The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Act, administered by the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission, allows workers injured in Mississippi to receive cash disability benefits and medical care. If you receive worker’s compensation benefits, you are not permitted to sue your employer for damages.
What Does the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission Do?
The Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission handles the administration of workers’ compensation Claims in Mississippi. Additionally, the Commission hears disputes between employers and employees over workers’ comp claims.
There are three members on the commission, each appointed by the governor and approved by the Mississippi Senate. Each member serves a six-year term. One member is required to be a licensed Mississippi attorney, another member represents businesses, and the third member is selected to represent the interests of employees.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Mississippi?
To receive workers’ comp benefits, an employee must report their injury to their employer no later than 30 days after the injury. The claim for benefits may be denied if the employee fails to give notice and the employer does not already know about the injury. Once the employer has information of the injury, it will notify its insurance company. The insurance company must then file a report with the Workers’ Compensation Commission, and the insurance company has the option to accept or deny the claim.
What does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ comp coverage typically includes benefits that assist you in paying for medical services and supplies and any rehabilitation you might need due to your injury at work. It will also provide cash payments for lost wages. The insurance company or employer pays the cash disability benefits to the employee. The length of time that you will continue to receive cash disability benefits will depend upon the extent of your injury and lost wages, though you cannot receive these benefits for more than 450 weeks. You can receive as much as two-thirds of your average weekly pay in cash benefits.
The employer’s insurance company pays health care providers directly for their services. The insurance company provides coverage for the following:
- Treatment by physicians
- Emergency room visits, hospital care, and nursing services
- Prescribed medications
- Physical therapy
- Reimbursement for miles traveled for doctors’ appointments that are out of town
If the injury or illness leads to death, death benefits and payment for reasonable funeral expenses will be paid to the surviving spouse, children, and other dependents.
What is the Mississippi Statute of Limitations to File a Workers’ Compensation Appeal?
If the insurance company denies the claim, an employee can file a Petition to Controvert with the Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years of the date of the injury. If the workers’ compensation carrier pays for any medical treatment and then denies the claim, the statute of limitations is only one year to file a Petition to Controvert.
The Appeals Process in Mississippi
If your claim is denied, should consult with a lawyer and determine if you’d like to appeal. The fees for your lawyer will be deducted from any cash benefits you receive, and this fee cannot be more than 25 percent of the total award.
After the Commission receives your petition, the appeals case will be assigned to a judge. The insurance company will be notified, and they will be asked to submit a written response. If you cannot resolve the dispute, a hearing will be scheduled. Both sides have an opportunity to submit documents, present testimony from witnesses, and make legal arguments at the hearing. The judge will review all evidence and mail their written decision after the hearing.
The appeals process requires detailed knowledge of workers’ compensation law and procedural rules. If you need assistance, contact a Mississippi workers’ comp attorney right away.