Workers’ compensation benefits help protect those hurt while working, as well as those who end up developing medical conditions because of their job responsibilities. Despite these protections applying to almost every employed person, many people are reluctant to file a workers’ compensation claim.
They worry that their employers might punish them for seeking benefits. Often, they also feel concerned that their coworkers may judge them or start to resent them. It is illegal for your employer to punish you for engaging and protected activities, like claiming workers’ compensation benefits. The company should also protect you against a hostile work environment if your coworkers change their attitude toward you after your claim.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is often the best step an injured employee can take. What are the benefits of seeking workers’ compensation coverage?
1. No patient responsibility for treatment
Many people who immediately dismiss the idea of claiming workers’ compensation benefits use the fact that they have health insurance coverage as the main justification for that choice. They don’t need workers’ compensation coverage because there is an alternate means of paying their costs.
However, the protection available through workers’ compensation is often better than the coverage available through standard health insurance policies. Most insurance companies pass a significant portion of someone’s care costs back to them when they make a claim. Workers’ compensation coverage can pay for all of your medical treatment without leaving any costs for you to cover.
2. You can qualify for disability benefits
Most people don’t like the idea of sitting home all day and not working. However, that is exactly what doctors will recommend after a surgery, a broken bone or a repetitive stress injury. You have to let your body rest in order to fully heal. Unless you have private disability insurance coverage, you may have to use up your paid time off or go weeks without income after an injury. Workers’ compensation can help pay at least a portion of your lost wages until you are able to return to work.
3. You can request reasonable accommodations
The doctor overseeing your care may have some suggestions for how to make your job safer. Filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits can also help you convince your employer to accommodate your work restrictions or provide you with assistive technology so that you don’t injure yourself again.
Understanding how workers’ compensation benefits help you after an injury can help you see the value in filing a claim.