9 Worker’s Compensation FAQs That You Need to Know
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Workers’ compensation insurance is a state-established program, which all employers must have for their employees. It functions as a no-fault system, under which injured employees receive benefits if they face work-related injuries or occupational illness. As it is a no-fault insurance, for an injury to be considered compensable under worker’s compensation, the injury must arise out of and in the course of employment.
When workers face an injury, they are often conflicted and confused about a number of things. We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions related to worker’s compensation.
Am I Covered under Worker’s Compensation?
This remains the most-asked question. How do you determine if you are covered by worker’s compensation? Two fundamental factors need to be taken into consideration when determining if you are covered by worker’s compensation:
- You have to be an employee of the organization
- The injury should be a result of your work and work conditions
However, owing to the complicated nature of worker’s compensation, these criteria are not an absolute guarantee of worker’s compensation coverage. If there is any evidence that suggests that your injury was a result of your own actions or carelessness, you will not be entitled for the same. In short, employees cannot injure themselves and expect to be compensated.
Your best bet to find out about your compensation status is to consult an expert worker’s compensation attorney and find out about your rights and coverage.
Will there be Deductions in My Paycheck If I opt for Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
Worker’s compensation is entirely paid by the employer and no payroll deductions are made in the individual employee’s package.
What Is Worker’s Compensation Disability Income and How Does One Become Eligible for It?
You are entitled to worker’s compensation if you are compensably-disabled to do any job that falls under your pre-injury qualifications and training.
Your weekly worker’s compensation rate is determined by combining your average weekly wage rate with your marital status, number of dependents and tax filing status.
What Medical Services Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?
Worker’s compensation typically covers medical, surgical, nursing, and hospital services in the event of an injury or an illness. Under special circumstances, crutches, artificial limbs, eyes, teeth and hearing aids, and dental care are also covered.
Is an Employee Entitled to Worker’s Compensation If He / She Was Not Present at the Workplace at the Time of the Injury?
If the injury ‘arises out of’ and occurs ‘within the scope of employment,’ you will be eligible for worker’s compensation. So, if you were injured doing a job for your employer or company outside the premises of your workplace, your injury will be covered under worker’s compensation.
But, if you were on an official errand, but diverged from it for personal reasons, the scrutiny of the situation and examination of the rules will probably exempt you from worker’s compensation.
If, however, employees are attending a recreational event backed by the company and get injured there, they can receive worker’s compensation benefits. Though the employees were not on the employer’s premises at the time of injury, the event was an employer-sponsored, and therefore, makes the injured eligible for worker’s compensation.
Do I Need an Attorney to Review My Claim?
When we addressed this question to the best worker’s compensation lawyer in Chicago, he informed us that, “Filing a lawsuit is not always necessary or advisable as it may disqualify your worker’s compensation benefits. However, if there are doubts or questions you have about your injury and the compensation you are receiving, get an expert attorney to evaluate your case. We do this absolutely free for those who come to us.”
How Will I Pay the Attorney If I File a Claim?
It helps to have an attorney when filing a claim. But if your case goes for hearing, you must definitely have legal representation. However, you do not need to pay any fee directly to your attorney. The Worker’s Compensation Commission determines the attorney’s fee. If he is successful and you are granted an award, his fee will be deducted from your disability award.
Are Worker’s Compensation Benefits Taxable?
Benefits received under Worker’s Compensation are not subject to state or federal tax.
When Will Worker’s Compensation Payment Start?
If the injury results in you staying off work or returning with severe restrictions, you will receive worker’s compensation for the lost time. These payments will start on the eighth calendar day from that date that you have been off work. When you are put off from work for over 14 days, you will be paid retroactive wages from your first day off.
If you have performed a minimum of 90 days of continuous service and are a regular employee, you will receive ‘Accident Time’ that will not be cut from your sick leave bank. So, you will be entitled to your full base wage for the first seven calendar days. If the off work period exceeds 14 days, you will be paid retroactive from your first day off.
While these are some of the most frequently asked questions, for more queries on worker’s compensation, you can refer the following websites:
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