In some states, labor departments can become selective about what kind of workers it covers and under what conditions. Some might even attempt to put the burden of proof of on employees to show you were not at fault or might only make solid provisions for full-time workers. New Hampshire chooses a different approach.
According to the New Hampshire Department, employees qualify for workers’ compensation in most instances. This includes part-time and full-time workers. In fact, even undocumented workers have rights in New Hampshire, though employers might try to tell you otherwise or threaten to get you reported for exercising those rights.
What doctor can you choose?
Some employers strike a deal with local doctors and friends in the health profession. They might then try to tell you those are the only medical professionals you can work with. New Hampshire reserves your right to seek a second opinion and allows you to choose your own doctor in most cases. If your employer chooses a carrier that has a “managed care” clause, you might need to choose from a specific list.
What about going back to work?
Many employees are eager to get back to work because they feel better and might become bored at home. Try not to fall into this trap. The NH DOL recommends waiting until you get a 75WCA-1 form dictating if you can return and when. The document might also dictate what restrictions you might need to keep in mind when returning to work. It is important to follow the instructions provided.
What if I did not report it right away?
If you are an undocumented immigrant, it is only natural that you might have second thoughts about reporting injuries or applying for workers’ compensation. It might take you a while to make that final decision. As long as you do so within a two-year period, you remain within the state’s limitations.
New Hampshire respects the rights of workers, regardless of immigration status. If you become entitled to workers’ compensation, it might be worth considering for your personal health and the sustainability of your future career.