There’s a good chance all you know about workers’ compensation, also known as “workers’ comp” is the big poster in your break room at work. It’s a critical benefit that your employer is supposed to provide to all employees in case of injury or illness while you’re on the job. But too many people don’t know what it is or what they’re entitled to. So what is workers’ compensation?
It’s a Type of Insurance and Employee BenefitWorkers’ comp is an employee benefit that covers you in the event you’re injured, become ill, or even die while doing your job. You don’t have to be at your place of employment, but you do need to be working. Workers’ compensation covers you when you’re traveling, offsite, or physically at work. This is an insurance coverage your employer purchases on your behalf.
It’s Required by LawAlthough it’s considered an employee “benefit,” your employer is legally required to offer it with few exceptions. Every state has rules governing workers’ compensation, and they vary slightly. In Nevada, all employers with even one employee must carry workers’ compensation insurance in case of injury, illness, or death. Employees are covered, but not contract workers (workers who receive a 1099).
Certain Expenses Will Be PaidWorkers’ compensation covers very specific expenses from your on-the-job accident or illness. It pays for your lost wages, usually half to two-thirds of what you typically get paid each week. Your medical costs relating to your specific injury will be paid for, as well as any rehabilitation costs. In the case of death, your family will receive death benefits.
Multiple Types of Injuries are CoveredMultiple forms of injury may be covered by workers’ comp.
- Physical injury from repetitive motion, exposure to toxins, hearing loss, or anything that occurs simply from doing your job.
- Aggravated pre-existing conditions like old back injuries that flare up because of an accident on the job or the work you’re doing.
- Trips, slips, falls, and other accidents that occur outside of the specific tasks of your job. Something could fall on you, a chair could break, you might slip on a wet floor, etc.
- Mental stress and strain due to work stress increased job duties, and even harassment from a supervisor may be covered. For mental strain to be covered, sometimes a physical injury must occur first.
Not Everything is CoveredThere are a few circumstances where your injury or illness won’t be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Purposely causing an accident with the intent to harm yourself
- Committing a crime that results in injury or illness
- Violating company policy and becoming ill or injured
- Having an accident while intoxicated