Workers compensation claims aren’t uncommon in the United States. In fact, in 2013 alone there were approximately 917,100 occupational illnesses and injuries among American workers. However, while Americans may know to file for workers compensation should they suffer from injury while on the job, they may not be aware of the time constraints.

In order to receive the benefits of workers comp, an injured employee must file for benefits before a certain date. The sooner you file for workers comp benefits, the easier it will be for a workers comp lawyer to prove that you are eligible to receive the requested benefits. Therefore, it’s important to understand as an injured worker the time limits regarding workers comp.

What Time Limits Are There For Filing For Injury?

Time limits for filing a workers compensation claim depends on your state. Typically, the average time limit for filing is between 30 to 90 days. However, it’s important that you look into your state’s own time limit.

For instance, in California there’s a time limit of 30 days to report your occupational injury to your employer, but a five year time limit to file your actual workers comp claim. In Arizona, you have up to a year for filing for a workers comp claim, but the insurance company must make a decision on your claim within 21 days.

There are some exceptions to the filing deadline if the injured employee is unable to file for workers comp because they are:

    • In a coma
    • In quarantine due to contagious illness
    • Undergoing extensive surgery or treatment

What Time Limits Are There For Claims Of Occupational Disease?

The time limits for claiming workers comp for occupational disease may be extended longer than the time limit for report of injury. However, be sure to check your state laws for an accurate idea.

For some states, you must report your illness between the time of “injurious exposure” and the date of your diagnosis. In Arizona, regardless of illness or injury, your claim must be filed within a year. Preferably, you should let your employer know about your illness or injury right away as they are required to report to the ICA, or Industrial Commission of Arizona.

For a greater chance of having your workers compensation claim approved by your employer’s insurance, file your workers comp claim as soon as possible and consider consulting a workers compensation attorney.

Additionally, let your employer know about your injury or illness as soon as you are aware of it. The sooner you file, the more likely you will be able to prove the injury or illness was caused by your workplace environment.