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Approximately $62 billion in worker’s compensation benefits and deductible provisions was paid out in 2017 alone.
These benefits are in place to help workers financially cope when they’re injured or become ill as a result of their job. With the exception of Texas, every state in the US requires employers to have workers compensation insurance for their employees.
Not all companies are completely transparent about how to get workers comp. But if you’re injured or ill because of the work that you do, you’re entitled to compensation.
In this guide, we’ll answer “how does workmans comp work” and more. Read on so that you’re informed.
What is Workers Compensation Insurance?
Workers compensation is an insurance program legally required for almost every employer in the US. Through this insurance program, employees who are injured on the job or who become ill because of their job are entitled to compensation. That compensation takes the form of payments to cover lost wages as well as hospitalization coverage, but the requirements and coverage vary from state to state.
What Does Workers Comp Insurance Cover?
Workers compensation insurance is no-fault insurance. That means that you’re covered under this program even if the accident that led to your injury was your fault. The only time this doesn’t apply is if drugs or horseplay were involved.
Beyond incidental accidents, workers comp insurance also covers problems and illnesses that develop over a period of time. For example, if you develop carpal tunnel syndrome from the same repetitive movements while performing your job, you can get coverage. In the same way, if you develop a respiratory illness as a result of breathing in harmful chemicals, you can get coverage.
How Does Workmans Comp Work?
There are some steps you need to follow in order to get workers compensation. Follow these in detail to ensure you’re taking all of the right measures to receive compensation.
Report Your Injury or Illness
The first thing you need to do is report your injury or illness to your supervisor or HR department. They’ll provide you with the right workers’ compensation forms to fill out and help you get medical treatment. Follow up with your supervisor or HR if you don’t receive a call from an insurance adjustor.
Seek Medical Help
If you were injured in an accident, you can see whatever doctor the ambulance takes you to. But, in a nonemergency and for follow-up medical treatment, you have to go to the particular medical professionals your employer recommends. If you seek treatment outside of these, your employer could deny your claim.
For example, if you injure your foot on the job, you need to see the workers comp orthopedic doctor that your employer recommends. Going to your own orthopedic doctor may leave you without coverage.
Ensure that you check the box that says your injury happened at work when filling out any medical paperwork. This way, your bills are sent to your employer and not to you.
How much you receive in compensation depends on the state in which you live. Your state sets the payouts for specific accidents, and there’s no room to negotiate this. If you feel you’re being treated unfairly, you can speak with a worker’s compensation ombudsman.
Get the Compensation You Deserve
So, how does workmans comp work? According to the regulations defined in your state and through a formal process. It’s important to know and follow that process to ensure you get the compensation that you deserve.
Be sure that you immediately report an injury or illness, you fill in the right paperwork, and visit the right doctor. Without these steps, you could lose your right to lost wages and medical payments.