Workers’ compensation insurance provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who become ill or injured as a direct result of their job. More specifically, workers’ comp laws give employees the right to collect for injury, disability, or death that occurs in the course of employment. Workers’ comp laws today are no-fault laws.
No-fault compensation is based on the principle that injured employees are entitled to receive compensation for their injuries without proving fault against the opposite party.
The amount that an employee making a claim receives isn’t impacted by any potential carelessness or negligence on their part. However, a worker does lose his right to compensation if the injury is a direct result of being impaired by drugs or alcohol, or from an attempt to injure himself or someone else.
Benefits provided in the workers’ comp insurance are the only benefits—called the exclusive remedy—available to employees. Employees can’t sue employers in court for additional benefits.
Who pays for workers’ comp insurance?
Employers pay for workers comp insurance. Employees aren’t required to contribute to the cost. The cost to the employer is passed on to consumers or clients in the prices the business charges for its products or services.
How are workers’ comp claims paid?
A claim is paid if the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the illness or injury is work-related. If the insurance carrier disputes the claim, no cash benefits are paid until the law judge decides who’s right. If a worker is not receiving benefits because the employer or insurance carrier is disputing the injury, he or she may be eligible for disability benefits in the meantime. Any payments made under the Disability Program, however, will be subtracted from future workers’ comp payments.
What is the Workers’ Compensation Board?
Weekly cash benefits and medical care are paid by the employer’s insurance carrier, as directed by the Workers’ Compensation Board. The board is a state agency that processes the claims. It determines whether the insurer will reimburse for cash benefits, medical care, or both, and the amounts payable.
What if the employee is able to work?
If the employee can return to work but his injury prevents him from earning the same wages he had prior to the injury, he may be entitled to a benefit that will make up two-thirds of the difference. He also may return to work in light or alternate duty before he is fully healed.