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An Overview of the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation

When you are injured on the job, you may need to deal with the Missouri Division of Workers Compensation. Call Buchanan Williams & O’Brien for info and advice.

We are personal injury experts who have gotten results for our clients in Joplin for over 40 years.

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Workers’ Compensation in Missouri

Workers’ compensation is a mandatory form of insurance for employers in Missouri. It protects employees, who are entitled to receive a benefit from their employer if they are injured on the job or encounter any dangerous hazards at work. The workers’ compensation insurance pays for their treatment costs, lost average weekly wage, and other expenses associated with their injury.

Workers’ compensation in Missouri is regulated by the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). It is a state-run organization that helps to provide injured workers with the compensation they deserve. This institution aims to ensure the “health and safety of Missouri’s workforce by providing timely access to just compensation for lost wages, medical care, and disability benefits through fair adjudication.”

If you have sustained a work injury and seek compensation, you may need to approach the DWC to facilitate payment. In that case, you might need the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to represent and support you throughout the process.

How the Missouri DWC Works

The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation is an arm of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Its primary function is to organize and supervise all the state-backed initiatives that are geared toward providing care and protection for employees who are injured on the job.

The institution is maintained by the state and funded by:

  • Employers
  • Insurers
  • Employees
  • Self-insured businesses.

The three main goals of the institution are to provide health care, rehabilitation, and compensation for those injured while working.

Units of the Missouri DWC

The DWC is divided into six units with different responsibilities as follows:

  • Case Administration and Review Unit: This unit represents the entry point for Missouri workers’ compensation claims that make it to the division. The unit is responsible for processing claims and answers, lost time reports, medical reports, and all other documentation that may be required to establish a claim.
  • The Docketing and Adjudicating Unit: This unit functions across established local docketing offices throughout the state. Their role is to help resolve cases of work-related injuries or occupational disease promptly. The unit functions with the help of administrative law judges to discharge their dispute resolution function.
  • Fraud and Non-compliance Unit: This unit handles and investigates cases of (alleged) workers’ comp fraud or non-compliance with Missouri law by employers. If the unit finds a reasonable indication of a fraudulent intention behind a workers’ compensation claim, the case would be referred to the attorney general’s office for further action. If you suspect a case of workers’ comp fraud or if your employer has failed to take out the required workers’ compensation insurance, you can call the unit on 800-592-6003 to file a complaint.
  • Insurance Unit: This unit serves employers who wish to self-insure their employee compensation liability. The unit receives self-insurance applications from employers and grants the appropriate permission if they qualify. They also continue to monitor the employers’ finances and may revoke the permission to self-insure if necessary.
  • Legal Unit: The legal unit is responsible for all legal matters within the division, including; responding to legal questions, enforcing the decision of the administrative law judges, and other dispute resolution functions. The unit also has a customer service section, so you can contact them for answers if you have any questions. Alternatively, you could contact a St. Louis workers’ compensation attorney who might be able to give you the information you seek.
  • Second Injury Fund Unit: The primary function of this unit is the collection of the Second Injury overcharge from insurance companies and self-insuring employers.

Locating the Missouri Division of Workers Compensation

While the central office is located in Jefferson City, for accessibility, the DWC has offices in several counties across the state. This makes it easy for those who need their services to reach them. Some of its locations include:

  • Joplin – 3311 Texas Ave, Joplin, MO 64804
  • St. Louis -111 North 7th St; Room 250, St. Louis, MO 63101
  • Springfield- 1736 E. Sunshine Suite 610, Springfield, MO 65804.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Missouri

If you’re injured at your job while working, you’ll need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days.

If you struggle to get the proper compensation from your employers or insurers, you can file a claim with the Missouri DWC by filling out this form. You would then mail the completed form to the division, which would effectively commence the compensation claim process.

If you are otherwise unclear about the procedure at the DWC and your options, representatives from Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien can provide answers and help you locate the right resources.

What to Do if Your Missouri Workers Compensation Claim Is Rejected

If your workers’ compensation claim does not succeed before the docketing and adjudication unit, you can file an appeal before the Division of Workers’ Compensation Appellate Commission.

This commission comprises three commissioners with jurisdiction to hear and decide appeals from workers who disagree with decisions made by the administrative judges of the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Even though the option of an appeal gives some hope in the face of a refusal, it might be better to do everything possible to avoid a denial in the first instance. One way to achieve this is by seeking professional legal help from a workers’ compensation lawyer. They can help you avoid mistakes by ensuring your application is in order and with the necessary documentation.

How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help

If you seek compensation for a work-related injury or illness, you may need to deal extensively with the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. However, you do not have to do this alone. Your case would likely benefit from the services of an attorney that has extensive knowledge and experience with the Missouri workers’ compensation law.

They can help you navigate the processes and units of the DWC and work to ensure that your application sails smoothly. Your lawyer can also represent you before the administrative judges of the DWC and file an appeal on your behalf if necessary.

At Buchanan, Williams & O’Brien, we understand that you may need time to recover from the stress and trauma of your work injury. We can ease your stress and act for you while you focus on your recovery. Our lawyers are familiar with the workings of the DWC. They can represent you through all the stages necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.

We can answer any questions about your rights and options under the Missouri workers’ compensation law. Contact us today, and let us help you get back on your feet.

We can help! FREE Injury and Work Comp Consultations.

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