What does workers’ compensation cover?
As an employee, you have probably been informed that you have workers’ compensation and that this insurance will provide benefits in case you get injured or sick while at work or through a work-related cause. You may also know that this insurance includes disability benefits, replacement of missed wages, and death benefits.
As an employer, you know that carrying workers’ compensation coverage for your employees will reduce your liability concerning work-related illnesses and injuries. You are also aware that if you do not have this coverage, you leave yourself open to lawsuits from employees who get sick or injured while on the job to help pay for their lost wages and medical expenses. Additionally, most states require that businesses carry workers’ compensation insurance, although the particular requirements vary from state to state.
What items does workers’ comp cover?
When an employee suffers a work-related illness or injury, having workers’ compensation means help with:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Costs of ongoing medical care
- Death and funeral expenses
- Repetitive Injuries
However, if the injury or illness happens outside of work, these benefits will not be available. This also applies to employees who get hurt because they are intoxicated or to those who take action to injure themselves on purpose.
Workers’ compensation offers coverage to help deal with the medical expenses incurred by an employee who gets sick or injured on the job. These expenses can include visits to the emergency room, medical appointments and treatment related to those injuries or illnesses, surgeries, therapies, prescription medications, and more.
Employees who get injured or become ill while on the job may need their wages replaced when they need to take time off work to deal with their medical issues and to be able to concentrate on recovering their health. Workers’ compensation can help replace some of those lost wages.
Ongoing medical care
When the illness or injury is severe or extensive, more than one treatment may be called for. In these cases, workers’ compensation would cover their continued medical care, such as rehabilitation and physical therapy.
Sadly, an employee may lose their life through a work-related accident. When this happens, workers’ compensation can help cover funeral costs and provide death benefits to beneficiaries.
In some work situations, employees may be exposed regularly to allergens or harmful chemicals. This can lead to illness, and workers’ comp may cover their needed treatments and ongoing care.
Certain conditions, such as carpal tunnel, do not appear immediately but take a while to develop. When this happens, workers’ compensation can help with treatment costs and other medical bills.
Workers may get hurt in such a way as to be either temporarily or permanently disabled. Workers’ comp benefits help with medical bills and lost wages through disability benefits.
Is everyone covered by workers’ compensation?
Depending on your role within the business and the size of the operation, employees may or may not be covered by workers’ comp. Although requirements vary from state to state, generally, full-time employees will be covered.
If you have been injured or suffered an illness due to your work, it is essential to initiate the claim as soon as possible. A workers’ compensation lawyer can explain to you how to proceed and help you with your claim.