You may have heard about something called workers’ comp. This is a benefit that applies to every employee in the U.S. As widespread as the system is, many people do not fully understand it. This simple guide will go over everything you need to know about workers’ comp and how it works.
What Is Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ comp essentially reimburses any employee for any injury sustained while working. If you are injured as a result of doing your job, you have the right to have all resulting financial costs compensated. This includes your medical bills, lost paychecks, and other purchases that relate to your injury.
The goal of workers’ comp is to return any employee who is injured to the financial state he or she was in prior to the injury. This means that any expenses related to the injury will be compensated. Workers’ comp does not, however, compensate for non-financial losses. For example, you will receive no compensation for pain and suffering.
To file a workers’ comp claim, all you have to do is report your injury to your employer. He or she should take over the process from there, submit an accident report, and provide you with the necessary paperwork to sign. All employers are legally obligated to offer workers’ comp and file a claim in the event an employee is injured.
Qualifying for Workers’ Comp
The qualifications for workers’ comp are quite generous. There are essentially no limitations on the type of injury that can be covered by the system. There are, however, two requirements that you must meet:
- You must be an employee.
- The injury must be work-related.
Let’s dig into these two requirements a little deeper. First, you must be an employee. This is actually a very simple and straightforward requirement. If a portion of your paycheck is withheld for taxes, then you are an employee.
Second, the injury must be related to work activities. Essentially, the injury must have occurred because you or a coworker was performing something for the benefit of your employer. You do not necessarily need to be on the clock, but what you were doing to cause the injury must be a part of your job description. You will not be covered if you were goofing off and injured yourself, or if you simply tripped while on break.
If you have any confusion about whether your injury will qualify for workers’ comp, you should speak with a workers’ compensation attorney, like a Newark workers’ compensation attorney. A legal professional will be able to give you advice and defend your rights so that you can be compensated.
Thanks to Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for their insight into understanding what workers’ compensation is.