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What I can do if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Oklahoma’s workers’ compensation program can help employees pay for medical expenses, lost wages and other costs associated with injuries that occurred at work. However, not all workers’ compensation claims are successful.

If you were injured at work, you may have assumed that you would be approved to receive worker’s compensation benefits. Having your claim denied can come as a big shock, but you may still have options.

Find the reason for the denial

If the Workers’ Compensation Commission Administrative Law Judge denied your claim, you may be able to appeal that decision. However, you should first determine why your claim was denied. This reason should be listed in your denial letter.

Common reasons include:

  • The employer was not properly notified of the incident
  • Claim deadlines were missed
  • The worker did not receive a medical evaluation
  • There is not enough proof that the injury is work-related
  • The worker missed scheduled medical appointments
  • Some of the required paperwork is missing

Consider filing an appeal

If you believe your denial was made by mistake, you may file an appeal within 10 days of the date the decision was made. If you file an appeal, the full Workers’ Compensation Commission will review the original decision. Depending on the reason for your initial denial, you may be able to bolster your case before the full commission evaluates it.

If necessary, you may also appeal the full commission’s decision, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court will review your case. You have 20 days to file this appeal after the full commission makes its decision.

Workers’ compensation benefits exist to help protect injured workers. Every situation is different, but sometimes the system for obtaining these benefits does not work as well as it should. If you believe your worker’s compensation claim was denied by mistake, appealing that decision can help you receive the benefits you deserve.


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