What Is the Workers' Compensation Counselor or Ombudsman Program?

Posted by: Chris

When you are dealing with a work-related injury, you need all the help you can get. Recognizing how confusing it can be to deal with government agencies, the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (the “Commission”) form the Workers’ Compensation Counselor or Ombudsman Program. You might be thinking, “That’s great. What does that have to do with me?” That’s what we will look at in this blog.

What the Workers’ Compensation Counselor or Ombudsman Program Can Do for You

This program can offer assistance to:

  • the injured worker,
  • the surviving relatives of a deceased worker,
  • the employer and its insurance carrier,
  • health care providers, and
  • any other people with an interest in the workers’ compensation claim.

If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim, the Commission will be sending you information about this program. Services offered by the Workers’ Compensation Counselor or Ombudsman Program include:

  • Providing helpful information to claimants;
  • Investigating complaints;
  • Talking with employers, insurance carriers, self-insurers, and health care providers about the workers’ comp claim;
  • Developing and presenting informational seminars and workshops on workers’ compensation to medical providers, insurance adjustors, and employee and employer groups.

Here’s How It Works

The employer files its Employer’s First Notice of Injury with the Commission. The Commission then mails a letter to the injured worker within ten (10) days of the receiving the notice. In addition to general information, the letter advises the worker of available services including:

  • Assistance in counselors or ombudsmen;
  • Participation in alternative dispute resolution programs, like mediation;
  • Any additional information the Commission feels is necessary.

Participation in the program is voluntary. If you want to use the Workers’ Compensation Counsel or Ombudsman Program, you can contact them at (918) 581-2393 or check out their website.

There’s one VERY important thing the Workers’ Compensation Counselor or Ombudsman Program CANNOT do – give legal advice or provide legal representation. That’s something only a qualified Oklahoma attorney can do.

If you have filed a workers’ compensation claim or plan to in the future, give us a call.

Learn More About Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Navigating the Oklahoma workers’ compensation system can be difficult, even with the help of a workers’ compensation counselor or ombudsman. Help is available from Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C., though, if you need to file for workers’ compensation benefits.

Let our experienced attorneys hold your employer accountable and recover the compensation you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or  contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.