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Can my Nevada workers' compensation claim be reopened?

Nevada workers' compensation cases are rarely the same. Understanding how the law handles a case is critical to getting the necessary benefits. One problem that frequently arises is if a person wants to reopen a workers' compensation claim. Knowing how to deal with such a circumstance and having legal help is a must. When a case was closed and the work injury or condition from an industrial disease has changed or gotten worse, the worker has the right to ask that the case be reopened so more benefits and treatment can be provided.

The worker must do the following to get treatment or vocational rehabilitation after a case has been closed: get a statement in writing from the doctor as to its necessity; and give a written request to the claims representative to reopen the case. The claims adjuster must receive a copy of the letter from the doctor. In the doctor's letter, it must say the following: that the worker's condition has changed or gotten worse after the claim was closed; the worker needs to be treated; the treatment is described; there is a link between the condition worsening when the request to reopen the case is made and the initial injury; the work injury is why there is a need for the claim to be reopened; and a specific time period that the person cannot work at the job at which he or she was injured or the one for which retraining was provided.

For people who left the workforce -- either through retirement or voluntarily -- and it did not have anything to do with the injury before reopening, the former worker can get medical benefits and will not receive lost wages. After the case has been closed or the request to reopen it was denied, there cannot be another request for a year unless there are unusual circumstances.

If there was no lost time and the person did not have Permanent Partial Disability, the reopening request must come within one year of the claim being closed. If the closing of the claim came because the cost of medical treatment was less than $300 in the first year, the person is unlikely to have the case reopened. If the person has Permanent Partial Disability, it might be reopened if the worker had the right to it and the case was closed without those benefits being granted.

For many injured or ill workers, their condition can change after the case was closed. When their case needs to be reopened for their workers' compensation benefits, it is important to have legal help to deal with the case. A law firm experienced in workers' compensation should be called for guidance.

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