Who pays to re-open a Worker’s Compensation Injury Claim?
When a Worker’s Compensation Claim has been closed by the Department of Labor and Industries or self-insurer by written order and more than sixty (60) days has passed, the injured workers generally has seven (7) years to file a re-opening application for full benefits. Submission of a formal “application to reopen claim for aggravation of condition” form # F 242-079-000 must be completed by a treating medical provider.
The Department or self-insurer is responsible for customary charges for examinations, diagnostic studies, and determining whether or not time-loss is payable regardless of the final action taken on the reopening application. Reopening applications should be submitted immediately.
When reopening is granted, the department or self-insurer can pay time loss and treatment benefits only for a period not to exceed sixty (60) days prior to date the application is received by the department or self-insurer. Necessary treatment should not be deferred pending a department or self-insurer adjudication decision.
However, should reopening be denied treatment costs become the financial responsibility of the worker. Therefore, the injured worker should be sure to have objective medical evidence of a worsening of the injury since the last date of claim closure.
If you or someone you know was injured at work, contact Peter Abbarno and the injury attorneys with Althauser Rayan Abbarno for a FREE injury consultation in Centralia or Olympia by calling (360) 736-1301.