Workers compensation is different from other employee benefits, but it does generally kick in immediately as soon as you are hired. You are not typically required to work for a certain length of time in order to be covered under workers compensation like you would for certain health benefits. This is because workers compensation is designed primarily to protect the employee in case they are injured on the job, no matter how long they have held that job.
Employers should have a workers compensation policy in place before any employee steps foot in the establishment or clocks in. This insurance is required by most states for full time employees and occasionally part time or seasonal employees.
How Do Workers Comp Benefits Work?
Workers compensation covers injuries an employee may obtain while working. When an accident occurs and the employee tells their employer, the employer will notify their insurance provider. The insurance provider will then send a claims adjuster to investigate the claim.
It is important to note that benefits for workers compensation will only be paid out once the claim is approved. Not all claims will be approved, so make sure that your circumstances will be covered under your employer’s workers compensation policy.
Workers compensation may provide compensation for:
Medical expense payments are provided as the expenses arise. This may include doctor visits, procedures, surgeries and even physical therapy in some cases.
Wage replacement, on the other hand, is generally a set amount. This occurs when the employee is unable to work for a certain amount of time (usually at least two weeks) due to the work-related injury. The employee will receive a percentage of their normal wage on the day they would usually be paid. So if you normally get paid biweekly, for example, your wage replacement will occur biweekly as well.
Disability benefits only pay out if the employee is declared partially or totally disabled by a medical professional. This could be partial or total paralysis, both temporary or permanent. Payments for disability benefits depend on the severity of the disability. For permanent disabilities, employees may receive compensation for months or longer after the incident.
Death benefits are only paid out in the unfortunate circumstance where an employee passes away on the job or due to a work-related injury. In this case, a lump sum benefit will be paid to the employee’s surviving family.
If you have any questions, speak with your employer about their workers compensation policy.