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Here Is Basically How A Worker's Compensation Program Works

Here Is Basically How A Worker's Compensation Program Works


Here Is Basically How A Worker's Compensation Program Works

by Janet Fisher

Worker's Compensation was established to protect both employers and employees. Employers can budget costs by using insurance plans to cover payments to injured workers rather than risking litigation. Employees have access to an income when unable to work due to a job related illness or injury. While Worker's Compensation statutes are different in every state, the basic plans are very similar.

Funding for compensation programs is normally provided in one of three ways. In the majority of states, employers are required to obtain policies from insurance providers to cover their claims. In a very few states, employers pay into a state operated fund that processes claims and distributes payments. And finally, there is a combination method employed by some states in which the state fund covers only employers reject by private insurers.

In general, workers who are injured on the job, whether from accident or occupational illness, are entitled to receive a percentage of their salary until they can return to work. There is usually a waiting period of several days before the program begins. In some states, payments continue until the employee can resume normal work duties, even if this takes years. Other states pay for a set time frame, after which a lump sum settlement is made if the employee still cannot work.

Normally, all health care costs incurred due to the injury or illness are covered, either partially or completely. Hospitals, doctors, prescriptions, physical therapy, and medical equipment are considered eligible items under the plan.

Should an employee be deemed fit for work in a different position other than the one held prior to the incident, most states furnish training for the new job. For example, someone whose previous position required standing all day, but who can no longer do so, might be trained as a computer operator. If an employee refuses to accept the training or the position may have to forfeit future benefits.

A worker who is injured on the job should immediately report the incident to a supervisor or manager. Management will collect the statements of any witnesses and prepare a report. Normal procedure is to arrange a drug test for the injured employee, since the presence of illegal drugs or alcohol usually invalidates the claim. Most employers also have designated hospitals or doctors for the initial treatment of work related injuries as well as follow up treatment.

Employees receiving Worker's Compensation payments are expected to make an effort to recover by following medical instructions, including any recommended therapy programs. In most states, they can be dropped from the program for refusing to attend re-training classes. They can also find payments stopped if they are found capable of doing light duty work and they won't work.

If hurt around the job, or made ill by toxins or working conditions, it's important that workers report the injury and file worker's compensation claims immediately. managers and supervisors should offer workers claims forms to fill out. It may also be a good idea to consult an attorney who specializes in worker's compensation law, if the worker suspects the employer or the insurance company could challenge his or her claim.

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