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What must an employee prove to secure workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers in a variety of different circumstances may need support due to health challenges. Workers’ compensation can help those dealing with injuries and illnesses related to their work.

The coverage available includes full medical benefits and disability benefits that help replace lost wages when people cannot work. Even workers who have serious medical issues may feel hesitant about filing a workers’ compensation claim. They may worry that they don’t have adequate evidence or that a claim could affect their employment.

What do workers generally need to prove if they hope to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Missouri?

The condition must directly relate to their job

People sometimes think that they need to prove that their employer is to blame for a work-related health issue to file a claim. Other times, they believe that their employer might have proof that they made a mistake that could affect their benefits. Employees often convince themselves that personal fault for a job incident could make them ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

However, workers’ compensation coverage in Missouri is a form of no-fault protection. Workers do not need to prove that their employer caused their injury. More importantly, they do not lose eligibility for benefits just because there is proof that they may have made a mistake that contributed to a scenario that resulted in injury.

The only real proof a worker needs is evidence that their illness or injury has a direct relationship with the job that they perform. Records of an incident at work or clear medical documentation affirming that repetitive job functions are the likely cause of their symptoms are all that an employee theoretically requires to establish their eligibility for workers’ compensation coverage.

Employers do sometimes dispute claims by claiming that a worker may have acquired the injury elsewhere. In such scenarios, in-depth medical evaluation may be necessary to conclusively connect someone’s health challenges to their job responsibilities. Other times, if employers do try to lay blame on a worker, the burden of evidence falls to the company. An organization blaming a worker for an injury typically needs to show that they hurt themselves on purpose or that intoxication in the workplace was the underlying cause of their injuries.

The average employee dealing with a sprained ankle, severe laceration or repetitive stress disorder can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits without proving faults or other details about their condition. With that said, learning about the requirements for workers’ compensation coverage – and seeking legal guidance whenever necessary – can make a major difference to those dealing with job-acquired health challenges.