What Employers should know about Workers’ Compensation
As your know, employers are required to purchase insurance that provide benefits to employees who experience work-related injuries and illnesses.
There is a fair trade off with respect to the benefits employees and employers receive. Employers get protection from lawsuits by injured employees and employees receive coverage. The law is governed by the state, not by the federal governement. Therefore, ach state’s system may be different.
Although the Workers’ Compensation programs are similar from state-to-state, the main differences are the rates paid to injured employees and the procedural rules employers, employees, and insurance companies must abide by.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover
Workers’ compensation laws cover only work-related injury or illness, but, the event does not necessarily have to occur in the workplace if it is job-related.
It is important that you allow Weber Insurance to explain exposure as it applies when an employee is travelling, attending a company social function and even events that occur over time.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Exclude
Workers are not always covered for every event that occurs in the workplace.
Coverage may be denied in work-related situations, such as:
- Injuries caused by intoxication or drugs
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries from a fight started by the employee
- Injuries resulting from horseplay or violation of company policy
- Felony-related injuries
- Injuries an employee suffers off the job
- Injuries claimed after an employee is terminated or laid off
- Injuries to an independent contractor
What are the Benefits
Workers’ compensation insurance provides replacement income when employees are off work, payments for medical expenses, including doctors’ visits, surgeries, and prescription drugs, and, when necessary, vocational rehabilitation benefits — including on-the-job training, education, or job placement assistance (depending on the state).
An employee who is temporarily unable to work will usually receive temporary disability payments of two-thirds of the employee’s average wage, up to a fixed ceiling.
An employee who becomes permanently unable to do the work he or she was doing prior to the injury, or unable to work at all, may be eligible for long-term or lump-sum benefits for permanent disability.
The workers’ compensation system also pays death benefits to surviving dependents of workers who are fatally injured in a work-related incident.
Exposure and Compliance
Employers can limit their exposure by meeting their obligations under the workers’ compensation law. Of course, if the requirements are not met, employers can be fined and injured employees may be able to sue an employer in court for punitive money damages.
If your business lacks the workers’ compensation coverage required by law, employees may file a lawsuit against the business in civil court or, in some states, file a workers’ compensation claim against a special uninsured employers fund.
Employers should post all of the required notices in locations frequented by employees and provide employees with the name of the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or, employers should disclose self-insured status.
Employers should provide information about claims, forms and other printed material to employees. After all, it is a benefit provided by your company to your employees.
We can provide you with the all relevant information you need to know.