Every worker is entitled to some sort of health insurance and accident protection from their employer. Employers in high-risk industries are usually required by law to provide accident coverage to all their employees. The best of these insurance covers is the workers compensation insurance. In many states, employers in high-risk industries are required by law to enroll eligible workers into the scheme and pay the necessary premiums. Failure to meet these legal requirements can lead to legal and financial sanctions.
How the Workers’ Comp System Works
Every employee who has been properly sign up for the better workers compensation insurance system gives up their right to sue their employer in case they are injured at the workplace, on their way to work or while heading home from work. In return, the insured worker enjoys guaranteed medical benefits and wage replacement benefits for the entire period when they are recovering.
In most states, an injured worker is required to report the injury to their employer within 30 days. This can be done in writing or verbally. The employer will then file a claim with the workers’ comp commission or administration in the state of residence. These claims are usually processed on first-come first served basis, so the earlier the claim is filed, the sooner the injured worker can get workers compensation benefits.
Workers’ Comp Benefits
i) Medical Benefits
When an eligible worker is injured at the workplace, they can be assured of getting the best medical attention at no cost to them. This is because workers’ comp will pay for all essential medical treatment for the injuries sustained at the workplace. The policy also covers any treatment of illnesses and medical conditions that might have been developed or exacerbated at the workplace. Please note, however, that any pre-existing condition or unrelated injuries are not covered by workers’ comp insurance. This means that eligible workers do not need to worry about medical bills when they are injured at the workplace.
ii) Income Benefits
Workers’ comp offers a wide range of income benefits. There is the temporary disability benefits paid out to workers who have to stay out of work for over a week as they recuperate from their injuries. In most states, temporary disability benefits are paid at the rate of 66-75% of the pre-injury income of the worker.
There is also the long-term disability benefits as well as supplemental income benefits. The latter is paid at the rate of 75% of the wage difference before and after the injury.
iii) Burial and Death Benefits
In case an injured worker succumbs to the serious injuries sustained at the workplace, workers’ comp insurance will pay for the burial or reimburse the family the entire burial expense. In addition to that, workers comp will pay the family of the deceased worker death benefits.
Each state has its own rules regarding the execution/implementation of workers compensation insurance scheme. That is why both workers and employers need to be well-versed with the workers’ compensation act of their state of residence.