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June 16, 2004

Don't Miss Out on Benefits

During a recent discussion about work-related injuries and Workers’ Compensation benefits, an Actor mentioned to staff that she thought she hadn’t received all that was due her on an injury she had sustained in a Broadway show in 2001. Research revealed that Equity had never received the paperwork to process her claim for Supplemental Workers’ Compensation benefits. The Actor could no longer find the file containing the necessary paperwork. Val la Varco, Equity’s Business Representative for Workers’ Compensation, was able to call the claims adjuster at the insurance company and get the necessary information to process the Supplemental benefits claim. The Actor received close to $7,000 additional benefit.

Okay, you’re young, you’re invincible, and you’re never going to get hurt doing a show. And you certainly don’t want to think about the possibility of sustaining a career-threatening injury. So you’re not interested in reading this article. WRONG! Unfortunately, it can happen to anyone, and if it does happen to you we want to make sure you get the treatment you need and the benefits that are due you.

Don’t miss out on benefits when you sustain a work-related injury or illness. Be sure to file an incident report with your Stage Manager as soon as possible after the accident or at the time you feel pain from repetitive stress in your show. If you seek medical attention for the problem, make sure the Stage Manager fills out the appropriate form to file with the Workers’ Comp insurance carrier. (In New York State, it’s called a C-2 form.) At the same time, you should fill out the appropriate form that the injured worker files with the state workers’ comp board. (In New York, this C-3 form can be found through a link on the Equity website.) If you miss performances, notify Equity immediately and ask for the forms to file for Supplemental Workers’ Comp benefits.

If you will be out of the show for a significant period and/or you will need ongoing medical treatment, we highly recommend you register with the Workers’ Comp law firm of Fine, Olin and Anderman. Should the insurance company deny any of your claims or medical treatment, you will need a lawyer to help you get what is due. Also, if your injury results in a permanent partial disability, you will be due a settlement – a lawyer can make sure you get a fair and appropriate settlement. You do not pay the lawyer out of pocket; the lawyer is paid a fee (usually 10-15%) from any settlement you finally get.

We hope you have a long, healthy career and never sustain a work-related illness or injury, but if it should happen to you, we urge you to call Equity. We can guide you to make sure you receive all the benefits due you.

Vist the Workers Comp here.

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