If an individual is injured on the job in Mississippi, they may be entitled to benefits through workers’ compensation. All employers with five or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to properly cover their employees, with some exceptions depending on the sector in which the company operates. 

What Benefits Can a Worker Receive?

If a workers’ compensation claim is filed correctly, an injured employee may receive a variety of benefits while they are recovering. A worker can receive benefits to cover their medical care as long as the care is deemed reasonable and necessary. The employee can choose their own medical provider.

You should also be entitled to receive other disability benefits based on the severity of the injury incurred. One possible benefit is temporary, partial disability. Typically, the compensation is two-thirds of your average weekly wage, and the maximum length of benefits is 450 weeks.

If you were injured on the job, you might alternatively be eligible for permanent partial disability if you can return to work, but are earning less due to your injury. The compensation varies depending on your original wages. Alternatively, you may receive permanent total disability if you are unable to return to work at all due to the injury you suffered. This compensation is provided at two-thirds of your average weekly wage for a maximum of 450 weeks.

If an employee loses their life from an injury that they incurred on the job, their surviving spouse and certain dependents can receive death benefits. Their dependents may also receive up to $5,000 in funeral expenses.

What is the Claims Process?

To receive any type of benefits, you must file a claim after receiving medical attention. You should notify your employer as soon as possible – within 30 days of the injury – to receive benefits. Additionally, all claims must be filed within two years of the original injury.

The employer or employee must also report the injury to the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, and the employer must notify their own insurance company. If the report is not filed within 10 days of the employer receiving notice of the employee’s injury, the employer may face penalties from the Commission.

What Can an Individual Do if Their Claim is Denied?

A claim may be denied for a variety of reasons, such as improper documentation, late or incomplete filing, and various mistakes that may have been made on the forms. If an injury was incurred off the job or deemed pre-existing or self-inflicted, your claim may be denied.

To appeal the claim denial, you must file a Petition to Controvert with the Commission within two years of the injury. If informal negotiations are not settled with the insurance company, the Commission will hold a hearing.

Prior to this hearing, both the individual and the insurance company will participate in a pre-hearing to exchange information, question witnesses, and gather evidence. Then, both parties must provide a prehearing statement and the hearing will be conducted.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the hearing, you may file an appeal to the Full Commission within 20 days of the judge’s decision.

Both the claims and appeal processes can be difficult and confusing to navigate. Contact an attorney for assistance as soon as possible to ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to. An experienced Mississippi workers’ comp attorney will make sure you file all documents correctly and on time, making certain that your claim is given the highest levels of attention.