According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, workers’ compensation benefits are intended to provide workers with the protection they need to recover from work-related injuries or sickness, compensate you for lost income, and assist you in your return to work. The ILO estimates that there are around 340 million work-related accidents, 160 occupational illnesses and 2.3 million deaths from work-related accidents every year. It’s glaringly clear that the workplace poses a major risk to workers in high-stakes occupations, which is why workers’ compensation coverage, and your understanding of it, becomes increasingly more important every day. Here is a curated list of benefits your workers’ compensation coverage should provide.
When a workplace accident occurs, your insurance provides coverage for the medical costs of treating your injury. Examples of reasons for medical coverage include slips & falls, overexertion, fire and explosions, exposure to harmful substances, and collisions. Covered medical treatment includes:
- Emergency room visits
- Doctor’s visits
- Hospital stays
- Rehabilitation treatment
Being injured means being out of work, and workers’ compensation steps in to cover for the missed time. The amount of payment you receive varies state to state. For example, in California, you receive two-thirds of your pre tax gross payment. In New York, the payment you get back depends on the context of your injury; its severity, and last year’s average wages. Be sure to check your state’s policy so you know what to expect if and when the time comes.
Vocational rehabilitation is a system process used to help integrate individuals that have been injured on the job back into the workplace. This can include but is not limited to job training, help finding employment, career counseling, and more. Vocational rehabilitation is typically added on to a workers’ compensation claim if the victim cannot return to their previous position.
According to legalaidatwork.org, temporary disability is payment that an injured worker receives while they are recovering from an injury. For the most part, these payments are made if an individual cannot work at all due to their injury However, temporary disability should not be confused with temporary partial disability, in which an employee can work, but only for limited hours or with limited responsibility. If you aren’t sure what constitutes as “temporary” disability, discuss your injury in depth with a personal injury lawyer like those at DuBois Law Group in Portland.
Permanent disability, on the other hand, is similar to temporary disability, except they are long-term or lifetime benefits given to those who have suffered permanent work-related injuries. In the eyes of the law, these payments are seen as compensation for lost earning capacity, and help to fill the gap between any money an individual will no longer make on their own as a result of their injury.
While workers’ compensation policies pays to help cover the medical bills and lost wages of injured workers, if a death occurs as a result of a job, workers’ compensation can also include death benefits. These death benefits are typically used to help with financial support for the family of the deceased, funeral and burial expenses. However, Insureon notes that the majority of death benefits that are paid only apply to individuals that died on the job and not outside of work.
What If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Gets Denied?
Unfortunately, there are insurance companies that evade coverage for the insured. If you believe you were wrongfully injured on the job, it’s advised to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney about it. The guidance of a legal professional can help you understand the aspects of your case that the insurance company is trying to get away with, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.