Workers compensation programs provide benefits to employees who are injured, killed or become ill on the job. Employees and their families may receive monetary payments, medical benefits and job training depending on the circumstances.
Fact #1: Coverage Required by State Law
Employers are required to carry workers compensation insurance, although coverage requirements differ by state in the following ways:
- Definition of covered employee
- Types of injuries or illnesses covered
- Proof of injuries
- Statute of limitations during which claims can be filed
- Employer defenses against claims
Fact #2: Cost of Coverage Varies by State and Industry
Workers compensation premiums are typically paid into a state fund and paid out by the state. Costs are often calculated based on the company’s gross payroll and the frequency and severity of injuries and illnesses experienced by the employer and industry.
Fact #3: Some Workplace Incidents Can Be Exempted
While workers compensation programs cover most workplace incidents, some frequently fall outside the scope of coverage, such as:
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries occurring while the employee was committing a crime or violating company policy
- The employee was not on the job when the incident occurred
Fact #4: Discrimination Is Prohibited
Employees must be given the ability to file workers compensation claims without fear of retaliation by the employer. In many cases, employers turn over claims handling to their brokers or agents who work with directly with the employee to help him or her return to work as quickly as possible.