How Does Workers Compensation Work? Answers to 5 Frequently Asked Questions

workers compensation

Not all jobs in this working landscape are completed at a desk. 

Not all jobs are fulfilled customer-facing, nor do they all incorporate the operation of machinery. 

Not all occupations, jobs, and forms of employment are done in the same way. 

What is similar across the all encompassing variety of employment? State workers’ compensation laws requiring most employers to compensate employees for illnesses and injuries incurred while working for them. This means, regardless of job type or environment, there is a generalized requirement for employees to be protected as they operate within the sphere of their employment.This protection is provided by employers to employees via worker’s compensation insurance policies.

Though the worker’s compensation requirements may be similar across the board, it is still worth noting there are some jobs that are considered among the most dangerous– and most likely to result in an injury that would need worker’s compensation assistance to help cover the injuries and illnesses acquired on site or during employment activity. These jobs include tree trimmers, roofers, sailors, audiovisual equipment installers, and elevator mechanics. Regardless of gauge danger or type of job, employers and employees deserve protection for all circumstances– those you can expect and prepare for, and those that can come out of nowhere. 

With that in mind, it is unsurprising that the industries with the highest workers compensation claim rates do include the construction, manufacturing and the farming, fishing & forestry sectors, but also the healthcare, retail, and transportation sectors as well. 

Employees work hard to help the businesses of their employers continue to expand in their successes. These workers deserve a level of protection in the process of it all. 

What Exactly is Workers Compensation?

Workers comp, or workers’ compensation, is a type of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees who are injured on the job. It typically covers lost wages, medical costs, and rehabilitation expenses as well as facilitating compensation released to injured workers or their families for survivor and/or death benefits. 

Why is Workers Compensation Provided? 

Just as with other insurance policies, worker’s compensation insurance adds a layer of protection for both employer and employee. It is both a sound decision to be made as an employer, and a legal requirement in many states across the U.S. (The only state that does not mandate the purchase of workers compensation coverage is Texas.) 

Workers compensation also provides a safeguard, protecting the employer from most all potential personal injury lawsuits

Besides the benefits to the employer, it provides the kind of care, coverage, and protection to help the employees themselves get the help they need when injured or sick in association with their work.

What Does Workers Compensation Cover? 

Workers Compensation insurance covers all employees– full -time, part-time, and temporary– as well as independent contractors and volunteers

In short, this type of insurance provides protection for work-related injuries and illnesses. These can include common injuries such as slips, falls, and those caused by task-oriented repetitive motions. 

Workers compensation insurance also covers occupational illnesses that can arise from the exposure to hazardous materials or overall working conditions. Some of the more common occupational illnesses include respiratory illnesses from inhalation of toxic or particulate substances, dermatitis from exposure to skin irritants, and hearing loss. The extent of occupational illness and exposure can reach from mental health effects through to carcinogen exposure leading to cancers. 

How Do You Submit a Workers Compensation Claim?

Once an injury or illness is noticed and cared for appropriate to the state of severity, there are some steps to take in order to engage with the workers compensation insurance as it is provided to you by your employer. 

Generally, a claim must be filed within the statute of limitations for the state in which the injury occurred. These can range from 1 year to 6 years, with the common statute sitting at 2 years from date of accident/injury with some exceptions. 

Curious where the statute of limitation sits for your state? There are places online to find out

An employee can file a workers comp claim by contacting the employer or the state’s workers comp board.  Filing a workers comp claim typically involves submitting forms to the employer or the workers comp insurance provider. The employee must provide evidence of the injury or illness and may be required to undergo a medical examination.

How Long Do Workers Compensation Benefits Last Once Released?

After submitting your workers compensation claim, the first payment is intended to be released within 21 days in most circumstances and states. 

The duration of workers’ compensation benefits varies depending on the laws of the state and the severity of the injury. There is the consideration of type and extent of worker disability, ranging from temporary, permanent, full or partial disability. 

In general, for all extents of disability, excluding permanent, benefits can last for as long as the injured worker is unable to work or until they have reached maximum medical improvement, with a common window between 3 and 7 years. There is not usually a limit on workers compensation benefits for those who experience injury or illness resulting in permanent disability. 

Workers Compensation Just Works

Workers Compensation has its place in the working landscape just as every job has its own purpose. Knowing how to navigate the intricacies and depth of coverage is beneficial for employers and employees alike. 

With so many details and options, there are answers to all your questions. Give us a call and we can help you find it.

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