Most Kentucky attorneys that handle workers compensation claims will give you a free consultation to discuss your claim. But, if you do not want to meet with an attorney, even for free, the easiest way to get help is to call a Workers Compensation Specialist-Ombudsman at the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims. These are Kentucky government employees whose job is to answer questions or provide limited assistance to injured workers. The phone call is even toll free. 800-554-8601.
They do a great job of giving general information quickly, such as confirming you can choose your own doctor in Kentucky for treatment, or that your employer owes mileage expense to attend treatment. They also have access to the Department’s data base which lists the workers compensation carrier for every employer in Kentucky. So you can call them to help you report a workers compensation claim to the insurance carrier if your employer will not report it for you. They can also provide limited help, such as sending you the forms needed to file a claim or dispute a medical expense. They will sometimes make a phone call for you to an adjuster who is not paying benefits promptly. In those situations, they can inform the adjuster it is against the law not to timely pay benefits, and failure to pay them timely can result in sanctions. The Specialists have a great deal of knowledge about the whole Kentucky claims process, and they can solve a lot of minor problems quickly. Their office web site states they have several functions. These include the following:
• Serve as a neutral and reliable information source for employees, employers, medical providers and other program participants.
• Respond to inquiries and complaints about the system and participants in the program.
• Advise all parties of their rights and obligations under Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Law.
• Mediate disputes.
• Perform other duties as required by the Commissioner.
• Assist workers in obtaining medical reports and other documents necessary for a claim for benefits and assist in completing claim forms.
• Facilitate evaluation of injured workers to ascertain the feasibility of vocational rehabilitation.
The Kentucky Department of Workers Compensation also publishes a pamphlet, Guidebook to Workers Compensation Claims, which contains a lot of useful information. You can access that publication at this website:http://www.labor.ky.gov/workersclaims/Publications%202/2011%20DWC%20Guidebook.pdf
Another great source of help is the injured workers forum at workerscompensationinsurance.com. That web site has a specific forum for Kentucky workers compensation claims. It contains several discussions about the workers compensation process in Kentucky.
In addition, another helpful web site I recently learned about is AVVO.COM. It allows claimants to post specific questions about their Kentucky workers compensation claim to be answered by a Kentucky attorney. I have answered a few questions on it myself.