It is not uncommon for injuries to become more troublesome with time, especially when the injuries are more severe in nature. However, while most people must live with and accommodate the discomfort, parties who sustained their injuries in the workplace may be able to recover benefits via workers’ compensation. Those individuals must have already filed a claim and received benefits for the same injuries that continue to ail them. To do so, they must first reopen their Wisconsin workers’ compensation case.
If you wish to reopen your workers’ comp case, you must be aware of the state’s statutes of limitations for doing so, as well as under what circumstances the state allows a person to reopen a case. Per the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development’s Workers’ Compensation Guide, you may reopen your case when you have stopped receiving workers’ comp benefits for a permanent or temporary disability that was the result of a workplace accident. You may reopen the claim any time within 12 years from the date on which you received your last benefits check.
It is important to note that if you accepted a compromise agreement, you will not be able to reopen your case at any time. The same is true if the workers’ compensation department issued you a final award after your last hearing. A compromise effectively closes the claim. You have one year from the date the board proposes a compromise to modify or set it aside. If you do neither, you forfeit your chance to recover additional compensation in the future. A final award closes the claim once the time for appeal has lapsed unless the award is set aside on an appeal. If medical treatment is necessary beyond the 12-year mark, and if you did not accept a compromise or final award, you may file an application to keep the claim open.
If your workplace injury is an occupational disease and not a physical injury, you are not subject to a statute of limitations. You may make a claim against your employer or the insurance company within 12 years from the date of injury or from the date on which you last received benefits. If the 12-year period has lapsed, you can file a claim for benefits against the Work Injury Supplemental Benefit Fund. The fund bars certain traumatic injuries, in which case your employer and its insurer would be liable for benefits.
The information in this post should not be construed as legal advice. It is for strictly educational purposes.