Workers’ Compensation: What It Is and How to Make a Claim

workers' compensation claims

If you were injured in the workplace or contracted an occupational illness, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation.

Workers’ Compensation Disability Programs

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are four main disability compensation programs. These programs provide wage replacement, vocational rehabilitation, medical treatment, and other essential benefits.

Some particularly dangerous industries have unique insurance organizations backing their workers’ comp plans, such as the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program, the Federal Employees’ Compensation Program, the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Program, and the Black Lung Benefits Program.

Workers’ Compensation Varies from State to State

It is mandatory for businesses to provide employees who meet certain requirements with worker’s compensation benefits if they are injured or suffer from illnesses that are work-related. Each state has individual requirements for workers who are looking to become eligible for these benefits. Three virtually universal requirements are:

  1. The company you work for must have workers’ compensation insurance.
  2. You must be employed by that company or person.
  3. Your illness or injury has to be work-related.

Workers who are leased or loaned, undocumented, casual, or seasonal may be under different rules than individuals who are considered “full” or “part-time” employees.

How to Make a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you should show them proof from a doctor that your injury or illness was caused because of something work-related. This can be anything from breaking a leg because you fell off a ladder while changing a light bulb to experiencing chronic back pain because of non-ergonomic office chairs. Having documentation from a healthcare provider about how severe your injury or illness is, how it affects your daily life, and how it affects your ability to do your job may serve as proof that you should receive worker’s compensation benefits.

Once you provide this data and make a claim to your employer, they will contact their insurance and begin the process of deciding if they should provide you with benefits. If your company has an HR department, this is where you will send your claim. Your employer may disagree with your claim and take you to court, where you will need to prove how your injury or illness has affected your life. Each state has different requirements, so your employer will follow those listed in their particular area. To learn what these rules and regulations are, visit your state’s workers’ compensation website. There you’ll see what benefit rates may apply to you, as well as information about medical fees, insurance, and more.

Get Personalized Help From A Workers’ Compensation Advocate

If you were injured, incurred an illness or experienced a worsening pre-existing condition, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Speak with a legal representative today who handles cases like your all the time, to learn what benefits you may be rightfully owed.

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