Workers Compensation can be a confusing process. It's important to understand the basics when it comes to the workers comp process so you get every benefit you're entitled to.
What is Workers Comp?
- Workers' compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job.
Who Pays for the Insurance?
- Employers pay for this insurance, and shall not require the employee to contribute to the cost of compensation. Weekly cash benefits and medical care are paid by the employer's insurance carrier, as directed by the Workers' Compensation Board. The Workers' Compensation Board is a state agency that processes the claims. If Board intervention is necessary, it will determine whether that insurer will reimburse for cash benefits and/or medical care, and the amounts payable.
Who is at Fault in a Workers' Comp Case?
- In a workers' compensation case, no one party is determined to be at fault. The amount that a claimant receives is not decreased by his/her carelessness, nor increased by an employer's fault. However, a worker loses his/her right to workers' compensation if the injury results solely from his or her intoxication from drugs or alcohol, or from the intent to injure him/herself or someone else.
How Do I Get Paid?
- A claim is paid if the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the injury or illness is work related. If the employer or insurance carrier disputes the claim, no cash benefits are paid until the workers' compensation law judge decides who is right. If a worker is not receiving benefits because the employer or insurance carrier is arguing that the injury is not job-related, he or she may be eligible for disability benefits in the meantime. Any payments made under the Disability Program, however, will be subtracted from future workers' compensation awards.
If you can return to work but your injury prevents you from earning the same wages you once did, you may be entitled to a benefit that will make up two-thirds of the difference. You may also return to work in light or alternate duty before you are fully healed.
**This information is based on New York State. Each state may be different. This blog post is for informational purposes. Your specific circumstances may vary from the information provided. Every case is different. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes. The contents contained in this post do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please contact us before sending confidential or time-sensitive material**