Chapter 10 hardship

"Workers' Compensation in Missouri: Succeeding in Your Injury Claim"

Hardship

A hardship occurs when an employer/insured denied benefits due to an injured worker. R.S.Mo § 287.203. This can be refusing to provide medical care or payment, refusing to pay permanent total or partial total disability or total permanent payments, refuses to pay funeral expenses, or other circumstances. When this occurs, we file a hardship action in the Workers’ Compensation Division where we request an expedited mediation and trial on certain benefits. See here for the form we file with the Court.

When you try a hardship case, the issues that are addressed are forever found in the case. For instance, if the employer denies the incident occurred on the job and it owes benefits for an on the job accident, and you try the case in a hardship and win, the employer cannot retry that issue in the final merits of the case. We file hardships when an employer denies medical, does pay or timely pay TTD, PPD, or benefits, when an employer does not authorize medical care, when an employer does not provide things like batteries for hearing aid or physical therapy. We have many examples of a hardship hearing and are not afraid to use hardship to get great results for our clients.

A hardship is so defined because of the workers put employers on a hardship by the employer wrongfully denying benefits. R.S.Mo § 287.203. The employee can file a hardship and try the case and pursue it. Or, the employee can get the medical on his own insurance or their own resources and make a claim against the employer and seek to have those benefits paid in the final trial. We have done both routes. However, we do find a hardship to be a good and successful tool.

The filing of a hardship enables the Court to take the employer and the insurer to task and make them conform with the Workers’ Compensation statutes and regulations. If the employee wins the hardship hearing, he is eligible to be paid his attorney's fees and costs associated with bringing the hardship. The employer may also have to pay a penalty of double the amount of the unpaid benefits if the benefits are confirmed at the final work comp trial. R.S.Mo §287.203.

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