You have probably heard about workers’ comp. This is the system that compensates workers who are injured while doing their jobs. However, many people do not really understand how this system works. Who provides the benefits? How do you file for a workers’ comp claim? What is the process like? These are important questions that you should know the answers to in case you are ever injured while doing your job.
Who Provides the Benefits?
It turns out that it is not the employers who are responsible for providing the benefits. However, who really provides them depends on what state you live in. There are two different models for the workers’ comp system. Some states handle it with a centralized state agency. In this model, the benefits come directly from the state. This is quite a simple way to handle it.
Other states, however, model the workers’ comp system similarly to the insurance industry. In this model, things are a little more complicated. Private insurance companies essentially provide workers’ comp insurance. Employers are required by law to provide workers’ comp to their employees. In this system, employers need to pay the insurance provider for a policy, which means in an indirect way, each employer is the one that provides the benefits.
The process of filing a workers’ comp claim is quite simple. It is designed to be as easy as possible so injured workers only need to put in the least amount of effort to get their benefits. If you are injured while working, this is what you should do:
- Seek medical care. – Your top priority should always be to protect yourself. Before you speak with your employer, handle any administrative tasks, or do anything else, go to the hospital to have your injury cared for.
- Report your injury to your employer – The first step in the actual filing process is to report your injury to your employer. The responsibility of filing the claim largely falls on the employer. This means you can focus on getting better, while your claim is filed on your behalf.
- Follow your employer’s instructions – At this point, you are pretty much done. You simply need to do whatever your employer tells you to do. It may vary from one state to the next, but you will likely only need to sign some paperwork at this point.
Do not forget to follow up with your employer. If he or she fails to file your case, you may have legal options available to you, which you can learn about by speaking with an attorney, like a workers compensation lawyer in Milwaukee, WI from Hickey & Turim, SC.