Workers’ Compensation Insurance covers employees who have been injured while working or have developed a work-related illness. It is mandated by most states and the federal government.
Those receiving workers’ compensation should use the benefit to help pay for medical expenses acquired from their workplace injury or illness. Workers’ compensation also helps cover missed wages due to your inability to work from your injury or illness.
How Does Workers’ Comp. Work?
Most employers are required to provide workers’ compensation, though there are some businesses that are exempt from this requirement. The cost of workers’ compensation insurance is paid for by the employer, not the employee.
When you experience an injury at work (and the injury was not due to your own negligence), you can file for workers’ compensation. To be eligible to do so, you will need report your injury to your employer promptly. Many states have different requirements for the period of time an illness or injury needs to be reported to an employer.
Once a workplace injury or illness is reported to work, your employer should inform you of next steps, such as visiting a doctor that is approved by your workers’ compensation insurance provider. You should be told where to find appropriate forms that need to be filled out and who to return them to start your claim.
After the appropriate forms are completed, you should hear back if you are approved or denied benefits. If you are approved, you’ll begin receiving benefits. If denied, you can file an appeal. Your denial letter should outline how to do so.
Who Can Receive Workers’ Compensation?
Eligibility varies by state as some states require a minimum amount of employees while others have no minimum. Typically agriculture workers, independent contractors, employees paid solely on commission, and seasonal employees are not covered by workers’ compensation. Check your state’s requirements to make sure your employer is required to provide workers’ compensation.
What Injuries are Covered by Worker’s Compensation?
Injuries that were caused by an employer’s negligence and are not the employee’s fault are typically covered by workers’ compensation. Examples of this would be a slip and fall or an injury caused by repetitive motions (such as carpal tunnel).
If an injury is due to your own fault, such a slip and fall due to working while intoxicated, you likely won’t qualify for workers’ compensation. Additionally, if you violated company policy or committed a crime resulting in the injury, you likely won’t qualify for workers’ compensation.
Getting Help With the Workers’ Compensation Process
If you were injured at but still aren’t sure how the workers’ compensation process works, you may want to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer. With help from an attorney, you can navigate the claims process more easily.
Many workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the lawyer will not require payment upfront, but rather require payment when you receive your compensation. Often, their fees may be built into your settlement. To get your claim looked over by a workers’ compensation attorney that takes cases in your area, complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page today.