Workers’ Compensation: Source of Cash Benefits to Workers Who Sustain Injuries or Illnesses that are Work-related

There are different reasons why workers get injured on the job, with some injuries being serious enough as to affect their financial capacity. This happens if an injury renders a worker not capable of reporting back to work immediately due to the severity of the physical harm that he or she has sustained. Some of the most common causes of injury that the US Department of Labor has identified include:

  • Arguments or office politics leading to violent acts
  • Continuous repetitive motion, which can result to back pains and carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Getting entangled or caught in machines, a case most common in factories
  • Driving accident , a case common among company drivers
  • Being struck by a falling object, machine or vehicle, which is common among construction workers
  • Falling from a scaffold, ladder, stairs, roof or any elevated place
  • Slipping or tripping, which is actually the second most common cause of workplace injuries (the first is falls)
  • Overexertion due to pulling, pushing, carrying, or lifting heavy objects

The law allows workers who suffer job-related injuries or who develop an illness due to exposure to hazardous substances to receive financial benefits through the Workers’ Compensation Insurance program (also known as Workers’ Comp). This financial assistance may be received by an injured worker, regardless of whose fault the accident (which caused the injury) is; it is specifically intended to cover cost of medical treatment, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation and death.

Workers’ Compensation is mandated and administered by the state. While the Federal government, through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires employers to create a safe and healthy working environment where all their employees can perform their daily job without risk or fear of getting injured, this same government, as well as state governments, also require that employers make Workers’ Compensation coverage a part of employee benefits. Often, however, despite the injury or illness, employers and insurance providers make it so hard for workers to claim the benefits they are legally entitled to receive. The reason, clearly, is higher cost on the part of employers, meaning, the more workers getting injured or the higher the amount of benefits being claimed by an injured worker, the higher the insurance premiums the employer will have to pay.

Regardless of the costs an employer will have to pay though, the website of law firm Robert Wilson & Associates emphasizes the right of workers, whose injury or illness is job-related, to the cash benefits that they have a legal right to receive. It is necessary, however, that workers also understanding this right, its limits and the requirements that will make them qualify to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.

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