Workers’ compensation is an important safety net that protects employees who suffer injuries or illnesses on the job. With the total cost of work injuries in America clocking in at $167 billion in 2021, according to the National Safety Council, paying attention to the possiblity of what compensation can do for you can change your life.
However, there are several misconceptions surrounding this program. Aiming to shed light on some of the most significant misunderstandings about workers’ compensation is one way to combat worries you may feel.
Ignoring any small injuries
One common misconception is that workers’ compensation is solely for severe injuries or accidents. In reality, the program covers a broad spectrum of workplace injuries and illnesses.
Whether it is a minor sprain, repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or even emotional stress caused by work-related factors, workers’ compensation may provide benefits to eligible individuals.
Getting a fast paycheck
Some believe that filing a workers’ compensation claim guarantees immediate financial relief. While this program indeed provides compensation, the process is not instantaneous. After reporting an injury, there is a waiting period before benefits commence. The specific waiting period varies by jurisdiction and the nature of the injury.
Choosing your doctor
Workers’ compensation often allows employees to select their preferred healthcare provider for treatment. However, certain regulations and rules may apply, depending on the jurisdiction. It is important to understand the guidelines in your area to ensure you receive the proper care.
Covering any activity at work
Another myth is that any injury that occurs at the workplace is automatically covered. In reality, the injury must have occurred while performing job-related duties to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Accidents resulting from unrelated personal activities, such as horseplay or substance abuse, typically do not fall under the program’s umbrella.
Covering lost wages
While workers’ compensation helps replace lost income, it usually does not cover every part of your earnings. The benefit amount typically equates to a percentage of your average weekly wage. Additionally, the duration of these payments could have limitations, depending on the severity of your injury and your jurisdiction’s regulations.
The more you learn about workers’ compensation, the more confident you may feel after an accident at work. A comprehensive understanding of your rights and benefits under workers’ compensation is important to know after suffering from an injury.