Published On: Mon, Jul 22nd, 2019

Laws by the government in the US about workers’ compensation

Since accidents at work are very common and there are many different kinds of companies that are recruiting people who might have a risk of life while being at work. Previously, there was no security of anything as such; workers who were injured on the job were not given that legal protection because of this, workers who were injured had to look out for themselves rather than getting support. But now, as people are becoming more aware and the government is trying to protect the rights of everyone living in the country, they have made certain laws that are required in most businesses to protect them.

Whenever any person gets any physical damage, they can claim the workers’ compensation to receive different kinds of help from the company they were initially working for.

What is a worker’s compensation, and is there a law for it?

Workers compensation is a financial support system in which employees are provided medical care, income, and rehabilitation. This is given due to any injury or illness due to their work. It is a ‘no-fault’ system. This means that the employee’s injury or illness is covered regardless of the fault. There are many laws about worker’s compensation, each for a different area. For example:

  • California’s workers’ compensation law
  • Florida workers’ compensation law
  • Nevada workers’ compensation law
  • Illinois workers’ compensation law
  • Texas workers’ compensation law
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photo by Okan Caliskan via Pixabay

Advantages of workers’ compensation

There are several advantages that the employees can receive from the companies after any accident or problem takes place. These advantages can depend upon the accident that has taken place and the kind of job that they were working at.

Without any doubt, the workers’ compensation can only be claimed when someone was working for the company and not at any other kind of time. Whether they were going to the job or going home from the job when the accident took place, the company will not be responsible for covering their medical expenses or giving them any other kind of compensation.

The different kinds of advantages that can be included in the workers’ compensation are:

  • Vocational rehabilitation: If an employee is injured during work and cannot continue the same type of work, any longer then workers’ compensation can cover the expenses for getting trained for another type of work in the same job or any other area of employment.
  • Medical or any occupational condition treatments: If someone has an illness or condition that decreases the level of productivity of the work like asthma, as it will disturb the employee a lot. So giving workers compensation can help the employee save money on medical treatments as well as increase the level of productivity and positivity during the work of the employee. If someone is injured during work, then a managed care plan is set up. The workers’ compensation pays for the bills and everything else needed with it.
  • Lost wages coverage: While the employee is not currently working, then it is hard for them to keep everything in their house balanced without any wages. So it is decided in the law that the employer will cover the employee’s wages while they are out of work. Workers compensation insurance covers half of the normal total wages until the employee resumes his work.
  • Other benefits: These include special add-on coverage that employees can purchase, for example, in an unusual circumstance like an injury because of a terrorist attack during work. Legal liabilities coverage is also one of the benefits. There is a benefit for the family as well. If the employee passes away due to work, then the family gets some remuneration. These benefits include paying for the funeral and supporting the family for a certain amount of time after that event.

Before claiming any workers’ compensation, one thing that has to be kept very clear in mind is, the benefits will not be the same for every kind of employee that they have. The different jobs have different benefits and the money that they will be receiving upon any accident that takes place.

For example, if the employee works in the construction sites, it has more risk of life at all times, and they will receive more coverage if any accident takes place while at the other hand, a receptionist does not have any risk to life and thus, will receive less benefits.  

Or if someone is an air hostess and there is an accident of the plane, but luckily, everyone is safe, and only a few injuries have happened to the air hostess then they will receive more benefits compared to a receptionist or an office worker.

The receptionist can still have different kinds of accidents that can take place at work, such as tripping while walking on the wet floor, etc.

Who is eligible for worker’s compensation?

Even though worker’s compensation varies according to the job, whether it is a high-risk job or an easy and simple job, there are a few requirements that have to be fulfilled to get worker’s compensation. There are five types of requirements.


  • The employer should have worker’s compensation insurance.


In each state, different laws pertain to employers having workers’ compensation insurance. In some states, it is mandatory that even if an employer employs one person, he has to have some form of insurance to cover any financial or medical costs of the employee. However, in some states, the number of employees required rises to 2 and in some to 5. Other states in particular Texas has kept it optional for the employer to have some insurance and the employers, in turn, take the expenses upon themselves. Unless the employer has some insurance policy, the employee cannot contest for insurance to cover their costs.


  • The person must be an employee


When it comes to work, not everyone is an employee at their job.  The benefits of Worker’s compensation aren’t entitled to a worker who is an independent contractor. For example, freelancers or consultants, etc. It can also be that a worker even though is an employee the employers can classify them, as independent contractors, but that is not true, employers do this to save as well as avoid giving worker’s compensation. Just like independent contractors, volunteers are not given worker’s compensation either unless the government makes laws that cover these volunteers.


  • The injury should be related to work


If the employee gets sick or injured during work or while doing something related to their work, they are eligible for worker’s compensation. For example, if the worker is a miner and becomes ill due to the hazardous gases in the mine, then he/she is entitled to worker’s compensation. If the person had left the office for the work reasons, they would still be getting all of the benefits included for the workers inside. For instance, if the driver or the sales executive was caught in any accidents, they will be receiving the full coverage according to the laws, and at some jobs, they will not only receive the medical attention, but the company will also be responsible for paying them the lost wages that they have lost due to any accident.

  1. The complaint should be filed before the deadline

It is really important to file a complaint before the deadline if all the other requirements are fulfilled. If someone does not file before the deadline, then they will not get worker’s compensation, and everything will go in vain.

  1. The job should fall into the worker’s compensation category.

There are a few workers who are exempt from getting worker’s compensation. They are:

  • Domestic workers: People who work in private homes are not eligible for getting workers compensation. In some states, they are if they work part-time. Gardeners are included in this too in some places.  
  • Farmworkers: These exemptions are usually just for farmers with small areas except in Texas, where farmers are included in the categories.
  • Casual or seasonal workers: In some states, this is only applied if the work is not part of the person’s profession.
  • Undocumented workers: They are given workers compensation in some states like California and Florida.
  • Leased or loaned employees: If someone is an employee of another staff and is injured while at work for the staff, then they will be given workers compensation. Though the fact that who will be responsible for this is up to the decision through law.

What to do when someone wants to get worker’s compensation but does not know what to do?

To get to know whether the employee is suitable for the worker’s compensation after an injury due to work, then a lawyer should be consulted. If a company decides not to pay them or causes any kinds of troubles for the employees, the workers compensation attorney are always working in the country to get the rights of people to them.  

Author: Michael Wright

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