How to Obtain Workers’ Comp Benefits from Illegally Uninsured Employers
The Uninsured Employers Benefits Trust Fund (UEBTF) is a special fund that provides workers’ compensation benefits to injured employees in cases where an employer is illegally uninsured and fails to pay benefits as required by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.
Obtaining UEBTF benefits is different from obtaining other workers’ comp benefits. Injured employees seeking compensation through the UEBTF must follow certain steps:
- Obtain a packet of forms from your local Division of Workers’ Compensation Information & Assistance officer or an attorney.
- Complete the employee section of the claim form, keep one copy and send three copies to your employer by certified mail with return-receipt or by hand, noting who you delivered it to.
- Complete a Coverage Research Service Request form and mail it to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) so they can determine if you should have been covered by workers’ comp when you were injured.
- Gather evidence — including doctors’ reports, medical bills, prescription receipts, proof of employment — and a list of any possible witnesses to your injury.
- If the WCIRB determines your employer should have workers’ comp insurance but doesn’t, you can file forms with the local Appeals Board office, complete an adjudication of claim, read and sign the required declaration, and file the application and proof of service.
- Gather and complete several other forms, such as the a declaration of readiness to proceed, special notice of lawsuit, medical reports and bills, and WCIRB reply. Send three copies to your employer through a professional server such as a local sheriff’s office or a process serving company.
- When you receive your proof of service, file a copy of all your forms at the local Appeals Board Office.
After you have completed all of the required steps, a workers’ compensation judge decides your case and may issue an award. The UEBTG can also decide to pay your benefits before there is an award if you sent them a request. This process is generally time consuming and very complex. A seasoned California workers’ comp attorney can make it easier by guiding you through each step, including helping you seek compensation for your harm in court.