When a Oregon Worker’s Compensation claim is denied, you should receive a denial letter. The Workers' Compensation claims rules require that denial letters provide you a notice of your right to appeal the decision. The denial will also explain the reason your claim is being denied, although sometimes the explanations are broad. Insurance companies may decide to amend the basis of their denial if new facts come to light during the litigation of a denied claim.
The most important thing to remember is that you have 60 days from the date of the denial letter to request a hearing with the Workers' Compensation Board. You can do this by simply writing a letter to the Workers' Compensation Board explaining that you wish to request a hearing on the denial of your claim. You can also use a request for hearing form, which asks several questions about the kind of claim denial you received, and the issues you would like to raise at the hearing.
If you are not represented by an attorney, the Hearings Division of the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board will advise you to consider retaining attorney. Under the Oregon Workers’ Compensation statute, an attorney does not earn a fee unless her or she is “instrumental” in proving your claim, and getting the denial set aside.
There are many considerations involved in deciding whether to appeal your claim denial. Obviously, the most important is whether not you can prove that your injury or occupational disease is work related. Also, it’s always good to know what exactly or fighting over before deciding to litigate against an insurance company.
If you have questions about your claim denial, feel free to contact our office. We help people with these issues every day. You can also download our free book, Navigating The Oregon Workers’ Compensation Maze.