Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is eligible for workers compensation coverage?
A: In most cases, employees are eligible for workers compensation coverage from the first day they start work. Eligible employees may receive benefits for work-related injuries. Not all injuries that happen at work are covered, and sometimes injuries that happen outside of work (but still work-related) are covered. A determination of coverage can require a careful legal and factual analysis. Talking to a licensed workers compensation attorney is recommended.
Q: Does workers compensation coverage only apply to physical injuries?
A: Workers compensation coverage may provide benefits for a wide range of injuries and illnesses. If you qualify, you may be entitled to benefits for lost wages, medical expenses and rehabilitation. Mental illness also may be covered by workers compensation, such as depression, post traumatic stress disorders and mental trauma (although proof that the mental illness was work-related can be difficult in some cases).
Q: Do you have to be injured at work to qualify for workers compensation?
A: A threshold issue for workers compensation coverage is whether the employee was “on the job” when the injury occurred. In some cases, an employee may be on a break or off-the-clock, but the circumstances may suggest that the employee was still performing services for the employer. Since this can be a complicated area of the law, consulting with a licensed workers compensation attorney is a good starting point.
Q: What is OSHA?
A: OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and it was established to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” OSHA sets regulations for companies that, if violated, can result in fees and penalties. When dealing with a workers compensation claim, your company’s history of OSHA compliance could be useful to your case. A workers compensation attorney will know what to ask about OSHA and where to obtain documentation that may help your case.