Louisiana workers comp is administered by the Louisiana Workforce Commission in Baton Rouge, LA. The program exists to help workers injured on the job in LA. It provides benefit payments for eligible claims so that employees receive income for lost wages and reimbursement for medical expenses.
If you have been injured on the job in Louisiana, report the details of the accident to your supervisor immediately. You must submit this information to your employer within 30 days or risk losing your benefits. Get initial treatment for the injury and keep your employer informed of your condition and the diagnosis. Once your employer has the accident information, they will report the details to their insurance company and to the Office of Workers' Compensation Administration (OWCA). This will start the workers comp claim process.
Workers have the right to choose a doctor of their choice. However, employers also have the right to request that workers see a doctor selected by them for an additional examination. Workers must agree to see this employer selected doctor or they risk losing benefits. These medical costs will be covered and bills should be sent directly to the employers insurance company.
If your claim is accepted, you will not begin to receive benefit payments until after the 7th day lost from work. You should receive a check within 14 of notifying your employer. If you are disabled and unable to work for more than 42 days, you will receive payments for the first 7 days after the accident.
Louisiana has a scholarship program called "Kids Chance" for dependents of workers that have been permanently disabled or killed on the job. This is a program to assist in educational costs for kids of ages 16 to 25 that are dependents of workers in such situations. Contact the Louisiana Bar Foundation to learn more information.
If you have been denied workers' compensation benefits in LA, you may submit a Disputed Claim for Compensation, Form LWC-WC 1008 to the State of Louisiana. The process could take 6 to 9 months. Claims can become lengthy and complicated. At some point in the process the employer's insurance company may offer a lump sum settlement as a means to resolve the issue immediately. Be careful in considering this settlement. While it may appear to be a large payment, it is usually an agreement that is benefitial to the employer and employer's insurance company. Accepting the settlement usually means the worker forfeits all rights to any further actions on the claim. While the payment may seem high, how long will you have ongoing doctor bills, prescription bills and reduced or minimal income? Consider many factors before accepting a workers comp settlement.
Workers in LA have the right to represent themselves during the claim process. However, workers compensation law and the various parts of the claim process can be relatively complex and the assistance of an attorney may be advisable. Injured workers may not be discriminated against because they filed a claim. Employers may not fire workers because they file a claim. However, employers are also not obligated to keep your position open for you nor provide a position for you when you are able to return to work.
Find out about workers comp codes
Learn more about what is workers comp