If you’re an employee who works in an environment where workplace injuries can occur, it is wise to want to inquire more about workers’ compensation claims.
This is especially true if the environment you’re working in is considered high-risk. Nobody wants to get injured, but wanting to be prepared in case an injury does happen is quite prudent.
So, let’s see if we can get you familiarized with workers’ compensation through a series of the most common questions people usually have about work comp.
Who pays my work comp benefits?
In Pennsylvania, the law dictates that every employer must have workers’ compensation in place for each and every one of his or her employees. That being said, it is that work comp coverage that pays all of the worker’s benefits.
So, the answer would be – your employer pays for your work comp benefits. However, even if your employer did not have work comp for the employees, you’re still able to claim compensation with help from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Which injuries does work comp cover?
The shortest and the most correct answer to this question would be to say that workers’ compensation covers a vast majority of all the workplace-related injuries an employee can sustain.
That means that if your injury happened at work, and because of a condition of the workplace, you’re eligible for workers’ compensation. However, the majority of injuries does not mean all injuries.
Which injuries work comp doesn’t cover?
However, although workers’ comp covers many of the injuries that originate in the workplace, there are some exceptions to that rule that you should be familiar with.
The following are situations in which workers’ compensation does not apply:
- If the injury did not occur during employment.
- If the injury is self-inflicted.
- If the injury was due to the worker’s own illegal act.
When do I have to return to work?
Sometimes, and greatly depending on the employer, you might feel pressured to return to work ASAP, or before you’re actually ready to return to work again in full capacity. And that’s not OK. You should return to work when you’re good and ready.
There may be a situation when the employer’s physician claims you’re ready to go back to work, while your physician does not agree. In such an eventuality, a judge has to take a look at your case and determine who’s right.
However, you should definitely know this – once your own personal doctor deems you’re ready to get cracking again, it’s time to go back, or you risk losing all your work comp benefits. Being injured is one thing, but being idle on purpose another.
How can I lose my workers’ compensation benefits?
In order not to lose your workers’ compensation benefits, you have to comply with all of the state of Pennsylvania’s laws regarding work comp. That means that you have to:
- Undergo any ordered medical exams.
- Submit to some medical services.
- Provide employment verification to an insurance company upon sustaining an injury.
If you fail to do any of the abovementioned, you stand to lose your workers’ compensation benefits. Additionally, you can lose your benefits if:
- You completely recover.
- You decide to go back to work in order to earn an equal-or-higher salary.
- If the 500-week period of partial disability is over.
Can I handle my work comp process alone?
While it is completely possible to handle everything related to workers’ compensation on your own, the question is not can you, but, rather, should you. Timing is everything when it comes to successfully claiming work comp, and that’s something to think about.
So, if you’re thinking of going it alone, we support your decision, but also wish to provide you an even deeper insight into how you should go about receiving your workers’ compensation benefits. Click the following link to find out more.