What is a "claim" under the Oregon Workers' Compensation system?

When we attempt to define a term of art involving Oregon Workers' Compensation claims, we always start with the statute. Many of the terms lawyers in the Oregon workers' compensation system use day-to-day are defined in the statute. From there, we then look to the Oregon Workers' Compensation Board decisions that flesh out or clarify the definition of these terms. Sometimes, we even rely upon Oregon's Court of Appeals or Supreme Court for the final word.

So, the statute defines a "claim" as a written request for compensation from a "subject worker," or someone on behalf of the worker, or a compensable injury that the employer knows about. A "subject worker" is a worker that is subject to the protections of the Oregon Workers' Compensation system.

There are many cases that wrestle with the issue of whether an actual claim was made. Sometimes, the issue is whether not the claim was made in writing. Sometimes, the issue is whether or not the employer knew about the injury.

Generally speaking, a worker must file written claim within 90 days of an injury event. However, if the employer actually knows about the injury, that time I may be extended up to one year. Most claims are made by filling out and 801 Form, which is the standard claim form used in Oregon. Sometimes, a worker will appear at an emergency room, and the treating physician will fill out and 827 Form. This is also written notice of the claim.

Your employer should have the 801 forms on hand, and if you are not able to get a claims form from your employer, you can call the Workers' Compensation Division to obtain a claim form, or downloaded from the agency's website. We also have a claim form available for you to use.