Individual states handle claims for workers’ compensation benefits based on their own individual laws. However, most states’ rules and regulations are usually similar to one another when it comes to benefit types and payment amounts. Get more insight into which expenses workers’ compensation might cover after your employer’s insurer approves your claim.
What Medical Conditions Will Workers’ Compensation Benefits Typically Cover?
Individual states established workers’ compensation benefits in order to help employees with work-related medical issues. To qualify for workers’ comp, you must sustain an injury or illness during the course of your usual workday.
The most common injury types that usually qualify for workers’ comp, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, are:
- Sprains, strains, or tears
- Cuts, lacerations, or puncture wounds
- Bruises or contusions
- Pain or soreness from repetitive motion (such as back pain or carpal tunnel syndrome)
Injuries that most often qualify for workers’ compensation benefits are accidental and happen while doing your job. For example: If you slip and fall because a water main breaks and floods your workplace while you’re cleaning, that’s clearly an accident. You didn’t foresee the injury before it happened. Instead, it simply occurred while performing your required job duties. If you experience a work-related injury, you should always seek appropriate medical treatment and inform your employer. Many states have a specific deadline to notify your employer to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you miss this deadline or refuse medical treatment, then in most cases, you cannot qualify for workers’ comp payments.
Claims for occupational illnesses work a bit differently, and you usually have more time to file those claims. However, you must contract the illness at work to qualify for workers’ comp benefits. Most states say your doctor must provide evidence that ties your illness to your occupation. Here’s one example: If you tear down old buildings for new construction, you may develop mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. Since asbestos is the only substance that causes mesothelioma (a fatal lung cancer), it usually qualifies as an occupational illness.
What Expenses Will Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
Typically, workers’ compensation benefits cover some or all of the following expenses:
- Medical bills directly related to your workplace illness or injury
- Lost income (in most cases, if you miss more than one week of work, you get 66% of your usual biweekly paychecks)
- Any job retraining you might need if you cannot return to your previous work position, but wish to stay with the same employer
- Vocational rehabilitation to help you transition into another career path
Paying for these expenses helps take the stress off employees who may otherwise struggle financially after an injury or illness.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
Navigating the workers’ compensation claims process can be tricky. From decoding legal jargon to dealing with your employer’s insurance company, may people find talking to a workers’ compensation attorney extremely beneficial. In fact, you can sign up for a free phone call and get confidential claim advice today!
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!
Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.