No one wants to consider what might happen if they were injured at work, but it's to your benefit to be familiar with workers' compensation and how it works just in case.
Learn all about workers' comp (formerly known as workman's comp): what it is, who pays for it, what it covers and how it works.
Workers' comp is a special type of insurance that covers medical expenses for those who experience illness or injury as a result of their job. This insurance is paid for by the employer.
The employer's cost is based on several factors, including past workers' comp claims.
“There’s a lot that can help a business owner control their risk associated with employee injuries,” Andrew Dalton, assistant vice president for The Hartford’s small commercial workers’ compensation line of business, told Forbes Advisor. “You don’t want to leave these things to chance and you want to be certain you have safety protocols and procedures and that your business has taken steps to reduce the kinds of things that can cause injury.”
How workers' comp operates and what it covers varies greatly by state, but here are some areas that are generally part of it:
While workers' compensation is a government-mandated program, who qualifies varies from state to state. Each state manages its own program. Some states exclude small businesses from mandated workers' comp provision. Others have separate requirements for different industries.
Generally, though, only permanent employees are covered, while contract or freelancers are not.
A summary of each state’s workers' compensation requirements is maintained by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
What is the process for using workers' compensation if you are injured on the job? This is how it works, according to Forbes Advisor:
Illness or injuries caused at work can be challenging to navigate. Knowing what workers' comp is, if you qualify for it, and how it works in your state can be helpful. You can find specific information about your state’s workers' compensation policies on the U.S. Department of Labor site.
Forbes Advisor: How Does Workers' Compensation Work?
Forbes Advisor: How Does A Workers’ Comp Settlement Work? 2023 Guide
National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): Workers' Compensation Laws — State by State Comparison
USA GOV: Workers' compensation
U.S. Department of Labor: State Workers' Compensation Officials
Workers' compensation can be helpful if you develop a work-related illness or are injured on the job.