Workers’ compensation insurance, commonly known as worker’s comp insurance, helps employees who have sustained work-related injuries that can occur at the workplace while executing duties or simply during employment. They can arise in the workplace or away from the workplace while on the job.
The government implemented worker’s comp insurance to reduce liability for work-related illnesses or injuries and protect employers from lawsuits by injured employees. As an employer, most states require that you have worker’s comp insurance, and the requirements differ from state to state.
Below are some things you need to learn more about workers comp insurance.
Who is Covered by the Worker’s Comp Insurance?
This coverage caters mainly to full-time employees; however, it is essential to learn more about workers comp insurance and who is not covered. Usually, employees not covered by this insurance include Federal workers, Farmhands, farmworkers, Volunteers, Independent contractors, Casual laborers, and Railroad employees. In some states, contractors, interns, and temporary workers are under this insurance.
The Federal Workers’ Compensation cover covers federal workers. In some states, employers with less than five employees do not need to get insurance for the workers. Non-documented workers can also receive these benefits in the United States.
What Does the Worker’s Comp Insurance Cover?
Medical expenses and missed wages
When an employee suffers from a disease caused by exposure to chemicals, allergens, or any other injury while working, the insurance pays for any medical expenses. As a result of work-related illness, a worker may need to be absent for some time to recover; the coverage helps to replace some of the lost income.
Suppose a worker loses an arm or leg, becomes incapacitated while working, and needs continued financial and medical support. In that case, the coverage helps cover the treatment costs, and through the disability benefits, an employee gets some of the missed wages.
Repetitive injury and death benefits
Conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome occur after a long time, and the worker’s comp insurance can cover the ongoing medical expenses. The worker’s coverage also covers funeral costs when an employee loses their life in a work-related accident. It also pays death benefits to the family of the deceased.
However, you should learn more about workers comp insurance and the circumstances that can lead to loss of this cover. For instance, when an employee is injured under the influence of alcohol or drugs or with the intent to cause harm to themselves or others, they lose the right to worker’s compensation insurance.
How does the worker’s comp claim process work?
Immediately an accident or injury occurs while at work, ensure to visit a healthcare professional and get a medical report written to support any claims made. File the claim with any required state-mandated forms or paperwork. Once the insurance company and employer review the claims and benefits are approved, the worker gets the benefits.
In disputed claims, the worker’s comp law judge decides who is right between the employer and the employee. During this time, a worker may be eligible for disability benefits deducted from the employee’s future compensation awards. Most states have a time limit of 30-90 days for reporting a workers’ comp injury.
Worker’s comp insurance should cover any work-related injuries. Once an employee returns to work, the benefits stop. Also, an employer cannot punish or fire an employee for claiming benefits for an injury that occurred while on the job.