Rhode Island Worker’s Compensation- Fast Facts
Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim in Rhode Island:

In Rhode Island, each employer has a private workers' compensation insurance company. To file a claim for compensation, the injured employee must report the injury directly to the employer. The employer then files a claim through their insurance carrier. This will start the process. Rhode Island law does not allow the claim to have filing by the employee directly.

Notify your employer. Your employer will most likely give you workers' compensation forms to fill out in which you can describe the nature and extent of your injury or illness.

See a doctor to determine the extent of your illness or injury. If it's an emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

Fill out the forms to file your workers' compensation claim. If your employer did not provide you with any forms, call your state or local workers' compensation office to request them.

Provide all necessary information. The worker's compensation forms will require you to describe your injury or illness and the circumstances under which it occurred. Once completed, return the form to the appropriate party, usually your employer, who will them turn it into the state workers' compensation office for further action.

Attorney fees for claimants are approved by the court on a case-by-case basis. In certain cases, the attorney fee may be added to the award. In some case however you as the injured party are responsible for the attorney’s fees. Each case is different and could go either way. So don’t think that you will get an attorney free because there is a chance that you will not get one free. If you are paying for the injury lawyer take the time to research the lawyers in your area and make sure you get a good one.

Rhode Island Worker’s Compensation Treatment:
Employee makes the initial choice of physician. If you decide to change doctors, you must first find out if your employer or insurer has an approved list of physicians, otherwise known as a "preferred provider network". If so, you must either select a physician from that list or get the approval of your employer/insurer before you see another doctor. If your employer or insurer does not have an approved list of physicians, these restrictions do not apply.

Rhode Island Worker’s Compensation Benefits:
Full medical benefits are provided to employees entitled to worker's compensation benefits, with no time or monetary limits. The employer selects the initial physician who will provide care, with the choice being subject to change by the state agency.

Payments are made for temporary total disability (TTD) in an amount determined by a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly maximum and minimum payment amounts. After 52 weeks, payments are based upon a percentage of the state's average weekly wage. Payments continue for the duration of the disability.

Payments are made for permanent total disability (PTD) based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to weekly minimum and maximum payment amounts. Payments for PTD continue for the duration of the disability.

Payments for permanent partial disability (PPD) are made based upon a percentage of the worker's wage, subject to a weekly maximum payment amount. Depending upon the extent of the disability, payments for PPD may continue for up to 500 weeks.

Scheduled awards are paid in addition to total temporary disability benefits starting upon termination of the termination of the TTD benefits. Scheduled awards are not reduced because of receipt of TTD benefits.

Disfigurement may be considered when determining the percentages of permanent disability less than total.

Physical and vocational rehabilitation benefits are available.

With certain constraints and filing deadlines, occupational hearing losses may be compensable.

Death benefits are payable to an employee's surviving spouse, or spouse and children, based upon a percentage of the employee's wages, subject to a cap. A minimum benefit is provided regardless of the employee's earnings. Certain expenses for transportation of the employee’s body and burial allowance are available.

Rhode Island Worker’s Compensation Waiting Period:
The waiting period for compensation benefits after the injury is 3 days.

Compensation begins on the 4th day after injury.

Rhode Island Worker’s Compensation Contact Information:
E. Jean Severance, Associate Director
Department of Labor & Training
Division of Workers’ Compensation
1511 Pontiac Ave.,Bld. 69,2nd Fl.
P. O. Box 20190
Cranston, RI 02920-0942
 (401) 462-8100  (401) 462-8100

NOTICE: These questions and answers concern Rhode Island law only, and should not be construed nor relied upon as reflecting the law in other States, nor as giving legal advice. You are warned that circumstances often vary greatly and that, due to changing decisions and law, the answers to these questions may change over time and not be current, and you should consult an attorney in any specific case, and NOT rely on these questions and answers as giving anything other than general information.

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