What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is essentially a state-mandated form of insurance that covers medical expenses and wage imbursement for injuries on the job. In return for compensation from their employer, the employee relinquishes the right to sue the employer for negligence.
Are all employees covered?
Not all employers offer workers’ compensation. It depends on a great many factors, such as the state of residency and the type of work being done. More physical labor is often more likely to offer workers’ compensation. It also depends on the number of employees, as some smaller businesses may not offer it at their current size.
Does it cover chronic/long term problems?
There doesn’t have to be a dramatic on-the=job injury in order to qualify for workers’ compensation. Overuse of an employee for long periods of time might lead to repititive stress injuries (also called chronic injuries). These types of injuries also qualify for workers’ compensation. Any illnesses, such as heart or lung diseases, that come about because of work conditions are also covered.
Does it cover medical expenses?
In a sense, yes. However, it not only covers hospital bills and immediate medical expenses, but can also cover disability payments (up to 2/3 of the full salary, usually). Many workers’ compensation laws also cover long-term rehabilitation. All of this depends on the current state’s laws, however.
Are all injuries on the job covered?
Most, but not all, injuries on the job are covered by workers’ compensation. Even injuries caused by employee negligence can be covered. Again, the case is different on a state-by-state basis, though. Usually, injury due to intoxication of alcohol or illicit substances may disqualify workers’ compensation. Self-inflicted injuries or fights are also not covered.
Does my employer have to be at fault, in order to be covered?
No they do not. The point of workers’ compensation is to protect the worker from ay injury. Some jobs have an inherent danger that necessitates the existence of workers’ compensation, especially those that require physical labor. In fact, the system is designed to not only protect employees from crushing medical expenses, but also to protect employers from expensive liabilities that could put them out of business.
Read more about worker’s compensation here.
Workers’ Compensation FAQ