What is workers’ compensation?
If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits. You could get hurt by:
•One event at work. Examples: hurting your back in a fall, getting burned by a chemical that splashes on your skin, getting hurt in a car accident while making deliveries. or: • Repeated exposures at work. Examples: hurting your hand, back, or other part of the body from doing the same motion over and over, losing your hearing because of constant loud noise. Workers’ compensation covers some, but not all, stress-related (psychological) injuries caused by your job. Also, workers’ compensation may not cover an injury that is reported to the employer after the worker is told he or she will be terminated or laid off. For information about what is covered, use the resources in Chapter 10.
What are the benefits?
They can include: Medical Care. Paid for by your employer, to help you recover from an injury or illness caused by work. This includes doctor visits and other treatment services, tests, medicines, equipment, and travel costs reasonably necessary to treat your injury. Temporary Disability Benefits. Payments if you lose wages because your injury prevents you from doing your usual job while recovering. Permanent Disability Benefits. Payments if you don’t recover completely and your injury causes a permanent loss of physical or mental function that a doctor can measure. Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit. A voucher to help pay for retraining or skill enhancement if you are eligible to receive permanent disability benefits, your employer doesn’t offer you work, and you don’t return to work for your employer. This benefit is available for workers injured in 2004 or later. If your injury also occurred in 2013 or later and you received a Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit, you may also be eligible for an additional, one-time payment under the Return-to-Work Supplement Program. Death Benefits. Payments to your spouse, children, or other dependents if you die from a job injury or illness.
Can my regular doctor treat me if I get hurt on the job?
It depends on whether you tell your employer in writing—before you are injured—the name and address of your personal physician or a medical group. This is called “predesignating.” If you predesignate, you may see your personal physician or the medical group right after you are injured.