What does workers compensation cover?
Workers compensation benefits vary from state to state and the rules are complex. The most common forms of workers compensation include coverage for medical bills, lost earnings, permanent injury compensation, cost to retrain, and benefits for living spouses or dependents in the case of fatality. In exchange for these benefits, an employee doesn’t have the right to sue his or her employer.
Here is a list of general illnesses and injuries that fall under workers compensation:
- Preexisting health issues worsened by the work environment
- Repetitive physical stress, such as carpal tunnel or arthritis
- Illnesses, infections or diseases from the workplace
- Long-term injuries and illnesses
- Face, hands or neck scarring or disfigurement
- Back and neck problems, such as a hernia
- Heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular issues
- Issues with hearing
- Broken bones and fractures
- Burns, scrapes, and cuts
- Mental health issues, such as depression
- Bodily function issues
Workers compensation also applies to incidences outside of the workspace, as long as they happen on company time. For example, if you were in a traffic accident while making a company delivery, you are most likely eligible for benefits. While workers compensation covers a wide range of situations, there are restrictions. Your state has the right to order mandatory alcohol and drug testing if you are suspected of being under the influence at the time of the injury. You will not receive workers compensation if the injury or illness was self-inflicted, if you were in violation of a company policy or law, or if you were not on the company’s time. An important fact to note is that workers compensation does not cover pain or suffering.
Because there are plenty of false workers compensation claims each year, your case will be evaluated carefully for legitimacy. An experienced workers compensation lawyer will understand the complications and the time constraints around your claim, increasing your odds of obtaining the benefits that you need.