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Can I Receive Workers’ Comp if My Employer Was Not Insured?

 Posted on July 09,2021 in Workers' Compensation

Workers Compensation Lawyer Gilroy, CAEmployees who are injured while working are eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits. Employers in California are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance, which will provide coverage for the medical expenses related to an employee’s injury, as well as disability benefits that address a temporary or permanent loss of income. However, if an employer does not maintain the required insurance coverage, an injured worker may be unsure about their options for receiving workers’ compensation benefits. In these cases, a person will need to work with an attorney to ensure they follow the correct steps to receive the benefits they deserve.

Workers’ Comp Benefits for Employees of Uninsured Employers

If an employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, an injured employee can still receive benefits through the Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF). However, these benefits are not provided automatically, and an employee will need to follow certain procedures when making a workers’ compensation claim through the UEBTF. They will need to do the following:

  1. File a workers’ compensation claim form (DWC-1, Employee’s Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits) with their employer. Three copies of this form must be mailed or hand-delivered to the employer, and the employee should keep a copy for their own records.

  2. Determine whether the employer had insurance coverage within the past five years. Employees can look up information about insurance online, or they can mail a Coverage Research Service Request to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB), which will determine whether the employer had coverage at the time of the injury.

  3. File an application for adjudication of claim. If an employer did not have insurance coverage, filing this application will open a case with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

  4. File forms to initiate a lawsuit against the employer. The employee will need to file a “declaration of readiness to proceed,” which will request a conference with the WCAB to address the claim. A “special notice of lawsuit” will notify the employer that legal action is being taken. A “petition to join party defendant” will serve as a request to make a claim through the UEBTF.

  5. Provide documentation to the employer. In addition to the forms described above, the employee will also need to provide proof of employment and copies of medical bills and records of the treatment they have received. A copy of these documents must be personally served to the employer.

If necessary, an employee can request benefits through the UEBTF while their case is ongoing. To do so, they can send a letter asking for benefits and copies of all documentation in their case to a UEBTF claims office.

Contact Our Santa Clara County Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you have been injured while working for an employer who did not have workers’ compensation insurance, you will need to make sure you follow the correct steps to receive benefits. At Cramer & Martinez, LLP, we can help you prepare and file all of the necessary documentation, and we will provide you with representation during your claim, ensuring that you can receive the benefits you need. Contact our Hollister workers’ comp claim lawyers at 408-848-1113 to arrange a complimentary consultation today.


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