A New Hampshire man hurt his back at work. The state Health Department allowed him to participate in the therapeutic cannabis program and allowed him to receive medical marijuana in order to treat his back pain. Nonetheless, the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier denied reimbursement for the cost of medical marijuana.
The man appealed the decision to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, who sent the case back for further determination. The court rejected the argument of the insurance carrier, but did not endorse the reimbursement of medical marijuana. In short, it is still unclear whether or not Workers’ Compensation insurance companies must reimburse the use of medical marijuana.
Appealing a Denial of Workers’ Compensation Reimbursement
Every day, Workers’ Compensation insurance companies deny requests for reimbursement. It can be incredibly scary to realize that you might not receive compensation for your work-related injuries.
When Workers’ Compensation denies your reimbursement or you are in a dispute with the insurance company over your benefits, you have the right to challenge the decision. You can file an appeal with the New Hampshire Department of Labor. The Department of Labor has two different tiers of administrative review.
Hearing Officer Review
The first step of the process involves filing a petition with a hearing officer within 18 months of the denial of benefits. You must request the appeal in writing and explain why you are entitled to benefits. Four to six weeks later, the Department of Labor will schedule your hearing. Each side has an opportunity to present evidence during the hearing. Each side has the opportunity to present evidence and testimony.
Compensation Appeals Board
If the hearing officer denies your appeal, you have 30 days to appeal to the Compensation Appeals Board. You cannot bring any new issues upon appeal, and the hearing is often six months after you request the appeal. If the Appeals Board denies your claim, you have a right to appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Once again, you will have to file the appeal within a deadline.
Hiring an Attorney to Appeal Your Workers’ Compensation Denial
The process of appealing a denial of Workers’ Compensation is not easy. While workers are permitted to represent themselves during the Workers’ Compensation appeal process, hiring a skilled lawyer can help tremendously. Showing up blind to an appeals hearing can cause serious problems.
If you have experienced a denial of benefits, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney to fight for your rights. At Ward Law Group, PLLC, we have an extensive working knowledge of the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation process. We know the regulations and rules involved in each step of the appeals process. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free, initial consultation with Ward Law Group.