Workers Compensation Insurance Explained for Employees

Nearly all employers have some form of workers compensation insurance, so as an employee, it is important to know what this business insurance policy means to you. If you ever injury yourself or get sick because of your job, workers compensation should cover your medical expenses and pay for missed work days.

How to Know if You Are Covered

Workers compensation insurance does not cover all employees, so ask your employer about coverage if they haven’t already specified. Independent contractors and domestic workers are not typically covered under a workers compensation insurance policy. You must be an actual employee of the company, not a contracted employee, and you must accidentally get injured or get sick while on the job. Not all injury cases are covered, as well.

Report Injuries or Illnesses

You can only make a workers compensation insurance claim if you report the injury or illness to your supervisor, human resources department or authority at your place of employment. This will ensure that you would get the proper incident report to fill out to obtain medical treatment under the workers compensation insurance. Following this, you should get a call from the insurance company to work out your claim.

Talk with the Medical Staff

If you go to the hospital or your normal doctor, you must state that you were injured at work while filling out your paperwork in order to make a workers compensation claim. It is important to make sure that you go to a hospital, clinic or doctor that is covered by your employer’s insurance policy. Workers compensation insurance will provide a list of covered providers to your employer, who should notify you of where to go.

Detailed Medical Record

In order to make a proper workers compensation insurance claim, you must have the proper paperwork related to the injury at work. It is important to make sure your medical records detail the history and circumstances surrounding the injury. Workers compensation insurance will only cover expenses related to the injuries that are listed in your medical record.

Drugged or Intoxicated Employees Are Not Covered

It is important to know that if you make a workers compensation insurance claim, the hospital or doctor will test you for drugs or alcohol. If you are under the influence at the time of the injury and at the hospital or clinic, you will not receive workers compensation. Most employers require a test after an accident and your claim will be denied if you test positive.

Do Not Expect a Large Payout

It is important to note that workers compensation insurance is not designed to pay your exact salary or missing wages. Most policies have a specific rate for lost pay, which is more like a minimum-wage salary. Also, the insurance is intended to cover your medical expenses and settlements are typically close to what your medical staff has provided related to your injury and future needs.

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