Working with the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund
Posted On Behalf of Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers on May 08, 2013 in Workers' Compensation
Under Pennsylvania law, most companies—except a few of the largest—are required to buy insurance to pay out workers’ compensation claims. Some employers make the conscious decision to defy the law because they feel this insurance is unnecessary or too expensive.
If you are unlucky enough to work for one of these employers, then you’re in trouble when you suffer an on-the-job injury or occupational disease. If you have been injured in a work related accident contact one of our leading workers' compensation attorneys today for a free legal consultation.
Where can you go to get your medical bills paid?
Forget for a moment that you’re collecting no wages because you’re too disabled to work. Think only about the costs of medical care after your accident:
- The ambulance ride from your workplace
- The ER visit
- Four days in the hospital
- The fee for the neurologist called in on a consultation
- Multiple x-rays and a CAT scan
- And many, many follow-up visits to doctors after your surgery.
- And after you returned home, there’s been the wheelchair rental, the cost of crutches, and a few hundred bucks in prescription drugs—so far.
Your employer refuses to honor your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim. He tried denying that your claim is valid and then lied outright to you by saying workers’ comp doesn’t apply to your case.
Your next thought was your health insurance policy—either private medical coverage you pay for directly, or a group health plan you have through work. “Sorry,” the claims adjuster told you, “under the law, workers’ compensation supersedes your health insurance for job-related injuries. We’re not allowed to pay your bills.” Another dead end.
The UEGF comes to your rescue!
Fortunately, Pennsylvania lawmakers have provided a solution for cases like yours. Since 2006, the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund (UEGF) has been in place to provide workers’ compensation benefits for Pennsylvania workers whose employers refuse to honor a legitimate claim. The fund will pay the benefits you are owed, and then send the bill to your employer.
Simple, right? No, this is not the easy option. Many of our clients say they wish they had consulted a Harrisburg workers’ compensation lawyer at the outset because dealing with the UEGF is so tough. The three key difficulties:
- A very short deadline. You have only 45 days to apply to the UEGF once you find out your boss won’t cover your medical bills. If you file late, you get nothing
- A rigorous application process. Applying to the UEGF for benefits means mountains of paperwork and new forms to fill out. You even have to send extra paperwork back to your boss, to notify him that you’re notifying UEGF! Mistakes on the forms can mean delayed benefits or even a denied claim
- UEGF isn’t your pal. It’s a government agency that will demand proof of your claim before cutting you a check. Expect a strict review process
At Schmidt Kramer, our workplace injury attorneys have helped hundreds of central Pennsylvania clients establish workers’ compensation claims. We work along with the Uninsured Employer Guaranty Fund to make sure our clients get the benefits they’re entitled to when their employers drop the ball.
If you are facing hardship, and your boss isn’t helping with your Harrisburg workers’ comp claim, call us at 717-888-8888 or 888-476-0807 toll-free to see how we can help you. When you call us, ask for a FREE copy of our client book, Who Pays The Bills When You Are Injured At Work? We’ll send it to right away, with no obligation.