Workers Compensation in a nutshell


confused-faceFirst of all, I’d like to start off by explaining what Worker’s Compensation is. After all this is a blog dedicated to Worker’s Compensation. Workers’ Compensation is basically a type of insurance purchased by an employer to cover any work related injuries or illnesses. The range of injuries and situations covered is broad but there are limits. Worker’s Compensation benefits may be denied if it’s proven that the injured employee was injured as a result of being under the influence of any illegal substance during working hours. Compensation may also be denied if the injuries were self-inflicted or the employee was injured as of the result of an altercation initiated by the employee.

 Worker’s Compensation or Workman’s Comp?

Worker’s Compensation insurance is also known as ““Workman’s Comp,” but it doesn’t matter what you call it.  What’s important here and what you need to understand is that Workers’ Compensation insurance is a state mandated program that provides the injured worker with four benefits to help him get back on his feet.  Yes, this means that every employer in the State of California is required to have Worker’s Compensation insurance.

Workers’ Compensation benefits

Workers Compensation provides four basics benefits:

  1.       Lifetime Medical Treatment:  Paid by your employer’s insurance to “cure or relieve” an injury or illness arising from work.
  2.       Temporary disability benefit: Payments if your injury prevents you from doing your job while recovering.
  3.       Permanent disability benefit. A payment if you don’t recover completely. This payment can be made in a lump sum or in payments.
  4.       Supplemental job displacement benefits: (if your date of injury is in 2004 or later) Vouchers to pay for retraining if you don’t make a full recovery and aren’t able to return to work for your employer.

It all sounds simple enough but Workers’ Compensation claims can get complicated rather quickly even for an attorney. And the insurance company has trained professionals handling claims and working to limit the benefits provided. For that reason, many injured employees chose to be represented by an attorney. Workers Comp attorneys are prohibited from directly billing the injured worker and must have all fees approved by a work comp judge. Those fees are 15% or less of the total awarded the worker in the vast majority of cases.