Workers’ compensation is a program required by the government. It pays workers who suffer an injury or illness while on the job or as a result of the work they complete for an employer. Many people look at this as a disability insurance program. It replaces a portion of their income and pays their medical expenses related to this illness or injury.
Individual states handle this program, so benefits vary by state. At this time, Texas doesn’t require employers to purchase this insurance. All other states do. Any person looking to file a workers’ compensation claim must know how the program works and what is required of them when filing this claim.
Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Employers bear the burden of maintaining workers’ compensation insurance. Employees do not pay into the program. If a worker is injured on the job or becomes ill as a result of work they have carried out for the employer, and the employer does not have this coverage, other action may be taken. The worker may sue the employer for negligence, or a court might fine the employer. As this coverage is typically required by law, workers rarely find their employer does not have this protection in place.
Responsibilities of the Employee
Employees must do certain things when filing a workers’ comp claim. They must immediately inform the employer of the illness or injury and take other action as required by the state where the claim is filed. If the employee fails to do so, they may find they are ineligible for benefits. The employee should also fully document the injury and take pictures of any physical evidence of the incident. They must also seek medical care for the injuries or illness, as medical records will be needed to pursue the claim.
Who May File for Workers’ Comp?
Individuals must know if they are eligible for workers’ comp. Salaried employees and hourly employees qualify for these benefits. However, independent contractors working on behalf of a company are not covered under workers’ comp plans. In addition, there may be other exceptions when it comes to who does and does not qualify for benefits under the program. It’s best to speak to an attorney to learn whether the employee is protected and what legal action may be taken if they aren’t.
What should a person do if they file a workers’ compensation claim and it is denied? The first step is to file an appeal with the appropriate agency. Determine why the initial claim was denied and show proof that it is a valid claim. If this does not work, many people reach out to an attorney to discuss other options available to them.
Additional Benefits and Their Effect on Workers’ Compensation
Employers and employees must know that certain benefits will affect a workers’ compensation claim. For example, a person may receive social security disability benefits and this will affect their workers’ compensation payments in many states. An attorney becomes of great help in determining how workers’ compensation will affect these benefits and what this means for the employee.
Consider working with an attorney when filing a workers’ compensation claim. Doing so ensures all steps are taken as required by law. In addition, the attorney knows how to prove the worker’s claim, increasing the likelihood of the claim being approved. Every person deserves compensation when they are injured while on the job, and an attorney works to ensure they get it.
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