Workers compensation pays hospital and medical expenses that are necessary to diagnose and treat your injury. It also provides disability payments while you are unable to work – typically about 2/3rds of your regular salary. It may also pay for rehabilitation, retraining, and other benefits aswell.
The range of injuries and situations that workers compensation covers are broad, but there are still limits. States can impose drug and alcohol testing on the injured employee, and can deny workers comp benefits if the test shows the employee was under the influence at the time of the injury. Compensation may also be denied if the injuries were self-inflicted (ie: a fight), or where the employee was violating a law or company policy, and where the employee was not on the job at the time of the injury.
Workers compensation insurance is not limited to incidental accidents. It also covers problems and illnesses that are developed over a long period of time doing the same activity. Like carpal tunnel syndrome or back problems resulting from repetitive movement.
Each state is different:
Workers compensation is established through statutes in each state. State laws and court decisions control the program and no two states have exactly the same laws and regulations. States can determine things like which benefits an employee is entitled, what injuries are covered, and how claims should be handled. They also get to determine whether workers compensation insurance is provided by state-run agencies by private insurance companies or the state alone.
To learn about the requirements where you live, visit your state’s workers compensation department website.
Manage your risks:
Someone within each organization must have the responsibility for safety and loss control. Things to consider when dealing with workers compensation insurance are having a program in place to help keep workers safe, how you manage claims, and an outlined return to work program for any injured workers.
A lot of smaller companies don’t think they can afford to hire someone to take on risk management. At Kuhl Insurance we offer a program called Step5, which is a value-add, risk management process. The purpose of the program is to minimize workers compensation expenses for our clients’ organizations by preventing workers compensation claim and minimizing the financial impact if a claim occurs. We team up with the person at your company who is responsible for loss control and safety to take a look at the different aspects of your overall program and work with you to make it as successful and cost-effective as possible.