You are owed a safe work environment, but accidents happen, and for this reason, most businesses are required to have workers’ compensation benefits. Regardless of who caused the accident, most work-related injuries are covered by workers’ compensation. However, if you’ve never struggled through the process of workers’ compensation, you may not know what it includes, so keep reading to learn more.
Naturally, if you get hurt, you’ll need some kind of medical treatment. Luckily, workers’ compensation coverage usually covers any related procedures as long as they have been recommended by the doctor. This doesn’t just include the actual treatment, but it also includes diagnostic tests (X-rays, MRIs, etc.), emergency room visits, and hospital stays.
Some injuries aren’t fixed with just a trip to the emergency room or doctor. For example, if you broke your wrist while working, you may need additional rehabilitative treatments after the wrist has healed to regain mobility and functionality.
In some cases, your injury leads to long-term or permanent issues, such as a permanent disability or a drastic change in mood. This is known as pain and suffering and is not included in workers’ compensation benefits. You can only get workers’ compensation if you are able to sue someone related to the injury.
Regardless of the severity of your injury, you may have some lost wages from missing work. If you only missed half a day for a trip to your doctor, workers’ compensation benefits will likely not cover the lost wages. However, once you’ve missed a few days of work, wage replacement eligibility begins immediately.
Workers’ compensation should include some coverage for lost wages. In most cases, the benefit is two-thirds of your average wage. This amount may seem unfair at first glance, but unlike your actual wages, the workers’ compensation benefits are not taxed.
Some workers may qualify for long-term or permanent disability benefits, but the qualifications are strict. First, the injury must qualify for workers’ compensation, so it must have happened while you were at work. The injury must be severe enough to render you disabled or impaired, and finally, the disability prevents you from returning to work (or hinders your ability to fully do your job).
Some workers can return to work but, per doctor orders, they have restrictions on what they can and can’t do, such as lifting heavy objects or standing for too long. Even in this event, you may qualify for permanent disability benefits. Of course, if you end up recovering 100 percent from your injury, you will no longer qualify for permanent disability benefits.
Workers’ compensation coverage should also include death benefits if an employee passes as a result of the work-related injury. Even if the worker didn’t pass until months or years after the injury, but the injury caused the death, close relationships may qualify for death benefits from workers’ compensation.
Usually, the only people who qualify for death benefits are those who are dependent on the lost loved one. This nearly always includes children under the age of 18, and spouses are usually considered, but some states may limit benefits if the spouse has a high income of their own. Adult children may also qualify for benefits if they have a disability that prevents them from earning money.
As long as your injury is related to an accident or hazard at work, you should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Problems arise, however, and your employer may try to deny your benefits. If you need more information about workers’ compensation claims, or you’re ready to get help for your workers’ compensation claim, contact us at Hernandez Law Offices today.