Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Workers' compensation can provide social work help

It goes without saying that an injury in the workplace can impose physical and financial imitations on an individual. However, few recognize that being injured on the job and all of the ramifications any resulting injuries can have may result in the imposition of emotional harm, too. Injured workers can find themselves overwhelmed with financial issues that have been unexpectedly thrust upon them, which can leave them scrambling to make ends meet. This is true even when workers' compensation benefits are recovered because these benefits usually don't cover the full extent of one's losses.

However, the workers' compensation program does provide another benefit that can prove useful. Those who are successful on a workers' compensation claim and thereby awarded benefits can have a social worker appointed to help them at no cost. These workers can help identify areas where benefit recipients need assistance and step in to further that individual's best interests. Therefore, a social worker can help a benefit recipient negotiate with creditors and landlords when payments are late or incomplete, which could help alleviate some of the financial stressors faced by these individuals.

But that is not all these social workers can do. They can also make referrals to public agencies that can assist with housing, clothing and food security, and they can assist with the creation of a budget so that a benefit recipient can better learn how to live within his or her means until he or she is able to return to work. They can also help set up medical appointments and provide transportation to those and other meetings.

The benefits of workers' compensation are enormous. Therefore, those who have suffered a workplace injury should do everything he or she can to recover these benefits. Oftentimes, though, claims for these benefits are denied. To avoid such an outcome or to appeal a denied claim, injured workers should reach out to qualified legal professionals who can advocate on their behalf.

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