Repetitive stress injuries can be debilitating and affect your ability to perform your job. The California workers’ compensation system supports individuals suffering from RSIs.
This is what you need to do to file a workers’ comp claim for an RSI in the Golden State.
Notify your employer
Report your injury to your employer as soon as you become aware of it. California law requires employees to notify their employers within 30 days of discovering an injury. Failing to do so might jeopardize your claim.
Ask your employer for a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form (DWC-1) and fill it out. This form officially begins the claims process. Provide clear and concise details about your injury, when it occurred and how it relates to your job duties.
Seek medical attention
See a doctor promptly. RSIs can worsen over time if left untreated. Be sure that your medical provider documents your condition, including the specific body parts affected and that a job-related repetitive task is the probable cause.
Your employer’s insurance company may require an independent medical evaluation to assess your injury. Attend this evaluation and be honest about your symptoms and limitations.
Document your injury
Maintain detailed records of your injury, including medical reports, prescriptions, treatment receipts and any correspondence with your employer or their insurance company. These documents will be important when filing your claim.
Wait for a decision
The insurance company will investigate your claim and decide whether to accept or deny it. This process can take several weeks.
If the insurance company denies your claim, you have the right to appeal the decision. California’s workers’ comp system provides for hearings and appeals to resolve disputes.
If your claim is successful, follow your doctor’s recommendations for rehabilitation and return-to-work plans. Keep your employer informed about your progress.