Worker’s compensation is a type of insurance plan issued to employees that provides salary replacement and medical benefits in case of work-related injuries. Workers' compensation is mandated by the state and as such, laws may vary from one state to another. Worker’s compensation benefits typically include medical care, disability payments, rehabilitation, and death benefits.
Since worker’s compensation is an insurance plan, it primarily covers medical expenses for the diagnosis and treatment of work-related injuries and illnesses. These benefits include: surgery, medication, and doctor’s consultation fees. Medical equipment may also be included as part of the coverage. Additional services also include: physical therapy and counseling.
The coverage of medical compensation may vary from state to state so it is best to check with your employer if all the aforementioned health benefits are included in your worker’s compensation plan.
Aside from medical compensation, employees are also entitled to wage payments while they are unable to report to work as a result of their injuries. While the disability payments are not equal to an employee’s full salary, it does cover up to two-thirds of it of an individual's average weekly wage.
As long as you are unable to report to work as a direct result of your work-related injury, you are entitled to disability payments regardless of whether the disability is temporary, permanent, total, or partial.
Worker’s compensation disability payments are non-taxable, which means that you won’t have to deduct income tax from the monetary compensation you receive.
If the employee dies as a result of a work-related incident, dependents are entitled to some form of death benefit. Death benefits include: funeral and burial expenses, as well as monetary compensation for the beneficiaries of the deceased. The amount of monetary compensation can depend on state laws, as some states may set both a minimum and maximum amount that may come in the form of monthly payments or one lump sum and is based on the salary of the employee.
The eligibility of beneficiaries to receive monetary compensation for the death of a relative depends on state laws. Some states might limit the compensation for immediate family members and may pose restrictions in the case of non-marriage or illegitimate children and step children.
You might have difficulty claiming your worker’s compensation if you are undergoing non-traditional medical care. This is especially true in the case of new and experimental treatments.
Death benefits might not also apply to the parents of the deceased, although some states do allow parents to make a claim as long as they can prove that they were dependent on the worker.
If issues arise that prevent you from claiming your worker’s compensation, you might want to consult a lawyer to assist you with your case. Since laws are different from state to state, a lawyer can help you determine whether you have a legitimate claim on these benefits.