I have many clients who are worried about how long they have to file their workers’ compensation claim after a work injury—and how long it might take for an insurance company to deny or accept their claim. Here’s what a general timeline looks like:

You have 2 years to file Form 18 Notice of Accident to Employer and Claim of Employee.

  • This time starts from the date of your injury or the last date of payment of medical compensation or weekly benefits.
  • In the case of occupational diseases, this time starts from the date that your doctor advised you that you have a work related disease or two years from the first date of disability (for example, the first time you were written out of work completely or assigned light duty work restrictions that your employer cannot accommodate.)

Form 18 is filed with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC).

Form 18 will notify your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company that you got hurt at work or have an occupational disease.

From the date the NCIC acknowledges your Form 18, the insurance company has 30 days to formally accept or deny your claim.

Although you have up to two years to file your Form 18, we always recommend filing sooner rather than later. You don’t want to find yourself coming up against deadlines, and it’s always best to get statements while the event is still fresh in everyone’s minds.

The process to claiming workers’ compensation benefits can be long, but submitting your claim early can help reduce the time to your first benefit check.