injured worker sees a doctor, the better, especially if that worker is losing time from work because of the accident. A Law Judge will only grant awards for lost time that is backed up by medical reports.

That means if a member is out of work for three weeks before they go to a doctor, it is possible that Workers’ Compensation benefits might not be paid during that time period. In order for a claim to be successful in this situation the report that the doctor submits must have several things on it:

  • It must contain the history of the accident,
  • diagnoses a condition,
  • explain how the condition is related to the on the job incident, and;
  • comment on disability.

Disability is an essential component that must be on the reports. Without an opinion on disability, there is no evidence to dispute what the carrier doctors submit to the NY Workers’ Compensation Board.

Physicians are required to submit to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) complete and thorough reports. The sooner that you see a doctor and have a report sent to the WCB the better for you and your case.

Emergency Medical Treatment Does Not Need To Be Authorized

Today’s post comes from guest author Matthew Funk from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.

As a note, Wisconsin does not utilize payment guidelines of a worker’s compensation Board for payment of medical bills. Emergency medical care simply should be covered by the worker’s compensation insurance carrier. Wisconsin injured workers should make sure that the hospital or medical provider submits the bill to the insurance carrier directly.


When an injured worker needs emergency medical care, prior authorization isn’t always possible and obtaining it does not bar a workers’ compensation claim. When a worker is hurt at work and is rushed to the emergency room for treatment, there often isn’t enough time to seek authorization from an insurance company and to obtain a claim number.

At the time of the treatment, if possible, the injured worker should let the hospital and medical provider know that the injury occurred at work and the exact details of all his or her injuries. This is sometimes an effort since emergency staff are rushed and understaffed. After the emergency care is provided the worker should immediately seek the guidance of an attorney to assist in filing a claim and obtaining reimbursement for the medical care.

At the time of the treatment, if possible, the injured worker should let the hospital and medical provider know that the injury occurred at work and the exact details of all his or her injuries. 

The law provides that the cost of Continue reading