Sometimes referred to as workman’s compensation, workers’ compensation is employer-bought insurance that handles the costs associated with work-related illnesses and injuries. Most states require employers to carry some form of workers’ comp insurance, but each state has developed different rules. For example, California has enacted one of the most worker-friendly workers’ compensation laws of any other state.
Did you know that workers’ comp covers much more than medical bills? Let’s discover what workers’ compensation covers.
The primary purpose of workers’ compensation insurance is to take care of the medical bills associated with a workplace illness or injury. Medical care includes surgeries, medications, diagnostic tests, and emergency room visits. Workers also can ask for compensation to pay for future medical expenses, but if you plan to do that, you should speak with a California-based workers’ compensation attorney.
From missing a half-day of pay to losing wages for a month, workers’ compensation insurance helps sick and injured workers recoup most, if not all of the wages lost because of a work-related incident. The amount of wages recovered depends on the percentage mandated by state workers’ comp laws.
The family of an employee that dies on the job can ask for workers’ compensation insurance to pay for funeral expenses. In some states, workers’ comp also pays out death benefits that are delivered to an employee’s beneficiaries.
Some workplace accidents result in serious injuries that require months, if not years of intensive rehabilitation. Although Social Security Disability Insurance (SDDI) is the primary program that compensates disabled workers, an employee that is considered disabled should also request financial assistance from the state workers’ compensation program.
Examples of Injuries Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Although workers’ comp covers a vast number of injuries, there are instances when an employee does not qualify for financial assistance because of a work-related illness or injury. The best example is an employee that failed a drug test after reporting a work-related accident.
Injury Not Work-Related
The first eligibility test is that an illness or an injury has to happen at work or be directly associated with your job. For example, exposure to a chemical in the workplace might cause an illness, but the symptoms do not appear until the worker is at home.
Self-inflicted means actions taken by an employee caused an injury or an illness. A great example of this exclusion is when an employee instigates a fight at work and suffers one or more injuries.
Violation of Company Policy
Most companies create safety guidelines that prevent workplace accidents. An employee that violates a company policy and gets hurt in the process cannot receive financial benefits for any injuries.
Committing a Crime
Any illegal activity conducted in a work-related capacity that causes an illness or an injury disqualifies employees from receiving workers’ compensation.
What About COVID-19
The pandemic has ushered in many changes that include how state law determines financial responsibility for the presence of the Coronavirus in the workplace. First responders and healthcare professionals might be able to receive workers’ compensation, but as of December 2020, workers in other occupations might not be covered by workers’ comp.
Find Out If You are Covered by California Workers’ Comp
Maximize the financial assistance you receive for a work-related illness or injury by speaking with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Schedule a free case evaluation with one of our California-licensed attorneys by sending us the convenient online form or by calling the PLBSH Law Firm at (800) 435-7542.