Worker’s compensation is a type of insurance that protects the employee from medical costs and income loss as a result of work-related injury or illness. Most states in the US require employees to be covered by worker’s compensation, though the specific guidelines for worker’s comp vary slightly in each state. You will find that worker’s comp provides you with a multitude of benefits in the case of an occupational illness or accident occurring in the workplace, but there also some things you should know about the insurance. The following is a list of the most important factors of worker’s comp.
Basic Facts about Workers Compensation Employees Should Know
As an employee, there are some basic facts about workers compensation insurance that you should know, including how it works and what your responsibilities are. If you are involved in a work-related accident that leads to injury or illness, it is your responsibility to report it, which must be done immediately. Worker’s compensation pays for medical care for injuries or illnesses you received during your normal work duties. Since this is a company paid and issued policy, your employer can choose what doctor you will go to for medical care. Compensation coverage is also available if the doctor giving you medical care finds that you need to be off work for an extended period of time as a direct result of the work-related injury or illness. You should also be aware that if you make a claim of an injury or illness and falsify it, you can be penalized for this.
Types of Coverage
There are a variety of types of worker’s compensation coverage in the case of an illness or injury you received on the job. The following lists the main types of coverages provided to you by your worker’s comp policy.
- Payment for Lost Wages – If because of your injury or illness, there is a recovery time of more than seven days and you lose out on income during this time, you may be eligible for income compensation by worker’s comp. For example, if you are able to return to work but not to the full capacity and lose 20 percent of your normal wage, then you are also eligible for income compensation to make up the difference, depending on your state’s specifications. Your doctor must sign documents that say you are unable to work at all, or unable to do certain duties. Keep in mind, that workers compensation rules and specifics can vary by state.
- Medical Benefits – Worker’s compensation takes care of your diagnosis and following medical care when you submit the claim in time and have received an injury or illness during your normal job duties. Some of the medical benefits under worker’s compensation includes medical, dental, doctor visits and hospital stays, surgical procedures, prescriptions, crutches or braces, medical equipment and continued medical care or treatment such as chiropractic care or physical therapy.
- Reemployment Services – If as a result of your work-related injury or illness you are not able to return to your normal job duties, you may be eligible for reemployment services as provided by worker’s compensation insurance. This includes help finding a job, creating a resume, vocational testing, vocational counseling, and any subsequent education or training for a new job.
Steps to Take to Get Medical Care and Benefits
In order to receive worker’s compensation benefits, you must follow the guidelines according to the state you live in. You will be required to submit the claim to worker’s comp immediately following notice to your employer. Once your employer notifies you of the doctor you are to go to, you should go immediately and keep all following doctor’s appointments. Fill out all forms and paperwork as requested by your company’s human resources department. You should save any and all records, including copies of forms, receipts, and paperwork from the doctor you were assigned to. Once requested to do so, return to work, and report income to the worker’s compensation carrier in case you need compensation insurance.
Worker’s compensation has benefits for the employee and employer, as it covers the cost of most medical procedures and doctor visits following an occupational injury or illness. As long as you know the basic facts about workers compensation and follow the guidelines, the policy will help to cover these expensive medical costs, along with other important benefits.