Compensation law generally refers to workers’ compensation rules that require employers to provide benefits to injured employees. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), employers must provide injured employees with wage replacement, medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation benefits.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers compensation, or workers comp, means that injured employees will have benefits paid to them by their employer. Employees could get hurt by a single event at work, such as hurting their back in a fall, getting burned by a chemical or being hurt in a car accident while making external deliveries. Injuries can also occur through repeated exposures at work. For example, warehouse workers who must constantly life heavy items, production workers who suffer repetitive motion injuries and employees who suffer hearing loss from working around noisy machinery.
Workers’ compensation selectively covers a few stress-related, or psychological injuries caused by the job. Bear in mind that workers’ compensation may not cover an injury that is reported after the worker is laid off or terminated. The doctor who treats the injury will prescribe care and explain how to manage the condition. They will determine if the employee can return to work and if so, under which restrictions. These often include lifting, pushing and standing restrictions.
How to Deal with a Work-related Injury?
Those who are hurt at work or develop a work-related medical problem should immediately report the injury or illness to their employer. Employees must ensure that their supervisor knows as soon as possible because most state’s workers’ compensation programs require injuries to be reported within 24 hours to their claims department. If the injury or illness gradually developed, such as tendinitis or hearing loss, employees should report it as soon as they learn it was caused by your job.
Promptly reporting injuries helps to minimize benefit delays and problems. Employees who fail to report an injury may lose their right to receive workers’ compensation benefits after 30 days. If a medical emergency unexpectedly occurs at work, immediately seek emergency treatment and let the attending doctor know that it is a work related injury. The doctor will refer the injured worker to specialists if necessary and submit medical reports that will help determine the benefits.
What are the Potential Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits include the coverage of medical costs. This means that the employer will pay for doctor visits, treatment services, medical tests, prescribed medicines and equipment. Travel costs between the injured employee’s home and hospital or health care facility are also reimbursed. While employees are injured at home, they will receive salary benefits that are generally two-thirds to three-fourths of what they would normally be paid.
These are referred to as temporary disability benefits that are payments to those who lose wages because their injury prevents them from doing their usual duties. Permanent disability benefits are payments for those who cannot completely recover completely and for those whose injury causes a measurable, permanent loss of physical or mental functionality. Supplemental job displacement benefits are vouchers to help pay for retraining and skill enhancement.
Compensation law provides financial assistance to employees who are injured while performing their work duties.