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This Is How A Worker's Compensation Insurance Works

This Is How A Worker's Compensation Insurance Works


This Is How A Worker's Compensation Insurance Works

by Nick Williams

Worker's Compensation plans were initiated in an effort to protect both employers and employees. They are beneficial to employers because the plans protect them from lawsuit. This enables them to accurately budget expenses for claims. Employees benefit because they can continue to receive cash payments while injured, along with some or all of related medical costs. While Worker's Compensation statutes differ between states, the basic remain the same.

In the majority of the states, companies purchase coverage from insurance companies. Only a handful of states utilize a public plan, which is funded by mandatory payments from employers. Other states have a hybrid program. Under these arrangements, employers are to contract with insurance companies for coverage. Those that cannot obtain coverage in this manner, such as those rejected by private carriers as high risk, will pay into a public plan.

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.

Medical expenses related to the covered injury or illness are covered in full or in part, depending on the state. Prescriptions, medical equipment, doctors, hospitals, physical therapy, and rehabilitation services are included.

Should a worker be deemed fit for work in a different position other than the one held prior to the accident, 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.

Anyone receiving payments or benefits are obligated to work with the Worker's Compensation program toward complete recovery. Failure to obey medical orders, attend any therapy ordered, or to engage in re-training can lead to termination from the program. Benefits can also be stopped if the employee refuses to accept an altered position after being deemed capable of resuming a limited work schedule

If injured around the job, or made sick by toxins or working conditions, it is necessary that workers report the injury and file worker's compensation claims immediately. managers and supervisors should offer workers claims forms to fill out. It can also be particularly smart to consult an attorney who specializes in worker's compensation law, if the worker suspects the employer or the insurance company could challenge his/her claim.

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