Nearly every business in the United States requires workers compensation. Injuries and accidents are frequent in the workplace, especially in construction and other physical labor industries. But when you do get injured, what does workers compensation do to help?
Workers compensation is a liability insurance that provides compensation to employees who are hurt on the job. It’s important that medical help is sought the moment an injury occurs, and the incident is well-documented for insurance purposes. In case of work-related injuries, workers compensation steps in to pay for certain medical and lost income fees.
What are the Types of Workers Compensation Benefits?
- Temporary income: Temporary income benefits provide monetary compensation based on an employee’s income until 104 weeks have passed or until you return to work.
- Impairment income: If a work injury causes permanent impairment, impairment income benefits help pay for lost income while you’re unable to work. This amount depends on your rate of impairment. In Texas, workers compensation covers 3 weeks for each impairment percentage. (Example: Your impairment rating is 20% so you receive impairment income benefits for 60 weeks.)
- Supplemental income: Supplemental income benefits kick in for as long as 401 weeks after you’ve reached the maximum for impairment income benefits. There are certain eligibility requirements to receiving supplemental income.
- Lifetime income: For extreme cases, workers compensation may provide income benefits for the rest of an employee’s life. Cases that qualify for lifetime income include losing sight in both eyes, losing both feet at or above the ankle, losing both hands at or above the wrist, third degree burns covering over 40% of the body and more.
- Medical: Medical benefits cover basic first aid and medical necessities to treat the injury.
- Death: Workers compensation offers death benefits to families of employees who died on the job. This may include funeral expenses.
Do You Get Full Pay on Workers Compensation?
The amount of compensation an employee receives depends on different factors, including location. Certain states have different statutes as to how much workers compensation will cover. For temporary income benefits in Texas, you will receive 70% of the difference between your average weekly income and the income you’re able to make after the injury. For example, if you worked 40 hours a week at $16 an hour ($640) and can no longer work, you may receive around $448.
Contact your state to discover how much workers compensation you will receive and discuss the type of workers compensation you are eligible for.
How Do You Qualify for Workers Compensation?
If you are an employee whose employer carries workers compensation, you should make sure to file a work injury claim soon after the injury. Certain states set deadlines for how long an employee can wait before filing for workers compensation. In Texas, you generally need to file within a year after the accident.
Injuries that are usually covered beneath workers compensation include:
- Strain or stress from repetitive movements
- Diseases or illnesses contracted due to work conditions
- Further injury to a pre-existing condition
- Loss of hearing or sight
Conditions that qualify include carpal tunnel from repetitive movement, asbestosis, tendonitis and more.
Exceptions to Workers Compensation
Independent contractors don’t always count as employees, meaning you won’t necessarily qualify for workers compensation. If you’re injured while out to lunch or after work with coworkers, those injuries likely won’t be considered work-related.
Workplaces should have safe, open environments for employees to thrive. But accidents are bound to happen, especially in industries that require physical labor and the use of dangerous tools and equipment. Employers should take preventative measures by maintaining a safe office environment.