Losses Covered by the Workers’ Compensation Program

A workers who gets injured while performing his or her work or who develops an illness which can be identified as a result of work conditions, such as lung disorder (due to exposure to toxic substances), emotional illness, stress-related digestive problems or repetitive stress injury, is most likely eligible to cash benefits from the Workers’ Compensation program

Workers’ compensation, also known as Workers’ Comp, is a state-required insurance program that is designed to provide employees, who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses, cash benefits that will cover for the necessary medical treatment and hospitalization, and lost income resulting from absence from work due to the injury; it may also include cash benefits for rehabilitation, retraining, disability and death.

A job-related injury is any injury that is sustained within or outside of the workplace, so long as the worker is in the act of performing his or her job, like being on a business trip, doing a work-related errand, or attending a required business-related social function. The cash benefit is intended to all qualified workers, regardless of who is at fault in the accident that resulted to the injury, except, of course, if the injury was self-inflicted, was sustained because the injured worker was drunk or drugged, or was due to a violation of federal/state laws or company policies on workplace safety.

According to the US Department of Labor, the most common causes of injury in the workplace include:

  • Office politics or arguments resulting to acts of violence
  • Continuous repetitive motion, which may lead to back pains and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Getting caught in machines, which is very common in factories
  • Driving accidents, which is a common cause of injury among company drivers
  • Being struck by a falling object, machine or vehicle, and falling from an elevated work station, like a scaffold, a ladder, stairs, or roof , which are common among construction workers
  • Slipping or tripping
  • Overexertion due to lifting, carrying, pulling, or pushing of heavy objects

In its website, the law firm Clawson & Staubes, LLC explains how “Workers’ compensation benefits can be a lifeline for those suffering from a workplace injury”, especially if the type of injury that a worker sustains is permanent or long-term. For this reason, it is important that a worker be medically evaluated to determine the percentage of impairment that he or she has suffered as this can have huge consequences on the amount of benefits that he or she may recover. Long-term disability may also entitle him or her to a lifetime of medical benefits.