When you file a disability claim through either Social Security or Workers’ Compensation, there are statutes of limitations. Claims must be filed before the designated time passes or you may not be able to receive compensation. In addition, time limits also apply when appealing denials of disability claims.
Social Security Claims
The filing period for Social Security benefits is the more generous of the two. In most instances, a person has five years to file a claim. This is especially helpful when the disability stems from an occupational disease because problems may not manifest themselves for several years after leaving the contaminated workplace. Even though five years may seem like a long time, it’s best to file as soon as you stop working because it’s easier to gather the documents necessary to support your claim with the Administration.
In addition to the initial filing time limit, there is also a time restriction for filing an appeal if you are denied benefits. An appeal must be filed within sixty days from the date on which you received notice that your claim was denied.
Workers’ Compensation Disability Claims
Generally, there is a three-year statute of limitations for filing a disability claim with Workers’ Compensation. However, there is an exception. If the injury is the result of an occupational disease from a workplace hazard, the disability must manifest itself within 300 weeks from last exposure. If you suspect such an illness, though, have a physician monitor your health. File a claim as soon as you receive a diagnosis.
Other time limits for Workers’ Compensation claims are the responsibility of the employer. If an employer fails to meet those deadlines, the benefit will usually be to the employee.
If you file a disability claim for Workers’ Compensation, and the claim is denied, a claim petition must be filed within three years from the date of the injury for it to be considered. Failing to file a petition within the allotted time may result in forfeiting your right to benefits. Depending on the nature of denial or suspension of benefits, the three-year limit may also apply for filing further disability claims.
When filing a claim with the Social Security Administration or Workers’ Compensation, time is of the essence. If you wait too long to file your claim (or your appeal, if your initial claim was denied), you could be jeopardizing your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve. If you have questions or need help understanding disability claims, a qualified attorney can help you understand the process and your responsibilities.