You have a right to retain legal counsel. Attorneys’ fees are generally limited by local law and set to a small percentage of any benefits which you recover through the aid of the lawyer’s services, but for successful appeals and for certain types of disputes your attorney’s fee is paid directly by the employer or its insurer. If you need help finding a lawyer, contact your local lawyer referral service to be connected to a qualified workers’ comp lawyer.
In most States, your workers’ compensation benefits may not be claimed by creditors, except for payment of child support, medical expenses for your work injury and the attorney you may retain to pursue your workers’ compensation claim. In addition, workers’ compensation benefits are not subject to either income tax or social security withholding.
Your employer or the employer’s insurance carrier may require you to attend an independent medical examination by a board-certified physician of the employer’s choice. If you refuse or fail to submit to such an examination, your right to benefits may be suspended until the examination takes place.
You must provide medical authorizations to allow your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier to obtain your medical records for the injury involved in your claim. By statute, usually your release is strictly limited to medical evidence that is relevant to the occupational injury or illness that underlies your claim, including any past history of complaints or treatment of a similar condition.