The Basics

  • If you believe you were injured at work or suffer from an illness because of your job, tell your employer as soon as possible.
    By promptly reporting your injury to your employer. To protect yourself, and to create a "papertrail," it is suggested that you do this in writing, and by certified mail, return receipt requested. Seek medical treatment also to document your injury or illness and make sure you tell your doctor that treatment relates to a workers’ compensation injury.
  • Get the name and phone number of the workers’ compensation insurer from your employer.  Your insurer not your employer, is your primary contact, so stay in contact with them.
  • Get medical treatment from a health care provider of your choice and tell your provider that you were injured on the job. Remember: Your employer cannot choose your health care provider for you.
  • Your first health care provider should ask you to complete Form 827, “Worker’s and Physician’s Report for Workers’ Compensation Claims.” The provider will send the form to the insurer and give you a copy for your records.

How do I know if my employer filed a workers' compensation claim with the Department of Labor?

You will probably receive a copy of the WC-1 form, "Employer's First Report of Injury," which your employer files with the Disability Compensation Division (DCD) of the Department of Labor. An employer must file a report to the DCD within seven working days after you report your injury. If you do not receive a copy of the WC-1 after you have promptly notified your employer of your injury or illness, contact the DCD to find out if your employer filed the claim.

What if my employer refuses to file a workers' compensation claim?

You may file a WC-5 form, "Employee's Claim for Workers' Compensation Benefits" with the DCD.

What is the time limit for filing a workers' compensation claim?

Within two years after the date at which the effects of the injury was or should have been discovered OR within five years after the date of the accident or occurrence which caused the injury There are some exceptions to this rule, such as injuries caused by compressed air or due to occupational exposure to, or contact with, Arsenic, Asbestos, Benzoyl, Beryllium, Zirconium, Cadmium, Chrome, Lead, Fluorine, or other Mineral or Substance with Carcinogenic Properties, as incorporated in the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Standards, or to exposure to X-rays, Radium, Ionizing Radiation, or Radioactive Substances. See HRS 386-82 for more information.


DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to provide guidance on some of the legal entitlements under the WC process (by no means exhaustive) and should not be used as legal advice on the handling of a workers compensation claim.  Contact the State of Hawai’i, Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, Disability Compensation Division, or the Labor and Industrial Appeals Board, or the union, or retain an attorney for legal advice, as appropriate, because each claim is different.  This website is intended for educational and informational purposes only.  We expressly disclaim any responsibility for actions taken or not taken based on information on this website.  The information is provided “as is” without warranties of any kind, either express or implied.  The content is general and may not reflect current developments and is subject to change without notice.

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