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Know what to expect with workers' compensation benefits

If you've been hurt while working, then you probably know that workers' compensation is supposed to be there to provide for your medical care and other needs. There are a few benefits people can expect from workers' compensation insurance including:

  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Wage replacement
  • Vocational training
  • Medical benefits
  • Death benefits

Workers' compensation pays for many of the expenses that you'll accrue as a result of your injury. If you are killed on the job, your family even has a right to death benefits.

How do you know if workers' compensation will cover your workplace injury?

Incidents that happen while you're on the clock, at work or performing work-related services should all be covered by workers' compensation policies. However, there are times when workers' compensation won't cover your injuries. These instances may include if you:

  • Were under the influence (or drugs or alcohol) at the time of injury
  • Inflicted the injuries on yourself intentionally
  • Violated a company policy or the law
  • Were not on the job at the time of the incident

Workers' compensation benefits allow you to collect the above benefits if your claim is approved, but you won't be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering.

Why don't you receive your full wages through wage replacement with workers' compensation?

The primary reason is because the payments you will receive are not taxed. So, you're receiving two-thirds of what you'd earn normally, but there are no taxes to pay out of that salary. You'll be able to qualify for wage replacement if you miss several days of work as a result of your injury or illness.

Does workers' compensation only cover short-term injuries or illnesses?

No, workers' compensation is designed to cover incidental injuries, long-term illnesses and injuries, and repetitive-strain injuries. Some examples of injuries covered by workers' compensation include:

  • Back problems from repetitive motions
  • Lacerations from improper machine guarding
  • Lung diseases from asbestos exposure

Who can't benefit from workers' compensation insurance?

There are a few groups of people who won't qualify for assistance through workers' compensation insurance. These people include:

  • Volunteers
  • Railroad workers
  • Farmers
  • Business owners
  • Independent contractors
  • Casual workers
  • Farmhands
  • Employees in private homes
  • Maritime employees

If those individuals are harmed while working, they may need to seek a personal injury claim instead of a workers' compensation claim.

These are a few things to know about workers' compensation. Know where you stand, so you can get the compensation you need.

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