Many people who are unable to work after an injury have difficulty paying their bills or coming up with co-pays for their medical treatments. People who have fallen on hard times while waiting for workers’ compensation approval may request temporary benefits through a hardship hearing. This is an evidentiary hearing that awards temporary disability benefits to a patient whose medical treatment or benefit status is in dispute.
A hardship hearing takes place in front of an administrative law judge. You must present written medical evidence affirming a need for treatment, as well as a link between the prescribed treatment and the on-the-job injury. If the judge agrees with the evidence in your case, you may be given a partial award for your injuries, but your case will still remain open for a further ruling. You may request a workers’ comp hardship hearing if one or more of the following is true:
- You have not reached a point of maximum medical improvement.
- Your employee benefits have been unexpectedly or not rightfully terminated.
- You have requested medical treatment that has been refused by your employer.
- You have requested temporary total disability benefits that have been refused by your employer.
In most cases, a hardship hearing will only provide temporary benefits so that patients can get the care they need in a timely manner. However, an administrative law judge can issue a final award in your case if you have reached maximum medical improvement and you request a final ruling in order to close your case.
If your employer is refusing to cover treatment for a work-related injury, we can help. Click the quick contact link on this page to ask us a question about your case, or learn how to fight for your rights in our free informational guide, How to Avoid Becoming a Work Injury Horror Story.