How Does Workers’ Comp Work?

Knowing you have workers’ compensation is often a huge relief to many. But, despite this, many still don’t quite understand it. What does it cover? How exactly does it work? 

If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading. This post will discuss what workers’ compensation is and the process for getting it. 

What is Workers’ Compensation?

This insurance is designed to ensure that should you be injured on the job, you’ll get quick financial help. 

There are five workers’ compensation categories: 

  • Medical (covers medical costs for workplace injuries or illnesses)
  • Temporary disability (a short-term problem that affects your working ability)
  • Permanent disability (a long-term impairment that prevents you from working)
  • Wage loss (gives you the same pre-injury or illness income)
  • Death (funds death “benefits” should the injury or illness prove fatal)

Because of its intricacies, applying for it can sometimes be a bit time-consuming. Your insurance agent will ask many questions about your business and job habits. This will help them determine whether you qualify. 

In many states, workers’ compensation is legally required if you want to run a business. Some insurance companies might also expect you to have it if you want to claim other aspects of your insurance package (such as health) if you’re injured while working. 

Who Can Apply for It?

Anyone can use workers’ compensation – even those who are self-employed. This way, you can bring in the same income while recovering.  

If you run a business that has two or more employees, you need to carry it, including for trainees or part-time workers. However, this will vary depending on the state you live in. In most cases, you will need to show proof of workers’ compensation if you have a general contractor’s license. 

3 Benefits of Workers’ Compensation

It Provides Quick Results

If you’re injured while working and have workers’ compensation, you’ll almost instantly get financial aid. Thanks to this, you don’t have to wait for other compensation measures to reach your bank account. 

On average, you’ll receive coverage in about three days. This is substantially faster than Social Security which begins five months later or Medicare which can take years. 

It’s Affordable

It often shocks people how budget-friendly workers’ compensation is. While various details might increase the fee (such as having a certain number of employees) it can often be as low as $15 per month. 

If you’d like to get a better idea of how much you might be paying, see if the insurance agency offers a quote. Just give them a few pieces of information (like the type of work you do and if you have employees) and you should get a response within a few minutes. 

It Has Broad Coverage

Workers’ compensation insurance has a vast coverage plan. Not only will it provide supplemental income if you’re injured, but it can help with paying medical bills. Workers’ compensation can also aid an injured worker with long-lasting needs, such as physical therapy. 

If you’re a business owner and one of your employees dies from a working injury, workers’ compensation can cover funeral costs. 

Overall, workers’ compensation can cover multiple areas so you can feel confident that you’re protected should something happen. 

The Process for Getting Workers’ Compensation

Notify Your Employer 

The first thing you’ll need to do is alert your employer (or insurance company if you’re self-employed) of your injury. They will then need to file a report and submit it to the insurance agency. 

Contact the Workers’ Compensation Provider

If you haven’t already notified your insurance agency about the issue, you’ll now need to do so. They should have a record of your employer’s injury report and be actively reviewing it. 

Wait for the Insurance Company to Approve It

Once the steps above are done, you’ll need to wait a few days for the insurance agency to approve the request. They’ll usually contact both you and your employer for more information. Depending on the situation, they might also speak to co-workers to get a better idea of what happened. 

Be prepared that in some cases insurance might actually deny your claim. This is generally because your condition didn’t meet a certain requirement, you missed the reporting deadline, the injury occurred off-duty, or your statements are inconsistent. 

If you’re denied, contact your provider to understand why that is. If the situation can’t be straightened out, you can appeal the situation in front of a judge but you must make sure that you have sufficient evidence. You might also need to hire a lawyer for it – another hefty cost that insurance doesn’t always cover. 

Workers’ compensation is an important method to use to cover both you and any employees you may have should injuries occur. While its coverage varies based on where you live, it’s an essential option that guarantees you’re protected in dire situations.