Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance available to employees in the event that they are injured on the job. Typically, workers comp covers the employee’s salary and medical benefits while they are out of work because of their injury. If an employee accepts workers compensation, they wave their rate to press charges against the company for negligence or poor working conditions.
Workers’ compensation plans vary state by state, and may depend on your specific employer. Most employers are required by law to provide the option of workers’ compensation to employees injured on the job, and employers who don’t comply may face financial penalties.
Workers’ Comp Benefit Limitations
In some states, employers have the privilege of drug and/or alcohol testing any employee who files for workers compensation in order to ensure that the injury was caused by negligence on the part of the company, as opposed to the employee.
Employers can also deny benefits to employees who were injured while violating job policies or state and/or federal laws. Workers compensation is only granted to employees injured while adhering to protocol and not intentionally trying to injure themselves.
Employees typically are instructed to go to a certain doctor covered by the employer. The employer wants to know that their employee is actively trying to recover from the injury, so typically requests for specific doctors by the employee will be denied.
Every state has its each own statute of limitations, or amount of time an employee can file for workmen’s compensation, and the time frame is typically pretty small. Non-federal employees in Washington only have one year to file a claim, whereas employees located in Oklahoma have a window of up to two years. Not only that, but different states have different standards for when they consider the “start time” of an employee’s filing period. In some states, the time frame starts at the moment of the injury. In others, it starts when the employee becomes aware of the injury (which can often occur outside of the state’s statute altogether depending on the type of injury).
There are some limitations to workers comp benefits, and because the workers’ compensation system is administered state by state, limitations may vary depending on the location of the job. In most states across America, it is against the law for an employer to fire or turn away a qualified employee based on reporting a workplace injury in the past or prior workers’ compensation claims.
The United States Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation Program offers four major disability compensation programs to federal workers injured on the job site. The OWCP provides wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and potentially other benefits depending on the particular situation.