Who Pays for Workers’ Compensation?
If you’ve ever been injured on the job, the phrase “workers’ compensation” may have come into the conversation. Workers’ compensation serves to reimburse those who have suffered losses due to a work-related injury or illness.
How Does it Work?
In most states, your employer is required to pay for workers’ compensation insurance. There are a few options for employers to pay workers’ compensation insurance: directly to workers, via a state-run program, or to an insurance company.
Companies that can pay their employees directly, or “self-insure,” must have considerable assets in order to protect themselves from liability and ensure that their workers are being paid sufficient benefits. Often, this means increased regulation by the state. Dispersal of workers’ compensation is typically conducted through what is known as a “third-party administrator,” or a company that your employer hires to process claims. If you were injured while working for an employer that is self-insured, you’ll receive benefits from this third-party administrator.
Most states provide the option for employers to purchase workers’ comp insurance through government programs. Typically, smaller businesses elect to use state programs due to their affordability. Your employer pays a premium, and the state acts similarly to an insurance company.
In some cases, your employer might purchase workers’ comp insurance through a private insurance company. Not all states allow this option, but if your state does, the private insurance company will provide the actual benefits.
What Does it Cover?
Depending on the nature of your injury, recovery, and time away from work, your benefits package can vary greatly. First and foremost, your injury must be work-related. Additionally, benefits may be declined if you intentionally hurt yourself or were intoxicated during the incident. However, if you do qualify for workers’ comp, the benefits can help you pay for any medical expenses, including hospital visits and ongoing treatment, and missed wages due to being unable to work.
Who Does it Cover?
Depending on your state, some positions are not required to be insured. This includes:
- Business owners
- Real estate agents
- Insurance agents
Each state also requires businesses to have a minimum number of employees before they even need workers’ comp insurance. Additionally, federal government employees are covered by federal workers’ compensation rather than state-based.
If you’re unsure about the regulations in your state or are having difficulty receiving benefits that you believe you are owed, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer like one from Therman Law Offices will be able to inform you of your options and, if the situation demands it, will help you sue. Schedule a consultation now to receive legal help.