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What are a Connecticut worker's rights to workers' compensation?

A Connecticut worker who is injured on the job may be entitled to non-taxable lost wages and other compensation. Workers' compensation in the state is a no-fault system of insurance covering almost all workers, including minors, non-citizens and part-time employees, regardless of the size of their employer, their job, their employment duration or the number of hours worked each day.

Workers compensation is intended to assist workers who are injured at their jobs or who suffer an occupational disease. It provides all necessary medical treatment, weekly benefits when a worker is disabled and any necessary vocational rehabilitation. Additional benefits are provided if a worker suffers scarring, disfigurement and a permanent physical impairment.

Benefits are awarded, even when the worker is at fault, had a medical condition at birth, which predisposes the employee to the injury or increases its severity. Nonetheless, there is no compensation for certain injuries, such as substance or alcohol abuse. Fraudulent claims may be prosecuted as a Class C felony in Connecticut.

Workers cannot waive coverage. Corporate officers or partnership members may seek a written request for coverage exclusion. Parties may also enter settlement of an individual compensation claim that must be approved by a State Commissioner.

Employers may contest a workers' claim. Hearings are used to adjudicate disputes. Workers may file for benefits under their group health insurance or disability program if a claim is initially disputed. The carrier is required to provide the policy's benefits until the compensation dispute is resolved at a hearing. Written notice has to be provided within 28 if an employer intends to dispute coverage.

Workers must immediately report an injury to their employers who are required to medical care and file a form with the Workers' Compensation Commission. Medical attention should be sought promptly. Workers must also file a written notice of claim form, usually known a 30C form, as quickly as possible. A compensation claim for an accidental injury must be filed within one year of the injury and three years from the first manifestation of a symptom.

Workers have the right to legal counsel in compensation cases. In many cases, legal representation can protect their rights and help assure that a worker receives any entitled compensation.

Source: State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, "An employee's pocket guide to Connecticut workers' compensation," accessed on Aug. 17, 2014

Source: State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, "An employee's pocket guide to Connecticut workers' compensation," accessed on Aug. 17, 2014

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