The workers compensation statute of limitation (SOL) in Wisconsin, states an injured worker is unable to proceed against the employer and insurance carrier if an application for hearing is not filed within 12 years from the date of injury, death, or the last payment of compensation (not medical bills). Wis. Stat. § 102.17(4).   For death benefits, under Wisconsin Statutes Sec. 102.46 , the 12-year statute of limitation begins to run at the date of the worker’s death and not at the date of injury.  For traumatic injuries, meaning a single accident as opposed to job duties over time, the 12 years is reduced to 6 years starting with injuries occurring after February 2016.

A workers comp claim based on job duties over time (also called an occupational disease), not a single traumatic accident, the SOL is 12 years from the date of work first missed due to the work-related condition or the last day worked at the job causing the work-related condition.

If an occupational disease barred by the 12 year limitation period under section 102.17(4) the Work Injury Supplemental Benefit Fund is available. Benefits are also available “when the status or existence of an employer or its insurance carrier cannot be determined or when there is otherwise no adequate remedy.” Wis. Stat. § 102.66(2). In addition, serious traumas including (1) the loss or total impairment of a hand, arm, foot, or leg; (2) any loss of vision; (3) any permanent brain injury; and (4) an injury causing the need for a total or partial knee or hip replacement and (5) An injury causing the need for an artificial spinal disc may be covered by the Supplemental Benefit Fund.

Also, apart from the 6 or 12 year SOL, if no compensation is paid and no application for hearing is filed within two years after the date of injury or after the date the employee knew or should have known the nature of the disability and its relation to his or her employment, the right to compensation is barred. This defense cannot be raised if the employer knew, or should have known, that the employee had sustained the injury (not the disability) on which the claim is based within the two year period. Wisconsin Statutes Sec. 102.12.

Workers compensation statute of limitation law can be complicated.  Before concluding your claim is too late, be advised to consult with an experienced Wisconsin workers compensation attorney.  McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is knowledgeable in workers comp eligibility issues.  Honest and trustworthy documentation in the employment and medical records is helpful in establishing date of injury for time limit answers.