If you are ever injured in your workplace, you may know that your employer offers workers' compensation insurance. However, you may know little about this benefit and how it works. Here is some information about workers' comp and what you should do to protect your rights when you are injured on the job:
What does workers' compensation actually pay for?
Workers' compensation insurance helps cover the cost of your medical expenses when you incur an on-the-job injury. However, there are additional benefits that can be paid by workers' comp, such as the following:
- Disability benefits. If you are unable to work because of your illness or injury, workers' compensation can help pay your lost wages as you recover. The disability benefits are temporary if you are only disabled for a definite period. However, if you are permanently disabled and unable to work, the benefits may be ongoing.
- Death benefits. If you pass away as a result of an illness or injury from your workplace, workers' compensation can pay a death benefit to your surviving dependents, such as your children and spouse.
- Supplemental benefits for job displacement. In some cases, you may no longer be able to work in your current position or for your present employer because your illness or injury causes a permanent disability. However, you may still be able to perform other job duties. Supplemental workers' compensation benefits can help pay for training to improve your skill set in preparation for a new career.
What can cause your workers' compensation to be denied?
Although workers' compensation is put in place for your protection, in some instances, it may be denied, even though your illness or injury is work-related. Here are a few reasons for a denial:
- Late reporting. It is important to report an illness or injury to your supervisor as quickly as possible. A delay in reporting an incident could lead your employer and insurer to believe that your condition is not related to your job.
- Failure to complete claim forms. Once your employer learns of your injury, you should be given a claim form. Be sure to complete it and return it to your employer as soon as possible.
- Failure to obtain legal representation. An employer or insurer may be reluctant to pay your workers' compensation benefits without pressure from a workers' compensation attorney.
If you are injured in your workplace, contact a workers' compensation lawyer in your local area.