If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of experiencing a work-related injury or illness, the good news is, your employer is required by law to pay for workers' compensation benefits. Some examples of workrelated injury or illness include falling and hurting your back, a chemical burn on your skin, a car accident while making deliveries, or hearing loss from repeated exposure to loud noises.
Employers in certain states are also required by law to have an injury and illness prevention program. Find out if you live in one of those states and make sure you participate in the program. It is up to you as a good employee to do your part in preventing and avoiding potentially dangerous situations as well.
If you do experience an injury while on the job, make sure to notify your supervisor immediately. Reporting injuries promptly helps prevent problems and delays in receiving benefits, including the medical care you may need. If your injury requires emergency medical treatment, your employer may tell you where to go for that treatment. Make sure you tell the medical provider that this was a work-related injury when they treat you.
Your employer is then required to give you a claim form within one day of learning about your illness or injury. This form opens your workers' compensation case officially and will help to determine all the benefits you may be entitled to under law.
Workers' comp insurance provides five basic benefits:
● Medical care: Paid for by your employer to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work
● Temporary disability benefits: Payments to you compensating lost wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering
● Permanent disability benefits: Payments to you if you don't recover completely and are not able to return to work
● Supplemental job displacement benefits (if your date of injury is in 2004 or later):
Vouchers to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you don't recover completely and don't return to work for your original employer
● Death benefits: Payments to your spouse, children or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness