Workers’ compensation benefits are paid for by your employer to ensure that workers are taken care of if they are injured on the job. Before workers’ compensation was required, employees who got hurt on the job had to sue the employer and wait for the claim to be settled to receive compensation. Under the workers’ compensation program, employees have access to medical treatment and can receive other benefits without having to wait for payment.
Although your employer pays for workers’ compensation benefits, the company that handles the benefits may not be your employer. There are a few different systems that manage workers’ compensation.
Your employer can purchase workers’ compensation insurance from a private insurance agency, very similar to how you purchase auto insurance. When you get injured on the job, you file a claim with the insurance company, who provides you with the benefits outlined under the policy. In most states, the insurance company has to provide minimum coverage as determined by the laws in your state. Washington state does not allow employers to purchase private insurance.
In some states, employers pay into a state-run insurance program where the state agency acts like the insurance company. Your employer pays premiums to the state. When you get injured, you file a claim to the state who pays you for your injuries based on the law and regulations. Typically, there is a strict process that you will follow to get your benefits. If you are denied benefits, you do have a right to appeal.
Larger organizations can self-insure their employees. This means that the employer has sufficient resources to pay for damages in the event that a worker is injured. Employers who self-insure are required to follow the same procedures for workers’ compensation as the state dictates. The state requires oversight to ensure employees are getting the benefits they deserve. Typically, self-insured organizations outsource their benefits to a third-party administrator who actually manages the workers’ compensation packages.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance Required
Your employer is required to post information about workers’ compensation benefits so that you understand the rules. Almost every state requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance of some kind for their employees. If you are having problems accessing workers’ compensation benefits, it could be that your employer let the insurance lapse and doesn’t want to get caught. You may need to retain an attorney, like a worker’s compensation attorney in Queens, NY, and file a claim with the Department of Labor in your state to get the compensation that you deserve.
Thank you to the experts at Polsky, Shouldice, and Rosen, P.C. for their input into worker’s compensation law.