A Simple Guide to Understanding Workers’ Compensation

A Simple Guide to Understanding Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation benefits are a crucial protection American workers have to keep them financially afloat and physically sound after an illness or injury in the workplace. Without these useful benefits, a workplace injury could put thousands of American workers in a difficult situation. If you’ve never been through the process, you must understand what qualifies you for workers’ compensation benefits, and how they work. To assist you, here is a simple guide to understanding workers’ compensation:

What Situations are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation covers injuries or illnesses that arise, and occur, during employment. Especially those in physical jobs. Many medical expenses for these types of work injuries or illnesses get coverage under workers’ compensation. This includes hospital visits, healthcare provider’s visits, physical therapy, medical equipment, prescription medication, and out-of-pocket medical expenses that fall into different categories.

If an employee is seeking out alternative medical treatments and wants workers’ compensation, those treatments must be pre-approved to qualify. The benefits an employee receives through workers’ compensation also pay for a percentage of wages lost as a result of an injury or illness. Although the amount can differ depending on where an employee is working and what type of employee they are. However, any workplace absence must relate to a work injury. Thus, a medical provider must authorize the need for workers’ compensation before payments begin. Proper workers’ compensation benefits are a key need that most American workers demand from their jobs.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Work?

If you get an injury while on the job, you’ll likely be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. To initiate this process, you first need to file a claim. This immediately notifies your supervisor of the injury or illness. At that point, the supervisor is responsible for promptly filling out a Supervisor’s Report of Injury or Occupational Illness Form. This details and goes over the injury or illness again. Once completing this form, the supervisor must send the form to the proper location. At this point, the state, relevant company-related office, or another party will be responsible for determining if the injury/illness qualifies for workers’ compensation. They will also determine what type of benefits will be given to the employee for their workers’ compensation. For those who are unsure of their situation, the professionals at can be of assistance.

How Lost Work Time Affects Workers’ Compensation

In the case that an employee does not lose work time, workers’ compensation will simply cover the medical costs. This can include other injury expenditures the employee faces. This will ensure the employee is not put into a financially damaging situation due to the workplace injury or illness.

If an employee does lose work time, this absence needs authorization from a healthcare provider. This is to ensure that workers’ compensation benefits kick in. Temporary disability payments can come into play if an injury requires an employee to be out of the workplace for more than two weeks. However, this aspect of workers’ compensation laws can differ drastically from state to state. Typically these payments are tax-free and subject to limits set by local governments or the District of Columbia.

Wage Benefit Restrictions

An employee receiving regular workplace pay, holiday pay, or vacation time pay can not receive workers’ compensation at the same time. Any employee who receives multiple types of these payments at the same time will likely need to reimburse the employer for the regular pay. Although exceptions do exist, so consult a workers’ compensation attorney.

Additionally, it’s important to understand that employees are rarely legally able to opt to use their sick leave or paid leave in place of workers’ compensation. Doing so can become legally troubling. Thus, may end up causing issues that will lead the employee to have to reimburse the employer.

You Deserve Workers’ Compensation Benefits if Injured on the Job

You must apply for workers’ compensation benefits if you find yourself sustaining an injury or illness on the job. While the process can seem taxing, it is much simpler than it first seems. Additionally, lawyers experienced with workers’ compensation claims can help you navigate the process. They do this in a way that can ensure you get access to the help you deserve in this trying time. Your employer will also benefit from having you go through this process. Thus, be sure to reach out to them with the proper information after you sustain a workplace injury or illness. This is to ensure you get the workers’ compensation benefits you need.

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